11 Nov N is for… Niche
Your A-Z of Marketing Essentials
N is for… Marketing Niche
A marketing niche can be described as “Concentrating all your marketing efforts on a small but specific and well-defined segment of the population.”
It’s no secret that mass marketing has long been dead and buried as a successful strategy. If you want to have meaningful dialogue (and you should) with your potential buyers it needs to be as a small, narrowly defined group.
Why do I need to create a niche?
Marketing niches do not ‘exist’ but are ‘created’ by identifying the needs, wants, and requirements that are being addressed poorly or not at all by your competitors, and developing and delivering goods or services to satisfy them. There are a number of advantages to communicating with a specific marketing niche, including:
- Reduced competition – other small businesses may not be aware of your particular niche market, and large businesses won’t want to bother with it. However be aware that once one business has established a profitable niche, others are normally quick to follow and if it’s profitable enough bigger businesses will take notice.
- Enhanced relationships – targeting a narrower customer base allows you to focus your efforts on fine-tuning your product and service offerings to meet the more specific needs and enhancing your customer relationships.
- Saving money – by focusing your marketing efforts on a smaller, more defined customer base you will spend your marketing budget in a more concentrated manner, meaning less waste and greater return as you are communicating with potential buyers that are more likely to be interested in your product or service.
- Credibility – becoming known as the specialist in a particular product or service makes your business more likely to be recommended to others by customers (and even other businesses). Customers are always looking for businesses that are the best in their area of need.
- Reducing resources – trying to appeal to a broader customer audience takes more time and effort in product/service development, marketing, and customer service. By focusing on smaller segments you will be able to produce marketing campaigns that resonate with your target market.
- Establishing a foothold – solidifying a position in a particular market can enable your business to expand its into a the wider marketplace. You will also be able to create new opportunities for your business by cross-selling selling supporting products.
- Building loyalty – by providing customers with products and services there is a demand for, you end up having an advantage against your competition because products or services in a niche market are generally harder to source.
Remember – if you try to sell to everyone, you end up selling to no one.
6 steps to identify your niche market
- Understand your audience – each audience set you create will respond to different maeeages and imagery. For example, 45-55 year old’s that are interested in culture and art galleries, are not going to be interested in holiday destinations that appeal to the 18-25 year old age group that want to party. Identifying what will resonate with your niche is essential to creating a successful niche marketing strategy.
- Research – Analyse and interrogate your current data to discover trends and patterns that could help you identify the audience sets you wish to focus on for each product/service you offer. From there you will be able to determine what campaigns people have responded to. Identify demograhpics and behaviours. Take time to research your competition too. Find out what others are offering, the prices, the service levels etc. this way you can develop a products or service that makes you stand out and has some differentiation.
- Use Google’s Free Keyword Research and Ad Planner Tools. This free tool that allows you to find out both local and global search volumes for certain keywords, related keywords, as well as the competitiveness of those keywords, too.
- Take action – Develop your marketing plan based on your research and the understanding you now have of your audience. Once you have identified your targeted audience you can then start to think about where they hang out. What mix of marketing tactics will reach them at each stage of their buying journey? What messages and images will resonate with your target audience? When will they be most interested in your offering? YOu will then be able to create and disseminate the marketing collateral to promote your product or service.
- Test and measure – It is essential that each campaign is monitored and measured. This way you can make any alterations required should your marketing plan start straying off the path or need tweaking. Set weekly and monthly milestones so you can assess your progress and make adjustments.
- Analyze – Set KPIs for each tool you use so you can analyse what is working, what isn’t and where to direct your marketing spend to maximise your return on investment (ROI). Digital marketing is particularly easy to measure activity and purchases as all the clicks can be tracked. Off line marketing can still be measured but using codes, vouchers, assigning unique phone numbers etc.
Remember – be flexible and continue to make adjustments along the way.
Michelle Roberts (MCIM), is the managing director and founder of The Creative Marketing Agency. She is trained in both digital and traditional marketing through the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). She is also a member of the CIM and a Certified Practitioner in the Watertight Marketing Expert Community, both of which provide access to an additional wealth of knowledge and experience.