Finding your Niche
Finding your niche and identifying your market is never easy and is one of the areas that most businesses struggle with… Some of the most common comments and complaints I hear are:
“But my product is great for all women (or all men)”
“But I don’t want to miss out on XYZ market by targeting market ABC”
or my personal favourite
“ But I don’t know who my market is, isn’t everyone a potential customer”
Don’t get me wrong, finding your market is one of the toughest parts of any marketing strategy and it takes a great marketer to be able to firmly define their market or the market of a client.
The problem is too many businesses are built around a product, then we try to find someone to purchase the product later… ideally businesses should be built around a need and then a product or service created to fill that need, for a specific market of people.
But how do you do identify this market when you’ve got a long standing business with an established client base?
Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer and ultimately you have to go back to the drawing board… What need are you fulfilling? Who has that problem? Why is your product/service different? And how does that difference separate you into a different market than your competitors?
You want to make sure that any changes you make aren't going to alienate current clients - UNLESS you are taking your business in a completely different direction… but do so carefully!!
The other aspect that is difficult to grasp, is that you can have more than one niche… BUT you have to make sure that you have a good strategy in place for each market BEFORE you start work on the next one – and when you do expand you have to ensure that you aren’t leaving behind the original market.
When identifying your market try to think in terms of demographics, psychographics, and geographics, behavioural attributes and product related.
Demographics: This is gender, age group, income level, education level etc.
Psychographics: This is targeting based on particular attitudes, values or even lifestyle.
Geographic: Targeting based on location – Even online businesses need to be careful with this, not all locations are the same and you need to target different areas differently! Be especially careful crossing language barriers - even amongst the English speaking countries words have different meanings and connotations.
Behavioural: This is based on online information capture (or information collected through loyalty cards) and used to target and segment customers based on their past behaviour.
Product Related: Is based on what products a consumer already owns or subscribes to.
When you have created a target market that uses at least two of the above methods then you are closer to creating a niche market that will bring you marketing success!