We can’t be all things to all people. It’s way too difficult, if not completely impossible, to meet everybody’s expectations and needs. We just can’t be The Man! or The Woman! capable of delivering everyone’s dreams. No matter how hard we try to ultimately reach people, we still find ourselves bouncing back to our own limitations. The same goes for businesses.
Many organizations are trapped (and enjoy being trapped) in an illusion that they are THE COMPANY offering THE PRODUCT or THE SERVICE to THE WORLD. Oh, THE HELL. They love to claim that this shampoo is best for any type of hair, that this lotion applies well to all skin colors, and that this dietary supplement works for all body types. As a result, they direct their marketing and advertising efforts to virtually anybody (with hair and skin, and who eats). And where do they find themselves in after going through this? There they are—tired and short of resources, lagging behind their competitors.
Failure of these businesses is rooted in their lack of target. In an attempt to reach everybody, they spread themselves too thinly in the market, not establishing a point of contact and impact to any of the consumers. They seem to roam invariably over the field but never find and conquer a territory. They have a jungle, but not a niche.
Find and feed your niche
Niche marketing is a strongly recommended strategy for businesses today. It works by concentrating all marketing efforts on a small but specific and well defined segment of the population (http://www.businessdictionary.com). In niche marketing, organizations equally save time, energy, and money. Finding and feeding a niche not only focuses the company’s advertising and marketing efforts to the identified target, it channels the budget only to relevant and necessary promotions.
This is a pretty cool business tool, right? Nevertheless, ignorance of its proper use cancels out its benefits. So before playing with it, below are some questions to answer and guidelines to consider.
Is the target REAL?
You would not want to focus your marketing efforts to an inaccessible market. Before actually setting your target, ask: Are there ways to get our message across them? Is it possible to talk to them? Do they listen?
Your business needs a niche that desperately desires something. They must be passionate about possessing a product or enjoying a service. Are they in need of something? What do they want the most? Be it a necessity or just a luxury, as long as the target is dedicated to having it, it’s worth your time and effort.
Able to purchase
It’s not enough that your target is passionate about a product or service. The market must be equally obsessed to the idea and act of buying it. Consider the direct value they can give you. Do they have the power to purchase your products?
You must never settle for a target which can’t sustain your business. The group of people you are eyeing may be reachable, in need of something, and are actually willing to spend, but are they enough to run your company? How many are they? If they are only a handful, you may want to consider targeting other slices of the population.
Now that you’ve set a REAL target, aim, hold, and hit!
After mapping out the market and identifying your target, it’s time to realign your product or service to their needs. Study your target and identify their necessities and luxuries. Now, review your product line and do the matching game. Which product caters to which desire? Which service best corresponds to which need? Make sure to tailor fit your goods and supplies to the consumers’ demands.
Before meeting the demands of your target, assess the market for competitors. You may be the one-millionth company to sell products to this group of people. Or you may actually be entering a face-off with a giant in the field. It is wise and practical to do a comparative analysis of your company—your products and services, selling points, marketing tactics and pricing—and the rivals in the business.
If you are ultimately sure that you can meet your target’s demands and survive the competition in the business, then hit it! Now that you have identified the right people, get ready to say the right thing at the right time using the right tools and means. Converse with them. Earn their trust. And make sure to deliver what you promise.
It’s a tough start to map out the dense jungle and locate a possible niche. It’s even tougher to decisively evaluate and test if this really is your place. But the toughest part is to take your first step, enter, and eventually conquer that territory.