Why You Should Have A Niche Marketing Strategy
How to Greatly Increase Your Odds of Business Success By Using a Niche Marketing Strategy
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is trying to market their product or service to a large general market instead of focusing on a small niche market. As a marketing advisor, getting clients to focus on a niche market is the most difficult part of the job. Whenever I tell a client that they must start off small and focus on a specialised niche market, my client almost always says, “But I think everybody could use my product and if I limit my market, I will get fewer sales.” Then my response is, “Okay, if you want to market your product to the world, how many millions of pounds do you have to invest in regional, national and international advertising campaigns?” Then I get a blank stare or the phone goes quiet.
To be successful in today’s hyper-competitive, over-advertised marketplace, you absolutely must focus your business and marketing on serving a specialised and preferably small niche market. This is especially true and a matter of survival if you have a small marketing budget. If you ignore this advice and try to market to a large general market before first becoming successful in at least one small niche market, I can guarantee you that you will soon go broke and be out of business. However, if you do decide to focus on serving a small niche market, you greatly increase your odds for business success with much less risk.
So what is a niche market? A niche market is group of consumers or businesses that all have a very specific need or want. For example, let’s say you sell fancy and fairly expensive parrot cages. Your niche market consists of people who own parrots, and particularly people who own parrots and earn an income large enough that they can afford to buy your fancy parrot cages.
On the other hand, if you decide to market your fancy parrot cages to everybody in the Britian who owns a bird, you are marketing to a fairly large general market and the money you spend on marketing will be wasted because nearly all of the people who will see your marketing will NOT have a need or interest in buying an expensive parrot cage. Yes, that sound you just heard is the sound of your money being flushed down the toilet because you ignored niche marketing.
Here is another example. Let’s say you invent a new kind of ergonomic chair. This chair is very comfortable and really helps people who suffer from lower back pain. Now, what most inventors would do when they come to me to market their product is they would say, “Everybody will want my ergonomic chair. I want to first market it nationally and then to the world.” Then I ask my famous question of how much money do they have for marketing, and I am told it is a couple thousand dollars. So, my client wants me to launch a national marketing campaign for a brand new product nobody has ever heard of and I am supposed to do this with a few thousand dollars. Not going to happen.
My advice for how to market this new ergonomic chair product is to market it to a very specialised niche market and there are several to choose from. The key is finding the market that most needs this product as well as can afford this product. One niche market to consider would be to market the chair to assisted living centers for the elderly. Another niche market is Chiropractors who could sell this chair directly to their patients who suffer from lower back pain. There are many other niche markets that could considered too. The key is to determine who has the most desperate need for your product or service and then focus your marketing on that niche market. If you are still confused, do this exercise. Find the people who stay up at night worrying about the problem your product or service solves and you have just found your niche market.
Theoretical aspect of the niche market
According to competitive advantage theory there are three main types of business strategies they are: cost leadership, differentiation and focus strategies. Of these three main types of strategy what concerns small business most is the focus strategy. Marketing niche strategy is a special type of focus strategy.
There are two types of focus strategies cost focus and differentiation focus. It is most advisable to the small business owner to concentrate on a differentiation focus strategy, since a cost focus strategy might be difficult to maintain without achieving very large volume of production. On what type of differentiation focus can the small business achieve marketing niche strategy?
The following are a few examples:
- Marketing niche strategy based on customer needs and wants are the most sustainable – this usually arises when the mass-market product does not produce the item required. For example some products may not be customised to the individuals particular needs.
- Marketing niche strategy can also be created if there are social and cultural differences within a single community that may require that changes may be required to be made to a product or service. This regularly gives rise to a niche market.
- Marketing niche strategy is also created through exclusive rights – such as brands, trademarks, patents etc For example under the main brand a niche brand can be created to serve special customer needs e.g. milk high in calcium, certain type of collectors items.
- Marketing niche strategy is also achieved through adopting particular delivery channels.
How to develop marketing niche strategy sustain nichecompetitive advantage?
- Select a segment of the market that has a special need.
- Carry out market research to identify if the market size makes the idea feasible.
- Ensure that exclusivity through branding, patents or trademarks can be obtained.
- Prepare inventory and delivery channels.
- Prepare a promotion plan to reach the particular market.
- Implement the plan.
- Monitor market continuously to ensure that ‘niche’ characteristics and market continue to be feasible.
If you need help marketing your product or service, contact us on +44 (0)20 7060 1415 or go to our contact us page.