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Definition, Varieties & Instances of a Vertical Marketing System

A vertical marketing system is a collaborative arrangement among the various entities in a distribution channel, such as producers, wholesalers, and retailers. Its primary objective is to work together to efficiently deliver essential products to customers, while also seeking to achieve economies of scale and improved overall efficiency.


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A Vertical Marketing System (VMS) is a way for companies to engage with customers, distribute promotions and incentives, as well as track their ROI. A VMS can be used by any company in any industry that wants to sell products or services through several channels. It’s particularly useful for businesses that have multiple locations or websites because it gives them the ability to synchronize sales activities across those channels without having to manage them individually.

Let’s Figure It Out: What Is A Vertical Marketing System?

Vertical Marketing System is a way for businesses to create a personalized experience for each customer. By using VMS, companies can target specific clients based on their needs and then use the data they have gathered about those people to deliver customized content that will help them come back again and again. The more data you collect about your customers’ preferences, the better you will be able to tailor messages and offers specifically to them. Thus, it leads to more promising sales results!

A great way to build a strong VMS is by using customer data. By collecting information about your clients, you can use it to segment them into groups based on their behaviors and preferences. Then, it is a good idea to use this data to create targeted campaigns that are relevant to each group. It helps you deliver more personalized content and increase sales!

The purpose of a Vertical Marketing System are as follows:

  1. Control Over the Supply Chain: VMS allows members of the supply chain to have greater control over issues like stock levels, delivery times, and pricing strategies. This can help to reduce conflicts and improve overall efficiency.
  2. Efficiency: By working together as a unified system, each member of the channel can focus on their own core competencies, leading to increased operational efficiency and cost savings.
  3. Better Coordination: VMS encourages better coordination between members of the supply chain. This can lead to improved planning and forecasting, and can help to ensure that the right products are available at the right time.
  4. Competitive Advantage: Through the improved efficiency and coordination offered by a VMS, companies can gain a competitive advantage. This could be through faster delivery times, lower prices, or higher quality service.
  5. Increased Profits: By reducing inefficiencies and conflicts within the supply chain, a VMS can lead to increased profits for all members of the channel.
  6. Brand Consistency: A VMS can help to ensure that a brand’s image and message are consistently conveyed at all levels of the supply chain, from production through to sales.

It’s important to note that there are three types of Vertical Marketing Systems: corporate, administered, and contractual. Each type varies in terms of the level of control exercised over the supply chain.

Examples of VMS in action

Now that you know what a VMS is, let’s take a look at some examples of how they work.

The first thing to note is that there are different types of VMSs, and they can be used for a variety of purposes. For example, one type of VMS might aid in accomplishing goals by managing time more effectively and enhancing productivity through the provision of time-saving tools. The other type might focus on helping people collaborate more effectively with each other on projects, which results in higher quality work being produced faster than before!

A great example of VMS in action: A large retail chain may use a VMS so that all of its locations are selling similar products at similar times, while also running promotions on each location’s website simultaneously. It allows them to better manage their inventory levels while increasing revenue per customer visit throughout the year. As a result, it helps increase profits at both ends, since more people will be buying things. If you want to start your own vertical marketing strategy, this definitive guide on a vertical marketing system is a must-read for you. 

Let’s sum up the main benefits of VMS in action. It helps your business to: 

  • achieve higher conversion rates by creating a personalized experience for each customer;
  • increase sales and customer satisfaction; 
  • reduce costs;
  • cultivate customer loyalty by providing relevant information based on past behaviors or preferences of users;
  • develop targeted offers that match their needs better than other companies do.
Type of VMSDescriptionExample
CorporateA single company owns multiple levels of the distribution channel, such as production, wholesaling, and retailing.Apple Inc. designs, manufactures, markets, and sells its products in its own branded stores, both physical and online.
Administered One member of the distribution channel, typically a producer or retailer, wields enough power to coordinate the activities of other members without outright ownership.Procter & Gamble (P&G) commands significant shelf space in retailers and influences the merchandising and promotion of its products.
ContractualIndependent firms at different levels of the distribution channel join together through a contract to obtain economies of scale or marketing impact.Subway restaurants operate under a franchising agreement, where individual store owners abide by Subway’s rules and standards.
Examples of Vertical Marketing Systems

Three Main Types of VMS

There are three main types of Vertical Marketing Systems: corporate, contractual, and administered. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks that must be considered before deciding on which one works best for your company’s needs.

Corporate VMS

A corporate VMS is a system that is owned and operated by a company. The company can use the system to create and manage customer relationships, distribute rewards and incentives, track ROI, and measure results.

A good example of this type of VMS is Salesforce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. It allows companies to manage their customer information in one place, so they can see how it all ties together, including: 

  • what products are selling best; 
  • who’s buying them; 
  • where they’re coming from; 
  • how much revenue each sale generates;
  • even which salespeople are getting results with whom!

Contractual VMS

A contractual VMS is a system that a company uses to sell products and services to other companies. This type of VMS is often referred to as a “channel.” An example of this type of system would be software that’s sold by one company and used by another company, such as Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop.

Administered VMS

An administered VMS is the most common type of vertical marketing system and is often used to reward customers for purchases or other behaviors. Administered VMS can also help in creating loyalty programs, which encourage repeat business by providing rewards that increase in value as consumers accumulate points or miles. This type of system is flexible enough to allow you to customize it based on your needs and preferences. However, you must understand how much time and money will be required on your part before committing yourself to this VMS.


Vertical Marketing Systems allow businesses to connect with their customers on a deeper level, which is essential for creating trust and loyalty. By using VMS software, you can create personalized experiences for each customer and tailor them according to their needs. In the future, it will help increase conversion rates and improve customer satisfaction levels and brand awareness within your industry.

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