What Is a Vertical Marketing System? 3 Types and Their Benefits

Marketing – Vertical Marketing System

Three types of vertical marketing systems

You might take into account one of the following three main types of vertical marketing systems for your company’s distribution strategy:


The procedures, spending plans, and deadlines of its producers, wholesalers, and retailers are under the control of a corporate vertical marketing system. They are in charge of all aspects of production and distribution, including product development, marketing, and consumer sales. They do not rely on any other organizations to deliver their products to consumers.

As an illustration, John’s Dairy Freeze manufactures and sells ice cream directly to consumers.


Producers, wholesalers, and retailers collaborate in a contractual vertical marketing system for the same profit and objectives, but each is a separate business. Although they are required by contract to meet shared objectives in terms of costs, time, and product, they frequently have discretion over how they manage their own teams and workflow. Businesses frequently form partnerships to reduce overhead expenses and offer more affordable prices. Together, they can expand their market reach and take advantage of each other’s strengths.

Imagine that John’s Dairy Freeze was a franchise that was run by the original owner and had multiple locations, each of which was in charge of its own workflow, budget, and procedures.


In a vertical marketing system that is administered, one producer and distributor has a lot more power than the others. This frequently results from its size and market influence. With this authority, it can set up the system’s structure without a written contract. Smaller businesses typically have to adhere to their rules and regulations regarding stock, price points, and branding.

Example: John’s Dairy Freeze, a sizable business, determines that each of its locations can only carry 100 gallons of ice cream per store, annually.

What is a vertical marketing system?

When producers, wholesalers, and retailers collaborate to meet the needs of their customers, this is known as a vertical marketing system. It enables one business to control every step of a product’s production and sale.

Producers, wholesalers, and retailers typically operate as separate businesses under conventional marketing systems, or horizontal marketing systems, in an effort to increase their individual profits. This might give each organization more freedom, but it might also increase competition and conflict, which could cost both organizations money.

The benefits of using a vertical marketing system

You might discover that using a vertical marketing system works best for you based on the needs of your business. Here are the main advantages:

Effective sales messaging and branding

You can pinpoint your main message and improve the likelihood that people will recognize your brand by concentrating your marketing efforts on a small number of potential clients and industries. You can present your company as an industry authority if you offer a specialty product.

Better efficiency

In a vertical marketing system, producers, wholesalers, and retailers are by definition cooperating to achieve a single objective, which encourages the creation of better, more effective systems.

Stronger communication and relationships

When everyone works together, communication tends to be better. By sharing regular updates and adhering to the same rules, producers, wholesalers, and retailers may generate more revenue, achieve better results, and delight customers.

More resources

Your company has the chance to access more resources because more parties are working toward the same objective. For instance, you have the resources to ship your own goods if you don’t want to deal with a third-party shipping company. Having access to this resource gives your business greater control over delivery schedules and shipping costs.

Develop new ideas

With a vertical marketing strategy, your specialized focus can also make it simpler to understand your market through the perspectives of particular customers, and possibly develop cutting-edge new products and services. Often, brands use vertical marketing systems to deliver groundbreaking solutions.

Vertical marketing systems vs. horizontal marketing systems

Businesses typically organize and streamline their production and distribution workflow using either a vertical marketing system or a horizontal marketing system. The main differences between vertical and horizontal marketing systems are as follows:

VMS characteristics

Vertical marketing systems:

HMS characteristics

Horizontal marketing systems:

The potential drawbacks of using a vertical marketing system

Not all businesses should use a vertical marketing system. Here are some common potential drawbacks:

Limited perspective

One potential disadvantage to vertical marketing systems is limited perspective. When everyone is focused on the same objective, inefficiencies may be harder to spot. However, when businesses use outside sources for production, processing, and supply, each organization brings a distinctive perspective to the project.

Reduced quality control

Another potential drawback is reduced quality control. Keeping track of all departments and processes when all departments are under the control of one company can be challenging. Reduced product, process, environmental, or even employee appreciation can be the result of this.

Disjointed coordination

A vertical marketing system may encourage less coordination between departments, despite the perception that working for one company would be more beneficial. When third parties are involved, they are driven by their own chance to profit and will put forth the effort necessary to achieve that goal. In a VMS, there is less of a motivation to work together to achieve the company’s objective.

How to choose a vertical marketing system

Follow these steps when choosing a vertical marketing system:

1. Consider your resources

Your choice of vertical marketing system will depend on the resources you already have. Use a corporate vertical marketing system for your company if you have the resources, expertise, and staff to create your own production, wholesale, and retail departments. Consider suggesting a contractual partnership if you see that another company has the resources you require. Finally, you might already be a vertical marketing system that is administered if you are large enough to set the rules.

2. Define your goals

Owning a vertical marketing system requires careful and thorough planning as well as ample resources. Consider what you hope to accomplish by integrating every aspect of your marketing channel. This may be the best marketing strategy for your brand if you need more resources and want fewer competitors. You might want to wait before collaborating if your brand benefits from some competition.

3. Hire a consultant

Consider consulting with a consultant if you’re still unsure of which vertical marketing business model will work best for your company. A business marketing expert can assist you in determining the needs, size, resources, and restrictions of your company so that you can make more informed decisions. Find a specialist who has worked in your industry and has extensive experience in business marketing.


What is the vertical marketing systems?

When producers, wholesalers, and retailers collaborate to meet the needs of their customers, this is known as a vertical marketing system. It enables one business to control every step of a product’s production and sale.

What is horizontal and vertical marketing system?

A vertical market is a market where vendors cater to a particular sector of the population, occupation, or other group of clients with specialized needs. A horizontal market is one in which a good or service fills the needs of numerous customers from various economic sectors.

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