When it comes to business decisions about marketing, there are plenty of
tools at your disposal. However, few business owners intuitively know how to do
strategic marketing. One way is to find a niche for your product or service.
That allows you to take advantage of pull marketing rather than push marketing.
- Push Marketing is hunting or fishing for your potential buyers,
telling them what you do. Examples are advertisements, TV commercials,
direct-mail campaigns, brochures, websites and business cards.
- Pull Marketing is pulling all resources to you. Basically, your
buyers seek you out.
The best way to effectively deploy pull marketing is to become a "niche-aholic."
Your business can't be all things to all people; you have to be very specific
about what problem you are resolving for your buyers and clients. Think of a
niche market as a narrowly defined group of potential customers. Who are they?
Let's examine the types of niches.
- Product/service niche. Your product or service is unique. An
example would be a micro camera that takes pictures of bacteria for medical
Glen Gould, founder and CEO of Inspiration Agents Inc., has built four multimillion-dollar enterprises from scratch over the past 25
years. When he started Inspiration Agents in 2005, he knew the value of
having a niche. Gould successfully used a service niche and an industry
niche. Inspiration Agents' service niche is "networking," and his firm specializes
in helping members of the financial industry and chambers of commerce around
the Southeast region of the United States. This results in strong pull
marketing for Gould's business. People seek him out for his specialty niche.
- Demographic niche. Your product or service is a great fit for a
specific demographic. It might be appropriate for families, women,
professionals ages 35 to 45, retirees or baby boomers.
Natalie Sisson founded
WomanzWorld, whose tagline is "The Ultimate Resource for Female
Entrepreneurs." She also co-founded ConnectionPoint Systems, creators of
FundRazr, a social
commerce application for Facebook. Her marketing services niche is both
female entrepreneurs and startups.
- Industry niche. Your product or service is specific to a
particular industry. For example, you might be a business attorney who
specializes in the construction industry.
Cathy Critz is CEO of
Solutions FYS Inc., a boutique consulting firm specializing in helping
manufacturers get certified in ISO 9001 and ISO 1400. She services only
manufacturers, helping them not only to get their certification, but also to
streamline their internal processes and shape up their bottom line.
Businesses that focus on a niche market address the need for a product or
service that is not being met by mainstream providers. This creates a strong
pull toward your business among prospective customers and clients. This also
establishes a business as being an expert in its own industry.
At the end of the day, you can't be all things to all people. Consider the
following when revisiting your marketing niches:
- Pick your battle and go deep. No matter what your service or
product offerings are, take a look at current and future trends, the issues
or problems your buyers are facing and the urgency of their needs. Then take
your pick horizontally or vertically deep inside that industry. For example,
Critz consults within the manufacturing business, which includes nonprofit
manufacturers such as National
Industries of the Blind.
- Select three to five niches to focus on. Each business should
focus on three to five niches based on its core offering. For example,
Gould's niche is "networking," but within that niche, he focuses on the
financial industry and the Southeast region.
So if you want to increase your market share, revenue or bottom line, revisit
your market niche. Settling on a niche will lay the foundation for your business
to create value for you.