Finding your niche

  • This guest post is by Sharon Wilding, Chartered Marketer and an associate of The Marketing Eye


    One of the most important factors in any business, and therefore in any marketing plan, is knowing and understanding the customers you are going after. You have to recognise that it is impossible to market your product or service successfully to all people equally. It doesn't matter if you are a large or small business, you should still be defining the groups or segments of customers you want to appeal to.

    The trick is to define the segment as tightly as possible. This is the essence of niche marketing - focus down on a group of customers that you can get to know very well and then ensure what you offer gives them the value they are looking for. Niche marketing helps you develop your products directly for their needs, and can save you a lot of wasted time and money in communications.

    At the Healthy Business event I attended recently, a number of previous attendees gave testimonials about what they had gained from the last sessions. The most powerful one came from Alan Noakes of
    The ICELAB. His business was developing websites, but he knew this was a crowded market where it is hard to differentiate yourself. The business seminars he went to helped him think differently about what he could offer to make him stand out from the crowd. The answer was to focus on the niche of ecommerce where companies are looking to create or upgrade their website to expand their online sales. Alan researched the local market and found that direct competition in this niche was limited. This gave him the opportunity to claim the ground for his own and establish himself as a real authority in this area, for example by establishing the Ecommerce in Kent Awards.

    Of course you can target as many niche markets as you can handle, as long as you stay true to your brand. Alternatively, you can create new brands to target customer groups who might be very different to that for your core offering (there are sound strategic reasons for not wanting to be limited long-term to just one market - if it contracts or disappears you may be left high and dry).

    Once you are clear who your customer is (and who is not) so many other things fall into place. Decisions about how you let them know about you and what you do come more easily the more you understand what your customers' needs are and how they tend to buy. If you feel really creative you can give them fully-rounded personalities and lifestyles: age, gender, life stage, where they live, what is happening in their lives and when they need you. Give them a name if it helps!

    Narrowing your target audience through niche marketing does not narrow your chances of success - it actually improves them by narrowing your options in that particular circumstance and helping you choose more wisely where you put your effort. Limited resources mean that even products with mass market appeal have to start somewhere!

    So grab a piece of paper and answer this question now for your business - who are your customers? How much do you really know about them? And are your marketing efforts really tightly targeted to what they need? If not - do something different!

Related articles

  • Read More

    Repeat, Repeat, Repeat – 4 reasons to keep contacting the same prospect list

    Asking someone to buy your product or sign up to your service after only one mail-shot or email is unrealistic. We can’t expect that one email, no matter how carefully crafted, will be enough to...

  • Read More

    6 quick wins when you first sign up to marketing automation

    Marketing automation systems are powerful, intelligent and the bedrock of many businesses' marketing strategies, but getting to learn and understand them takes time and dedication. Not becoming...

  • Read More

    Will new EU data law affect my business?

    Following the European Commission’s recent press release on the updates to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we take a look at the key points that will affect all businesses using the...

  • Read More

    The smart content marketing funnel

    Is content marketing just another in a long line of marketing buzz words? Well, here at The Marketing Eye, we don’t think so....

  • Read More

    7 essential components of your marketing strategy

    A marketing strategy is more than just a string of campaign ideas, it has to be a sustainable, measurable process that drives sales and business growth. Here are 7 essential stepping stones to help...

  • Read More

    What is easier - measuring PR or knitting fog?

    Some would say measuring the value of PR is like knitting fog - it can't be done: it's certainly a topic that has exercised the mind of marketers and brand owners for aeons....

  • Read More

    How to build an integrated marketing technology suite

    I am often asked to explain the difference between the various marketing technologies and show how they can be linked together to provide efficiency and scalability. The following diagram has been...

  • Read More

    Seven is the magic number

    For anybody to buy 'off the bat' in B2B is rare. The consideration process is long and there can be multiple stakeholders involved, so we have to create multiple touch points to move people along...

  • Read More

    Interview in progress

    Marketing has always been about more than organising brochures and updating the social media accounts, but now more than ever it is about demand generation: a constant process of identifying...

  • Read More

    Look before you leap - Two essential steps to predict the marketing outcomes before you start

    Take a look at most crowdfunding campaigns and there is likely to be a line for 'marketing' in the section on how the money is to be used. If you're lucky, it will be broken down into 'website...

Take the first step

To find out more about how we can help you grow faster, please get in touch. We'd like to hear from you.  Or try our instant marketing healthcheck, it's free!

Quick Contact

Quick contact


Contact us

T 01825 765617


Our offices

Full details of our offices in London and Uckfield more

Request a call

'; ';