When you’re selling family-sized camping tents, you’re far more likely to be successful selling them to families with young children who want to go camping than you would be by trying to sell the same tents to business people who go skiing in the mountains during their vacation. Right? Right.
If you want your marketing to have impact where it counts—such as on your bottom line—then niche marketing offers you an opportunity that broader marketing doesn’t. Sure, it might seem like you’re getting better visibility by marketing to a wider audience, but in fact it’s a dilution of your efforts. As a result, your return on investment (ROI) is also diluted. Focus your marketing on meeting the needs of a small group of customers, and enjoy the benefits of better returns on your money.
Reasons Why Niche Marketing Works
#1: It’s Less Crowded
Competition is great under normal circumstances. It’s healthy, it keeps all players on their toes and it keeps prices from getting out of hand. But if you’re offering the same product at the same price to the same people as your competitor, it can get a little, well – crowded, even at the top of your game.
When your products or services are aimed at a very specific, clearly defined audience, you’re less likely to have the same level of competition for your audience. That not only gives you a better chance of getting their attention, but it enables you to customize your messaging very specifically for a small group of people.
#2: Tailoring the Message is Easier
Providing a custom message (and using a customized channel to deliver it) makes sense if you’re speaking directly to a certain market segment. You won’t have to worry about whether you’re using jargon they won’t understand, or if they are accessing the channels you’re using. You’ll know the answers to these questions, because you’ll have used them to determine the style, format and media for each communication.
#3: Helps with Website Development
If you’ve ever tried to commission a website aimed at several different customer segments you’ll know just how difficult it can be. What resonates with the kids just doesn’t cut it with the seniors, and business people prefer a more professional approach than the stay-at-home moms—even in a B2C environment. How much easier is it to target just one of those groups with your website? Pick the market segment most likely to want or buy your product, and speak directly to them. Sure, you’ll get some overlap with other groups, but it will be a bonus, not a driving criteria of the site.
#4: Informs More Effective Content
Inbound marketing makes use of content such as blog posts, social media and other media formats to drive traffic to your site. That means you’re required to create material that encourages users to click through to read it, and unless they do so, you aren’t likely to get any leads. How much more effective will your content be if it’s written directly for your audience, rather than trying to appeal to everyone including their parents, grandparents or the opposite gender?
How to Get it Right
Targeting a narrow niche is a great concept, but unless you get it right you aren’t going to see any increase in your ROI. The most important ways to ensure your marketing strategy is spot on are:
- Do Adequate Market Research: Unless you know your target audience and their needs and wants inside out, you could be engaging in a hit-or-miss campaign. It isn’t enough to gather basic demographic information such as age, income and marital status; you actually need to know what their problems are, what solutions they are likely to have tried and what their “pain points” are.
- Perform a Market Test: Before you invest a chunk of your hard-earned money in a marketing premise that might not work for your business, do test-market exercise. This should include detailed analysis of the competitors you might find active in the same niche, how they are marketing and what their levels of success seem to be.
- Identify the Right Language: When you’re McDonalds selling burgers, it’s simple to focus on the features of the product and let it sell itself. That won’t work quite so well in niche marketing, however, and if you use the wrong wording your target audience won’t identify with you the way you want them to. It’s important to speak the “language” or your niche, to know the market’s hot buttons and to be able to communicate from within as a member of the target group, not an outsider. It might even be necessary to change some of the elements of your marketing such as your website design, logo and company slogan, if they aren’t ideal for your audience.
Don’t try to be all things to all people; it never worked in the past and it doesn’t work now. Rather, focus your attention on the market segments that are profitable for you, and let the rest of the market take care of itself.