This first part of your Niche Marketing eCourse covers the first of the 9 steps to success and covers the fundamental rule you need to follow:
- What a niche is
- What niche marketing is
- Why you should think about customer problems
- Why you should use niche marketing
- Vital differences between general and specialized markets
Before I explain why niche marketing is vital to your long term business success it may help to ensure you understand what niche marketing is all about.
So what is a niche market?
A niche market can apply to many areas of life. When we think of or describe a niche market we’re talking about a specific specialized group of people that have similar interests so a niche market is a specific specialized group.
This specialization can include a group based on geography, age, interests, employment, hobbies and several other factors.
Using our description niche markets would be things like:
- Patio furniture owners
- High cholesterol medication takers
- Family Scrap bookers
- Kindle owners
- Antique kids book collectors
- Hip replacement patients
You need to think about customer problems not products!
In classic marketing training for the business world niche marketing is known as market segmentation where as a business you pick a segment of the overall market for say Light Fittings to target and position your offer accordingly.
Niche Marketing in the online world is very similar. A lot of people believe that niche marketing is all about finding a group of people to sell products to based on a cold business decision you make yourself. But this is so wrong!
To be successful in any form of marketing and niche marketing in particular you need to identify a group of customers with a problem or need that they want to resolve and supplying them with an appropriate solution.
So always think customer problem first and product solution second and you will be 99.9% ahead of most of your competitors who go looking for products to sell and only think of customers last.
If you adopt this approach you will go looking for customer needs to fill and then find a solution to sell to them.
Hopefully, you get the idea now that what we’re talking about is groups of people with a shared interest that you can tap into.
And just from the short list I shared above you can gather that niche markets are as varied as the people on this earth and that there are literally hundreds of thousands of available markets – at least!
What is niche marketing?
From a small business perspective, niche marketing is used to talk directly to the customers in one or more niche markets that you’ve selected to target. Niche marketing is the powerful means of focusing your efforts to appeal to a specific group so that you increase the likelihood of interest and as a result sales.
And that’s where most people go wrong!!
Lots of people when they start out are told to go out and find a ‘niche market’ but then through no fault of their own actually choose a whopping, big, broad product based market such as Golf, the iPad, Weight Loss or Home Cooking.
Alongside the key issue that this is a product led idea rather than a customer led idea the extra problem with this approach is that although these are perfectly good markets in themselves with lots of customers they are much too general with lots of established competitors all chasing the same customers.
This means the winners tend to be those who spend the most on advertising, offer ridiculously low prices or have a famous brand. So small business folks who try these big general markets fail and then sadly give up.
But it doesn’t have to be like that! All you have to do is adopt and use niche marketing properly in your business which is what this site is designed to help you do – quickly, cheaply and easily.
So why should YOU care about niche marketing for your business?
Well the answer to that question means it is time to share with you one of Dr Nitch’s key niche marketing success rules:
That’s a slogan but what does it mean and why should YOU be interested?
General Markets vs Niche Markets
Well – Fortunately for us the immense power of Niche marketing goes hand in hand with running a small business.
Well, those large corporations with deep pockets can afford to spend a ton of money on general marketing campaigns that cover every possible demographic, person or interest. So blanket TV ads during House or any other top TV show will attract customers even if most of the people who see the Ads ignore them.
Likewise, to justify the budgets and profits required from them, products produced by large corporations or books written by large publishers have to be general in nature so they appeal to the widest possible group of people who will at least find something of interest to them in the product.
However, the problem with these general campaigns and general products is that they don’t talk directly to a specific group of customers and the products leave a lot of questions unanswered.
Try this – go to a book store and pick up a popular book about gardening. Unless you cheated and picked up a really specialist title from the dark recesses of the shelves when you open the book what will you typically find?
- Lots of colorful pictures
- Lots of subjects covered
- Everything covered in not much detail
In other words a general book with a wide target market.
But why is this important to us small business owners?
Well think of it like this:
- WE don’t have the budget for a multi-million TV advert campaign
- WE don’t have to produce products that appeal to nearly everyone
- WE don’t have to be generalists we can be specialists!
Running a niche business means that what we can do is focus down on smaller more specialized markets (niche markets) and serve up EXACTLY what this group of people want.
It’s a fact of human life throughout history that if you offer people exactly what they want they’ll take it with both hands, for example……
So imagine yourself with a truck load of ice cold bottles of water pulling up outside an office block that’s had a power outage in mid August — how long would it take to sell all that nice, cold, clean, thirst quenching water to the hot, thirsty staff?
Now imagine you had a truck load of hot food instead…..Get the picture?
Remember what you should think of as a niche market is a specific specialized group of people with a shared problem, passion or interest.
So to be sure we get this point across here is a list of markets that are and are NOT niche markets based on our experience and definition:
YES – a niche market
- Left-handed putting
- Dog diet plans
- Teenage Acne
- Making Prom dresses
No – a general market
- Women’s Well being
- Dress Making
If you doubt this then here’s the same information with the Google results shown after each.
YES – a niche market
- Left-handed putting (1m results)
- Dog diet plans (1m results)
- Aromatherapy (2m results)
- Teenage Acne (1m results)
- Making Prom dresses(4m results)
No – a general market
- Golf (575m results)
- Dogs (202m results)
- Women’s Well being (11m results)
- Acne (50m results)
- Dress Making (76m results)
*m = million results returned
So you can see that it’s easier to identify a market where there is less competition and more opportunities the more specific and less general you get.
So remember when it comes to running a small business……
Now on to Part Two of your Niche Marketing Course!
In Part Two we’ll move onto the second of your 9 steps to niche marketing success and cover:
- The 10 key requirements of a good niche market
- What you need to identify in your market
- What your target customers must have
- The things you simply must offer to succeed
This is just a sample of the type of materials that you can find in the members area.
If you take out our $4.99 trial membership you’ll be given access to the latest edition of the Dr Nitch Niche Marketing Guide series which covers using niche marketing, how to go about finding your perfect niche AND how to go about choosing your niche from all the ideas you have.
These guides shares the most useful resources and ideas on finding and using niche markets that the Dr Nitch Niche Marketing Center has identified and includes over 200 niche ideas that you can use.