Written by Chipo Mapungwana
Smaller brands that want to beat their much larger and resourced competitors are increasingly resorting to niche marketing. Niche marketing has been described as the process of finding and serving a narrowly defined group of customers and designing customised services for them. The key to niche marketing is to find potential demand that is not being met by any supplier. Niche marketing allows a business to differentiate itself by offering a unique service or products to a unique segment of a market.
Niche marketing works for a number of reasons. We all want to be treated differently, to have our unique tastes satisfied, and given a choice, many people would want to have products and services tailored specifically for them. Therefore the more targeted your communication , the better the chance of success in creating a niche market for your business.
When is a niche truly a niche?
To label yourself a niche marketer depends on the degree of expertise you and your service team truly possess as well as the types of tailored solutions that you provide for the target market.
How to build your niche market
- Personalise your marketing. People like to feel unique, so pitching to a niche market requires a well tailored message.The more specific you are at picking your niche , the more targeted your message will be.
- Find out all you can about the niche market that you are targeting. Network, read, network some more. Know your niche, its language and its challenges. Business owners want to work with people who will be a sounding board and dispense relevant advice as well as providing workable solutions.
- Choose a niche market that aligns with your identity. Don’t make promises that you can not deliver. In niche marketing you are regarded as the expert, so you need to back up your image with some substance.
- Have a team composed of strong communicators and broad analytical thinkers. Train your team as much as you can. The investment will pay off.
- Have a plan. This includes evaluating your client base, and examining your existing areas of expertise. Identify your target market based on geographical size,and needs. Research, and identify traditional and non-traditional services that you can offer. Identify and contact potental referal sources, and join relevant trade organisations. Create a wish list of companies that you want to target and put together a plan to target them.
- Make sure that the quality of your products and services is not left wanting. The great thing about niche marketing as far as the customer is concerned is that it provides a promise of a tailored product that does not compromise on quality, otherwise your customers would just buy from the general store so to speak.
Why niche marketing works?
Niche marketing works because it enables you to satisfy a small segment of the general target population usually with much lower overheads.. As a niche marketer you only expend resources for the target client base and this allows you to communicate to and engage only those people that are in that niche. Niche marketing also enables you to build a profitable customer base that acts as your advertising word of mouth, if you have done your homework right. Because you are targeting a small segment of people you can leverage on technolgy to creatively tailormake your products and services to you niche.