Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Vertical and Horizontal Networking and Marketing

By Andy Valadez, StealthMarketer

In my last post, I mentioned that I was the guest speaker at the Northwest Young Professionals Organization hosted by the Northwest Chamber of Commerce (last month). I enjoy speaking to entrepreneurs, avid networkers and motivated sales professionals.

I have read many articles and heard people talk about networking and social media in the past, but have rarely heard Strategic Marketers comment on the subject.

What's the difference?

Well, marketers think strategically and very different.

When networking or marketing (it's all marketing to me), we have to think vertically and horizontally about the opportunities we have that impact our business interests. Whether marketing to one person or to thousands or even millions, the strategies and techniques will vary.

For example, in my talk, I mentioned that many networkers need to get rid of their business cards.

You should have heard the gasps. I confirmed, "Yes a marketer is advising that you get rid of your business cards."

I've written countless articles of the need for business people and other marketers to put more thought into the design and heft of their cards. Most cards are not that well done. So, I say get rid of them.

In fact, I dare you to get rid of them. Why? For many, the business card is getting in the way of making a personal connection. The traditional business card is a barrier. I am going to write more about this in my next article. For now, just know that we can use echnology to "Bump" on our iPhone or Droid, send in instant message, text or e-mail right then and there, program the information into our phones by hand, research our contacts on LinkedIn or Facebook.

The new business climate requires that we be more intentional about the connections we make. Getting rid of your business cards makes us be more focused on the people we meet.

Business cards and the delivery of them is too passive. Enough of that rant for now. Are they in the trash yet? I'll wait.

Vertical and Horizontal Networking and Marketing means thinking very differently to how one connects with various customers, new acquaintances, strategic alliance partners, friends and/or family.

This approach requires that we dissect the various ways that we can make an important influence partner to aid future success for both parties.

So, what is “Horizontal and Vertical Networking (Marketing)?”
• Redefine where and how networking takes place, time and location does matter
• Do some market research, where should you be networking? Who do you need to know – go
vertical, go horizontal and go on a tangent
• Think long-term, it may take years to make a connection –go in a tangent
• Don’t worry about a reputation you don’t have (take risks) – go off
• An illustration: Want someone to remember you? Offer them $100 if they remember you a
year from now. Find the value proposition. – get off the beaten path, try something new
• Business cards don’t matter - what you still have them?
• Who you know matters - value your relationships and they will value you
• Do you have a posse? Having a posse matters - chart a course with your team
• Kill the word “busy” (no one cares) – we are all busy, so what?
• Return your calls and reply to your e-mails demand the same from your team
• Treat all of contacts with respect
• Be prepared to lead and sometimes follow
• Get some ”gray-hairs” in your circle
• Be selective, but don’t pre-judge
• Avoid angry people

• Make a list of 5 key people you need to know to expand your business interests
• Find 7 to 12 people to put on your networking team (conference once a week if not every day)
• Before you meet with anyone, find the business reason (this builds value).
• Build your brand. Make people want to call you, how do you do that? Let your team know
what you are looking for.

Team Marketing Dynamics is a true strategic marketing firm serving clients and its joint venture teams looking to expand their interests in technology, integrated broadcast, filmmaking, music, publishing, racing, and start-ups. Marketing Dynamics was launched in 1999 by founder Andy Valadez with the goal of championing the benefits of tried and true marketing principles that apply to every business and practice. To learn more about Team Marketing Dynamics please visit

To contact Marketing Dynamics visit: or call 281.463.4560.

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