8 Steps to Niche-ify Your Marketing
Why should marketers care about niche markets, the sub-segments of a market defined by demographics and specific product attributes that satisfy certain needs at a particular price range for a given level of production quality?
Before you complain that you’re marketing to a broad, mass market, understand that transforming a mass market into a set of niche markets can simplify your marketing since each audience segment is easier to address. The more tightly you define your prospects the more you can distinguish your offering enabling you to charge a premium. At the same time, you broaden your opportunities because you’re eliminating less qualified prospects, according to Becky McCray.
Here are eight steps to help you develop a niche marketing strategy.
- Identify your niche markets.As with any marketing program, you must identify your target audience. With niche markets, it’s a critical step that helps define the rest of your marketing. Your approach depends on your firm and available information and resources.
- Assess customer-buying behavior. What are customers buying from your organization? How does this correlate with other third party data that you have.
- Determine special needs. Do one or more segments require special products? Large type books for people with low vision are an example.
- Consider special interests. Here’s where you need to think in terms of passion points. These are particularly important since these activities may cause prospects to change their purchase decision.
- Check your competitors. When determining niche markets, bear in mind that you may need to consider smaller more niche players? Are there segments that you’re missing? If so, what can you do to address these needs?
- Survey your prospects and customers. Ask them what special products or needs they want fulfilled.
- Create marketing personas for each targeted niche. To get a better understanding of prospects, develop different marketing personas for each different segment. The goal is to help your creative and content marketing staff develop more tailored marketing materials. In contrast to a mass market, you should be able to get very specific in terms of the details of these target audiences.
- Develop a niche-oriented offer. Consider how your can set your niche product apart from the rest of your offering as well as from your competitors. Does it make sense to have special pricing or packaging? For example, when I marketed to science fiction aficionados, I created unique packaging to make the product standout and attractive for customers, increasing sales. Assess the potential for additional related products. I was able to increase sales further by expanding into related product fields.
- Tailor your creative approach. Enhance your branding and graphic elements to resonate with your customers and the market. Consider the breadth of elements such as colors, font styles, images and layout. Is your audience very visual or do they prefer limited graphics?
- Create content to meet your audience’s needs. What type of information are they looking for? What social media and content marketing will attract them and make them want to read, share and purchase? Remember that content marketing is a critical element for engaging customers and persuading them to buy. Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Can you talk their language and meet their needs?
- Determine which media are most effective for your target audience. Think across third party, internal and social media. Use tailored media options where appropriate. For internal (or owned content) use targeted lists rather than mass mailings, direct mail and email.
- Test your marketing’s effectiveness in meeting your niche’s needs. In the words of David Ogilvy, test, test, test. This is more critical when you’re dealing with niche markets because one size doesn’t fit all. You need to be sure that you’re messaging is resonating with your target market.
- Track your results. As with any marketing, you must match your results back to your goals. To this end, determine your goals and related metrics up front. Incorporate an appropriate call to action and promotional code.
The bottom line is that dealing with niche markets, regardless of the form of marketing used, enables you to better target and tailor your marketing while expanding your reach cost effectively.
What other recommendations do you have to niche-ify your market? Please share them in the comment section below.
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