What should we know before we go after a niche market?
We have to direct our marketing to select niche audiences. We target carefully pinpointed market segments to maximize the effectiveness of our programs and often tackle different niches for each product group.
Niche marketing can be extremely cost-effective. We offer a product or service that's just right for a select target group in our area, such as horse keepers, nurses, health consultants, and digital nomad job seekers. We could advertise on themed websites and social media groups, which have considerably lower rates than sites that have content for broader audiences. So our marketing budget would go a lot further, allowing us to advertise with greater frequency or to use a more comprehensive media mix.
Taking on a new niche can be a low-risk way to grow our online business, as long as we keep in mind several important rules:
1. Meet their unique needs.
The benefits we promise must have a special appeal to the market niche. What can we provide that's new and compelling? We need to identify the unique needs of our potential audience and look for ways to tailor our product or service to meet them.
We start by considering all the product variations we might offer in each country.
I'd have something uniquely compelling to offer a niche market--from members of our neighborhood riding hall to the Olympic riding team.
2. Say the right thing.
When approaching a new market niche, it's imperative to speak their language. In other words, we should understand the market's "hot buttons" and be prepared to communicate with the target group as an understanding member, not an outsider. In addition to launching a unique campaign for the new niche, we may need to alter other, more basic elements, such as our value proposition or slogan.
In instances where taking on a new domestic-niche market is not impacted by a change in language or customs, it's still vital to understand its members' key issues and how they prefer to communicate with companies like ours. For example, suppose that we market Noni Juice primarily to men through a Web site decides to target working women. Like men, working women appreciate the convenience of shopping on the Web, but they expect more content so that they can comprehensively evaluate the products and the company behind them. To successfully increase sales from the new niche, we would need to change the way it communicates with them by expanding our site along with revising our marketing message.
3. We always test markets.
Before moving ahead, we assess the direct competitors we'll find in the new market niche and determine how we will position against them. For an overview, it's best to conduct a competitive analysis by reviewing competitors' ads, brochures, and Web sites, looking for their key selling points, along with pricing, delivery, and other service characteristics.
But what if there is no existing competition?
Believe it or not, this isn't always a good sign. True, it may mean that other companies haven't found the key to providing a product this niche will want to buy. However, it's also possible that many companies have tried and failed to penetrate this group. We always test-market carefully to gauge the market's receptiveness to our product and message. And move cautiously to keep our risks manageable.