There are many definitions of a ‘niche’ market but essentially they’re a subset, a smaller segment, of your existing target market. This is very important because it means they may already be aware of you and are already prospects for your company’s offerings.
Members of your targeted niche will share a similar set of characteristics. You can capitalize on that by satisfying those common needs and catering to their particular interests. They can be extremely profitable customers if you provide them with just what they want.
It all begins with knowing the details of your wider audience. Who are they? What are their interests? What do they purchase? What do they read? What TV shows do they watch? Your niches are the separate subsets of this total market – these can be broken down by such demographic factors as age, geographic location and income as well as by more subjective categories such as personal taste and preference in entertainment.
Just identifying a niche segment isn’t sufficient to guarantee marketing success. It must enable you to achieve enough sales and profitability to make it worth your while setting up a specific campaign. Some of the basic requirements of a good niche group to target are:
- It can be measured quantitatively
- It is large enough to generate a profitable sales volume
- It is accessible to your company’s distribution channels
- It will respond to an affordable marketing spend
- Repurchase intentions can be forecast
As an example, assume your company manufactures sporting equipment. A typical niche within your larger audience would be males 18-25 who play a competitive sport on weekends. Once you’ve identified the niche and which of your products to sell into it (deodorants and products for the treatment of sore muscles are two product categories that would sell well to this niche), find suitable channels of communication to get your product in front of them. You could market yourself at their sporting fields through sponsorships or advertising in event programs for instance.
Here are three ways to capitalize on the opportunities that niche markets represent:
1. Provide something that meets their specific needs
Members of niche markets see themselves as being relatively unique. The benefits you promise them from whatever you’re selling must have some sort of special appeal to them. Most niches respond to offers of something that’s new or really exciting. You might need to bring in a new product or service, or modify an existing one to cater to them.
2. Communicate in their language
Every niche has its own language whether its computer jargon with IT enthusiasts or the latest ‘in’ phrase among the teenage market; you need to learn it so they’ll understand you when you’re talking to them. Communicate with them from the position of someone who knows them and understands their particular needs. Communication extends to the visuals you use in your advertising as well – match the images in promotional materials to reflect the appropriate age group, clothing styles and so forth of your niche market group.
3. Investigate and test before committing
Niches are really a new market area that you need to understand before charging into. See what your competitors are doing in their marketing but try to find a unique point of differentiation that will enable you to stand out from the others selling to this group.
Then, before making a large financial commitment for stock or advertising, use focus groups or group discussions to give the products and materials a test drive so as to gauge what the likely wider market response will be.
Information in this article sourced from Ran One.