If you’ve been learning about marketing for a while now this won’t be big news to you: to be successful in your business — no matter what it is — you must narrow your focus so that you can concentrate on a niche.
The marketplace for your services is probably huge anyway and with the advent of the Internet, your marketplace can be the entire world; but it is impossible to market to everybody in the world.
You know that already, and yet, you might be surprised at the number of people that still respond “everybody” when I ask them “who is your target audience?”
Perhaps you’re still thinking, however that that’s okay for everyone else, but your services or products truly are something that everybody could use and might need and are afraid to limit yourself in any way.
Choosing a niche, or a target audience, is just the opposite of limiting. In fact, study after study, both scientific and not, prove that if you are marketing to a more tightly focused audience your sales will naturally be higher.
Why? Two reasons are at play here.
First, it is much easier to focus your marketing on a smaller group of people than on everybody.
Over the years my graphic design work began to focus on and center around two different groups: chiropractors and lawyers. Obviously these people have pretty much nothing in common except that they are service professionals.
I found that I liked working with both groups and I had a pretty good understanding of their businesses and what they needed from their own clients. Since I had something of value to offer to both groups, I designed all my promotions exclusively for each group.
If I was marketing to the lawyers, everything I did focused on them. The content and the language I used, the artwork, and the offering I made. I mailed or emailed ONLY to the lawyers on my lists.
In turn I did the same thing with the chiropractors.
So you see, you can certainly have more than one niche if you like, you just can’t market effectively to all of them at once.
It may be that you have a narrow niche and a broader niche that you are marketing to. If you sell a program or a product that is great for athletes, for example, athletes in general might be your larger niche.
You might find, though, that you would be more successful if you marketed your product to just one narrow niche at a time, say, runners or weight lifters. Or you could market to your broader niche — all athletes — by promoting your products to people who have gym memberships.
You’d be letting those people know, by listing the various athletes that can be helped with your product, that you have something available. You run a bigger risk, however, of people not seeing themselves on that list, by marketing in this broad way, but it is doable.
You are still focusing on two relatively small niche areas, but can you see how much easier your marketing becomes when you focus tightly on one niche group at a time?
The other benefit of doing this is that it costs much less money to market to a smaller group than to everybody.
Advertising can be very expensive and is usually not effective for most small businesses because it has to be too broadly focused to try to appeal to a random group of readers. But advertising can be very cost effective if you market your athletic products only in places where athletes would see your message.
So if your narrow niche is runners, you could run ads in running magazines and probably do quite well.
The same holds true for online marketing, including adwords, and search engine marketing, or when using direct mail as an offline strategy. It is much cheaper to mail a thousand postcards to a tightly focused niche of runners than to try to reach a few million athletes with a postcard.
I hope you’re beginning to see the value in thinking about and choosing a narrow niche market for your own business.
In case you’re wondering, these days as a marketing coach and consultant, my narrow niche is coaches, and my broader niche is service professionals.
What is your narrowly defined niche market?© Copyright 2009 Marty Marsh