HOW DO YOU WANT TO BURN UP YOUR MONEY?
Visualize the mass marketing person as standing smack in the middle of a major league park. On the ground, in front of this person, is a large pile of various denominations of currency. The mass marketing person just set this pile of currency on fire. He wants to attract the attention of the seated spectators using the smoke from the burning currency. He has put out the word that smoke from burning currency will clear all eight sinus cavities.
Since the ballpark is so huge, by the time the smoke reaches the park’s perimeter, it will be severely diluted by the size of the park and the distance from the fire to the spectators. Although the spectators might know about its benefits, the area is so spread out that they’ll hardly smell the smoke. The end result will be minimal unless a tremendous amount of currency is set on fire to produce much more smoke.
On the other hand, I see a niche marketing person as someone who takes the same pile of dollar bills, goes over to a pre-determined section of the bleachers then sets his pile on fire.
He knows, from prior research, that the crowds in that section of the bleachers are interested in clearing their sinuses. Because of the smaller area, they will also be able to strongly smell the burning currency. The niche marketeer will have better results using the same amount of money because it’s impact is targeted.
Whether it’s a baseball field, the printed media or the Internet the results will be the same. That is, it’s much easier to attract the attention of a smaller crowd that you’ve identified as being interested in what you have to offer.
BEFORE YOU LIGHT THE PILE . . . PLAN THE BURN
So, why would you want to advertise your services to a niche market over a mass market? In other words, why would you want to target a smaller segment of your community over the entire community? Simple . . . It’s more effective, less costly and produces better results.
However, before you start burning up your cash for marketing efforts that might or might not work for you, it’s imperative you plan your marketing strategy. The first thing that should be listed in your plan is the type and size niche you’ll want to market.
Three Steps to Finding Your Niche
By using logical planning and execution of the above steps, you’ll succeed in positively affecting the well being of your customers in your chosen niches. You’ll also be amply rewarded both financially and emotionally for your efforts.
First off, it’s too expensive and usually a very difficult task to try and develop your own niche. It’s better to identify and plan on addressing an existing niche that has good potential for using your unique product or services.
For example, let’s assume you’ve invented a fantastic sports drink and want to develop the market for your product.
Here are the first three steps you must take to find your niche:
- Assess yourself and determine what areas of life you are most interested in and how it will interface with your product.
- Assess your potential market to determine if there is an area that could use your services. An easy way to make this determination is just talk to the people in your targeted community. Another is to join groups of people who have similar interests such as health clubs, little league boosters, soccer clubs or at car racing activities.
- Once you find a promising niche, then determine if you can be comfortable with the anticipated income from it.
For example, if you decide to target sporting events, consider aligning yourself with local gyms or sports teams.
Try to sponsor a series of community sporting events. Of course, an ample amount of samples should be available for your product’s promotion.
Since my area of interest is car racing, I started out by being an associate sponsor for one then finally three different venues of car racing. Later, when I started driving my own racecar, my services were prominently displayed on the car.
To avoid putting all your hopes into one basket, I recommend developing several niches rather than having to depend on one. Aside from the racing connection, I focused on several departments of our city’s government such as police department, city management and public works personnel.
I just didn’t randomly choose those departments; I assessed my interests (See step one) and that was on the list. I was a reserve cop for 6 years and had an understanding of the problems encountered by cops in the field.
Picture this . . . You’re wearing a belt full of equipment such as a gun, radio, cuffs, extra ammo, speedy loaders, mace, etc. While you’re lugging all that weight around your middle, get in and out of a police car many times during the day. If you’re not entering and exiting the car, you’re sitting on seats that are broken down from the overuse of multiple shifts.
The above doesn’t even address the injuries from jumping over fences, short races to nab an uncooperative detainee plus occasional wrestling matches with uncooperative citizens.
The people in our city management worked long hours at the computers plus were under many timeline stresses. Further, at night, they were required to sit for long periods of time at council or committee meetings. The chairs were not always cushy and usually were made of the hardest wood possible. In my opinion, I believe medieval inquisitors designed them. Therefore, along with my services, I was able to discuss ergonomic and stress- related considerations with those city employees.
The same type of thinking would apply to your sports drink. You should not only be able to offer a fantastic drink, in addition, you should be able to offer your expert advice on how its use relates to their performance, health or comfort levels. Your expert advice will differentiate you from the other drink manufacturers who are just selling drinks . . . Period!
About the Author: Dr. Ivan Delman held degrees in both business and chiropractic accompanied by a lifetime of practical experience in product and services management. He wrote The Business of Chiropractic: How to Prosper After Startup and published numerous articles on the business of managing a health care practice. He died in 2010.