Tag Archives: niche marketing

Niche Marketing – How to Target Your Marketing Efforts and Master Your Business Niche

By Karel Murray, CSP, DREI

If you want to make more money in today’s competitive environment, then you need to master your business niche. Let me show you a perfect, prime example of niche marketing at its best:

The AARP card appeared in the mail again. This time I actually opened the envelope and reviewed the material included with the invitation to join. Offers of insurance, magazines, on-line registrations and general information related to aging spilled out across the table. Everything in the packet maintained the specific intent of enticing a middle age person to join the group dedicated to senior citizens.

A scant five years ago, I wouldn’t have acknowledged the promotional material. It would have been swept into the nearest garbage can as I briefly wondered why this organization wasted its marketing dollars on me. Now, as I scan the introductory letter, the supporting messages delivered in the envelope are beginning to make sense. I’ve discovered that the magazine is dedicated to providing me with information on medical advancements for cholesterol control, suggestions to slim the middle age bulge and tips to improve my memory. That last one caught my attention.

Startled, I realized that I aged into the targeted demographic of The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and didn’t feel it coming on. When, for god’s sake, did I stop being 35? AARP knew it would happen and patiently primed the pump for several years as it waited for me to emotionally recognize that my body and brain would change. My perspective would alter and this organization graciously waited until it was needed.

Now, that’s niche marketing!

When is Niche Marketing Most Effective?

Niche marketing is most effective when you immerse yourself in a specific topic area and then start building your reputation for being a thought leader on that specific topic. It may sound intimidating, but in reality, all it demands is focus.

Nido Qubein, a recognized business strategist and forward thinker coined the term “Intentional Congruence”. He stresses that everything you do in your business must tie into everything else you do. It’s about having intent and purpose to intimately understand what you are doing and why… Without understanding who you help and why you are doing what you do, how can you expect anyone else to know?

5 Elements to Identifying and Building Your Business Niche:

  1. Create an inventory of your strengths. Identify how you relate to people and get specific in your values. List what you already know and what you need to learn to position yourself as an expert in your field. Describe the specific abilities you possess that are unique to you. Determine where you stand in terms of current finances. And, estimate what financial requirements will be necessary to build your niche with your target market.
  2. Select the top two areas you have a passion for pursuing. Without passion or emotional engagement for the subject area, long-term success is unlikely. The ultimate goal is to do what you love, love what you do and make an acceptable living as you do it!
  3. Research the two niche areas you’ve identified. Determine: who are the top three businesses or individuals already doing what you want to do? Review their websites and gain a sense of how connected and informed your future competition is. Research the internet fully to gain a sense of topic areas, product offerings and customer/client “reach out” efforts. Identify what is already in place and focus on those areas you feel are underserved.
  4. Build a resource inventory. Contact business professionals as needed to build alliances. Create opportunities to interview people or hire whoever might be necessary to fine tune your business plan or fill in the gaps of knowledge on areas that are critical in establishing you as an expert. Offer your services to other business professionals as well. Just because you are new to a niche, doesn’t mean you are lacking expertise. They simply don’t know about you yet! Building relational capital with others who thrive in the market you wish to enter is always beneficial to everyone who participates.
  5. Put your stake in the ground and claim your position within your targeted niche. Here’s how…
  • Start offering your knowledge to the masses by using social media liberally.
  • Become a fan of expert pages and register to participate in other List Serves that focus on your area of expertise.
  • Read and post to other expert blogs on your topic.
  • Make every opportunity to interview other industry experts by teleseminar and provide those to your clients as additional resource material.
  • Build an accessible on-line library that is exploding with information for your customers and clients.
  • Create surveys for completion by your target market to gain knowledge through research and insight that is unique to you. Publish a white paper or report annually that includes this research.

Now, you have the keys to dominating your business niche. Nothing is holding you back from being the expert, knowing your target market and maintaining a gentle helping hand. You are in charge of designing and maintaining a world of comfort for your customers and customers. You can make their lives easy because they now have you – the expert to rely on.

