A Niche Market Vs. A Broad Market
So which is better? A market that appeals to only few people but one in which you can easily dominate, or a market that appeals to the masses but one where you are a small fish in a big sea?
The answer to this question lies in your talents and abilities. Much has to do with what you really enjoy doing and whether or not you want to just make money or also introduce a new product to the public.
Imagine if everyone felt that it was safer to stick with tried and true marketing plans and products. We wouldn’t have most of the products that we have now. It is important to be diverse, have an open mind and be able to use your imagination to try different things.
Those who are conservative when it comes to matters of business, which encompasses most of the people in the world, will most likely choose to stick with a business plan that has been proven through the ages. They will want to sell a certain type of widget that has a good track record with regard to sales and will not be that much of a leap of faith.
Those who are more innovative might be more inclined to sell a product that is very different and specialized. They may not be able to reach the masses, but because their product is unique and not that many people will be selling the product, they may have a better chance of being able to market the product to their target market. In order to really succeed in a niche market business, you have to do the following:
- Understand your target market
- Understand how to reach your target market
- Stick with the target market when starting out your business
- Develop your brand
We can break these down one at a time so that it can be easier for anyone just starting out in such a business to understand:
Understand your target market
When you have a broad market business, your target market encompasses just about everyone. If you have a gift basket business, for example, you have a broad target market. Just about everyone gives gifts to people once in a while, at both the personal and business level.
If you sell only baskets for the terminally ill, your target market is significantly reduced. You are only interested in targeting people who have a relative or friend who is very sick and for whom they wish to purchase a gift. You have created a niche in the market. While anyone who sells gift baskets can make them up for someone who is sick, you have a specialty businesses that only makes up gift baskets for the terminally ill. This will induce customers to come to you because they will believe that you can do something for them that other gift basket designers cannot. You are a specialist in this field. You have created a niche.
Naturally, your target market is significantly smaller than those who would order gift baskets for any occasion. But because you are able to concentrate on your niche, you will be able to give better service and use better marketing techniques for your target market. In other words, you would not contact one of your customers with “exciting new and fun gift baskets.” You would be more sedate, more sympathetic and your gifts would be more of a somber nature, as would your advertising. This enables you to reach out to your target market in a more effective way than if you were just selling gift baskets.
Understand how to reach your target market
While it is imperative that you know your target market, this information is useless if you do not know how to reach them. You will have to find places where people in your target market are more likely to find you. In the case with the gift baskets, you may discover some online sites where people are discussing how to cope with ill loved ones. Naturally you will want to be tactful and sedate when you approach such individuals as this is a very delicate subject matter.
No matter what your niche market, you can probably find a website that is devoted to it. There is a website for just about everything in the world and everyone. Do you remember the “Professor” from Gilligan’s Island? There is a website devoted to him. If you look hard enough, you will find probably more than one website that is dedicated to your niche market product or service.
By joining such a website, you can then be privy to others who are more likely to be interested in what you are selling. Take the Gilligan’s Island website, for example. Suppose you sell stills from television shows and have a bunch of memorabilia from this television program. Going to such a site would be a better way to sell the memorabilia than to auction it on eBay, where you will have to pay a fee. You can go right to your target market and lead them to your website. Chances are that if they are that obsessed with Gilligan’s Island, they may be obsessed with other television series from that era, of which you can also find websites to match.
Take a look online for websites that are devoted to something similar to what you are selling in your niche market and join the site. You can introduce your products and your website in the forum and go right to the source. This is one way to find your target market.
Stick with your target market
You may be tempted, after carving out a niche, to start going into different directions. After all, you may feel that you are missing out on some opportunities to make more money if you are only concentrating on your niche.
The way to be successful in niche marketing online is to stick with the product or service that you are offering. This is not to say that you can never allow your business to grow. To the contrary, you will want your business to grow. But you want to first establish yourself and your business firmly in your niche before you start branching off into different areas.
An example of this is the Chia Pet. Everyone in the United States knows the Chia Pet. It is a clay pot shaped like an animal that you spread seeds on and water. The seeds grow and give the pot the appearance of being a wooly animal. This kitschy gift was and still is a popular favorite around the holiday season.
The Chia Pet was introduced about 30 years ago. It became a staple in American tradition. Just about everyone had a Chia Pet. It was one of the most, if not the most, useless items on the market. The seeds grew weeds and the “pet” had to be watered. More often than not, the item was tossed out after the weeds started dying and falling all over the place, creating a mess.
The Chia Pet soon became an annual tradition for some folks around the holidays, creating a unique niche market.
As the years progressed, the Chia Pet soon began to develop into different products, including the Chia Head. This was a unique niche market that did not go too far from the original market but was able to branch out. Because of clever niche marketing, the Chia Pet continues to thrive as a favorite gift around the holidays.
Develop your brand
You have to be able to develop your brand when you are marketing anything and this is especially true in niche marketing. When you are developing a niche market, you will want to build a brand. A brand similar to a trademark. It is a special service or product that you provide and that people associate with your company.
When you develop a niche market, you should think of how you would like the market to produce in the future. Of course your objective will be to grow the market – as it should be with any good business. But you want to be able to grow the business in a certain direction. You do not want to go willy nilly in every different type of direction or else you will end up just chasing your tail.
Starting out your business is exciting, but you should also have a goal in mind when you begin. Having a goal is an important step towards building a reliable brand. Each step that you take in the direction of growth with your business should be one towards continuing to build upon your brand.
Remember when you are creating a niche market that you want to stay true to your original intent for being in business. If you are choosing a niche market, you are choosing to specialize in a certain field. Do not be swayed into going into a different business that is more popular with the public. Continue to persevere in the niche market and seek out your target market so that you can become a success in what you are doing.