Niche marketDecember 11, 2018
A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. The market niche defines the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that it is intended to target. It is also a small market segment.
Every product cannot be defined by its market niche. The niche market is highly specialized, and aiming to survive among the competition from numerous super companies. Even established companies create products for different niches; Hewlett-Packard has all-in-one machines for printing, scanning and faxing targeted for the home office niche, while at the same time having separate machines with one of these functions for big businesses.
In practice, product vendors and trade businesses are commonly referred to as mainstream providers or narrow demographics niche market providers (colloquially shortened to just niche market providers). Small capital providers usually opt for a niche market with narrow demographics as a measure of increasing their financial gain margins.
The final product quality (low or high) is not dependent on the price elasticity of demand, but the specific needs that the product is aimed to satisfy and, in some cases, aspects of brand recognition (e.g. prestige, practicability, money saving, expensiveness, environmental conscience, or social status).
Unlike mass audiences, which represent a large number of people, a niche audience is an influential smaller audience. In television, technology and many industrial practices changed with the post-network era, and niche audiences are now in much greater control of what they watch. In this context of greater viewer control, television networks and production companies are trying to discover ways to profit through new scheduling, new shows, and relying on syndication. This practice of “narrow casting” also allows advertisers to have a more direct audience for their messages.
Benefits of Niche Marketing
Niche marketing isn’t for every business, but if you have the opportunity to cater your business toward a niche, there are many benefits to be had.
1. Enhanced Customer Relationships
Niche marketing targets a very specific kind of customer, so depending on what you’re promoting, your niche market may be very small.
A small customer base has its benefits. When you are engaging with fewer people, you can focus on the quality of those engagements and on nurturing your relationships. Your emails can be more personalized, your follow ups more diligent, and your thank yous more frequent. You can also accommodate special requests, offer custom services, and get to know your customers on a more individual level. Each of these practices will enable you to better serve your customers, further enhancing your relationship with them and solidifying their loyalty to you.
However, if you have a small niche, be careful not to pigeonhole your marketing. If your niche is just a part of your target audience, make sure your efforts on your niche are boosting, and not detracting from your efforts on your target audience. This is one of many important considerations to make when forming a niche market strategy.
2. Reduced Competition
When you have a highly specific product or service, there will be less companies out there with the exact same offering. For example, there are millions of companies out there that sell knives. There are fewer companies that sell knives with handmade wooden handles, and yet fewer that offer customized knives with your initials on them. The more specific your product or service, the less companies there will be to compete with you for customers, and the harder it is for them to duplicate your strategies.
While it’s important for companies to have competitors, reduced competition is not necessarily a bad thing.
The less competitors you have, the less you have to worry about monitoring prices and keeping tabs on what they’re up to.
At the same time, the more specific the product is, the less people there will be that are looking for it. Reduced competition is only a benefit of niche marketing when there is a significant audience to compete for. If your competitors aren’t targeting a niche because they can’t meet their needs, then that’s great news for you. If they aren’t targeting that market because it’s not lucrative, then you may not be at an advantage.
3. Increased Visibility
Increased visibility is a benefit of niche marketing that not only leads to more customers but can also improve your online presence.
Businesses that serve a niche market tend to be unique, such as a cleaning company that uses all natural cleaning products, a gluten-free bakery, or landscaper that creates interesting mowing patterns. Businesses with a unique product or service tend to stand out, and often get featured in media outlets such as talk shows, radio stations, or newspapers.
With niche marketing especially, getting in front of the right people is more important than getting in front of a lot of people. However, getting in front of a lot of people such as through these media outlets also has its benefits. The more people who know about your business, the more people there are to recommend your business to a friend who fits your niche market.
4. Word of Mouth Growth
Another benefit of niche marketing is that it is very word-of-mouth-friendly. People in a niche tend to be in frequent contact with others in that niche, which means more opportunities to get the word out about your business. For example, expectant mothers attend prenatal fitness programs, take childbirth education classes, and shop at maternity clothing stores, where they meet many other expecting mothers.
If you are a prenatal yoga instructor, your current customers will be some of your best marketers. The better you serve them, the more likely they are to recommend, and maybe even rave about, your services to their many fellow expectant mothers.
5. Honed Expertise
Niche marketing requires more concentrated practice in one area, so it can really fine tune your expertise in a shorter time period. The benefit of niche marketing is that it enables you to become an expert or thought leader in your niche.
For most customers, expertise is more important than size or brand name. A small law firm that specializes in immigration may be chosen over a larger law firm with a familiar name. When it comes to legal, financial, or health services, people want the business that has the most knowledge and experience in their area of concern.
When you are an expert at something, not only do you obtain more customer trust, you also gain more brand recognition. If you do everything, you’re going to be average at everything, and you will blend in with the crowd. If you do a lot of things but are really good at one specific thing, you will stand out. You may be even become known for that specific thing. This won’t detract from other services you provide. The key here is that you become known. People may learn about your business because of a specialty you provide, even if they’re looking for a different service you provide.
6. Less Resources
One important part of effective digital marketing is identifying and understanding your audience, which requires an investment of time and money on data and analytics tools. The benefit of niche marketing is that because you are confined to a specific person and a specific need, less focus is required on digging into your data to understand and keep up with their needs. You will also be doing less trial and error with your methods, which also can be resource-heavy.
Another cost effective benefit of niche marketing comes from audience segmentation. Businesses with a broad audience will have various segments within that audience. Successful content, ads, and communication channels will look different for each segment, and catering your methods to each segment requires more effort and bandwidth. When you serve just one demographic, you have less work to do. You can also operate more seamlessly and give your undivided attention to this one area.
7. More Fun
Businesses don’t always pick their niche and pursue it. Oftentimes, they accidentally find their niche in the process of serving their target audience. A photographer whose target audience is people (as opposed to landscapes or animals) may find that she is especially good at capturing candids of children. A landscaper might find that he particularly enjoys jobs in senior citizen communities. A financial adviser may find that he works better with teachers. The benefit of niche marketing is that since your niche arises from your interests, passions, or special abilities, you are doing more of what you love.
Whether your business serves only your niche, or a niche among other audiences, the purpose of niche marketing is the same. You want to find a small pond in which you can be a big fish. If you compete for everything, you’re going to win at nothing. However, if you pick one area to concentrate on, you can focus your efforts and stand out in your market.