Who do you want to sell to?
This may seem like an obvious question for a business, but identifying your marketing niche (a.k.a. buyer persona, target prospect, ideal profitable customer, ideal customer, etc.) may not be as easy as it sounds. Plus, as your company grows and develops, the answer might change over time.
Read on to find out generalist woes, specialist advantages, and 4 benefits of niche marketing.
Many fields are very general and there are a lot of niches you could decide to focus on. For example, as a marketer, technically I could provide marketing services for any kind of company: manufacturing, software companies, banks, shoe stores - you name it!
That is so broad though, and each industry has it’s own unique marketing techniques and strategies. Can I truly be an expert in marketing all of these types of industries? Maybe (well, at least I think I could ), but it’s a real challenge to sell that way.
I’d have to create unique messages and showcase my expertise for each type of industry. And when I come up against a competitor that has worked with 10 manufacturing companies and I have only worked with 2 because I worked with 8 other types of customers, it makes the sales competition much more challenging.
Sometimes your marketing niche happens organically. For example, a dentist might start out with a very generalized practice servicing all types. But maybe her practice is near a school, and there are lot of families with small children nearby. Over time, she is serving more and more kids.
As that happens, she begins to specialize. Pretty soon the kids are telling their friends how much they like it there, and the parents are telling their friends how great the practice is, and then all the moms and dads want to take their kids there!
Here’s another scenario: say you’re the owner of a hobby shop. You start out with mostly art supplies, but you throw in a few remote control vehicles for fun. Over time, you notice that more people come into your shop to find out about remote control vehicles than art supplies.
You also find out that your profit is higher on remote control vehicles, so you start carrying more varieties and parts and services that relate to that. Pretty soon, you have a reputation in town and you’re seen as the “go-to” shop for remote control vehicles. You’re getting more phone calls, more people in the store, and your selling more of your most profitable products.
4 Benefits of Niche Marketing
1. Increased Profits
It’s all too easy to get sucked in to working with customers that eat up your time and your money. When your marketing niche is clearly defined, you can make sure to stay focused on selling to customers that are the most profitable.
2. Reduced Marketing Costs
Once you can visualize exactly who you’re talking to, you can create targeted prospect lists and develop sales and marketing messages specifically for them. Knowing your “buyer persona” (as us marketers like to say) is the critical first step in creating highly relevant content that piques prospects’ interest.
3. Greater Trust and Credibility
As you gain experience in your specific marketing niche, you start to develop a reputation as an expert in the field. People will trust your opinion and consider you a thought leader in the industry.
4. Reduced Competition
Once you are seen as an expert in your field, it’s easier to get more of the same types of customers. You have a clear sales advantage.
“Companies that try to be “all things to all people” have significantly higher costs, never really establish a strong customer base from which to grow, and often disappear before achieving profitable growth. If you’re like most people, though, it’s really hard to walk away from any potential business. Yet closing the door on some opportunities truly opens far more doors for you in others.” ~ Crossing the Chasm