About the Author:

Karel Murray is a Certified Speaking Professional, author of “Hitting Our Stride: Women, Work and What Matters” and business trainer who helps women entrepreneurs and executives improve their overall business effectiveness and productivity. Now, you can listen to her exciting, free interviews at https://www.JustiForaMoment.com. Each podcast interview gives you 3 takeaway ideas or concepts that you’ll be able to implement right away

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STOP TARGETING MASS MEDIA (AND WHERE YOU CAN FOCUS INSTEAD)

By Gail Z. Martin

Every business owner dreams of seeing his or her press release on the front page of The New York Times. But did you ever stop to realize that as ego-gratifying as an above-the-fold placement in a major newspaper might be, it might completely miss your target audience?

Thirty years ago, consumers received their information differently than they do today.  Back when there were only three major TV networks, all an advertiser or publicist had to do was get onto the major networks to reach most viewers. When a daily newspaper and weekly magazines were the only choice for news, the strategy was simple—get in the paper and magazines.

But times have changed. The proliferation of cable channels, satellite radio choices, online news magazines, and mobile phone applications, as well as the demise of many long-running newspapers and magazines has completely changed how consumers consume information. “Mass media” is now not nearly as “mass” as it used to be. So making the front page of a major newspaper won’t help you sell products or services if your target audience doesn’t read that newspaper. Welcome to a whole new world of niche marketing.

Niche Marketing Gets Results

Does the shift in consumers’ media preference mean the end of mass media? No—or at least, not yet. However, that shift has dramatically reduced the effectiveness of mass media to reach the same kind of broad audience they once dominated. Believe it or not, “mass media” vehicles such as The New York Times, CBS and FM radio stations have become niches themselves. Since they can’t promise to reach everyone, even such long-lived media vehicles now emphasize the profile of the consumer they do reach (in other words, their niche).

Am I saying that mass media no longer plays a valuable role in promotion? No—but its role isn’t what it used to be. The big newspapers, the three major broadcast networks and big city FM radio stations can help a major advertiser saturate a market, but they reach a shrinking audience base at a very high cost per person compared with New Media alternatives. If you’ve got a couple of million dollars to round out your promotional campaign, go ahead and spend it with the traditional media. If you’re looking for a better, more focused and less expensive alternative, keep reading.

Refocus your idea of PR to take a broader look at the opportunities that exist for you to reach your target audience. Many people are so obsessed with having their press release picked up by a big newspaper, a major magazine or a network TV show that they have not bothered to study those media vehicles audience profiles to assure that the message is reaching the right consumer. Sure, you get bragging rights if your release is picked up by a big paper, but will you get sales? It won’t hurt—but how much will it help? Not only that, but what’s the value of a one-shot media mention versus developing relationships with more targeted venues that provide the potential for you to reach your ideal customer over and over again?

Here’s something else to consider: how often can your company generate news that is truly worthy of national attention? For most mid-sized companies, having national-caliber news might happen once or twice a year—a new product launch, an IPO, landing a huge company as a client. For solo professionals and small companies, even a once-a-year national news item might be a stretch. Publishing a new book with a major publisher would qualify, as would winning a national award or being named to a national board of directors, but beyond that, it is difficult to imagine too many opportunities that would tempt a national reporter to cover your news.

Now re-think that question, with your focus on regional/local news as well as the information sources that reach your profession or industry. Picture your ideal client and think about the blogs, Web sites, podcasts, Internet radio shows, online/offline specialty magazines, newsletters and member organization publications that speak directly to their interests and needs. I bet your mental wheels are turning, helping you envision all kinds of news that would be interesting and valuable to the audience most likely to buy your products or engage your services. Why not focus the majority of your effort where it is likely to make you the most sales?

Excerpted from 30 Days to Online PR and Marketing Success, coming in November from Career Press and available for pre-order now on Amazon!

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