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Niche marketing mistakes
Could give you a headache,
But if you follow these tips
You'll be equipped
To make your own breaks.
Few experts would deny the power of niche business opportunities. As competition gets tougher, prospects more skeptical, and sales messages more similar - having a strong niche (unique advantage) is vital.
Unfortunately, most small business owner's still ignore learning and applying niche-marketing techniques to their business. This helps contribute to the high failure rate of many small businesses.
Like any business discipline, whether it's accounting, distribution or customer service, etc. Niche marketing, if used correctly, can help your business grow, weather marketing slumps, and handle stiff competition.
But if used incorrectly (or ignored) the results could hinder or even destroy a business. That's why I say most small businesses don't have a sales problem - they have a niche-marketing problem.
Many will blame the economy, the government, even the customers! And in some cases the reasons may ring true to a small degree. But the core problem can always stem back to improper use or failing to use a niche marketing principle.
Whatever business you're in, it all comes down to sales. And a strong niche marketing strategy helps fuel sales.
Here's the top 3 niche marketing mistakes I see destroying more businesses everyday. Are you guilty of any?
Mistake # 1 ... Not Researching Your Target Market Enough!
This is the area where many small businesses drop the ball. Research is the foundation and the bedrock of any successful business venture.
A rookie mistake I see many new businesses make is "thinking" their product or service is for everyone. That usually means you'll have a harder time selling it to anyone. Plus, you'll likely spend too much for ads, promotions and marketing. Why? Because you're not focused enough.
The key to successful niche marketing is "focus". For example, focus on a specific group. Next, focus on a specific unmet need of that group. And finally, focus on a specific plan to market to that group.
Your target audience must feel you're addressing them individually- and not as part of a group. That's why your research must be accurate in order for your marketing and sales message to be accurate and engaging.
An effective way to start is to create a written prototype of your target customer. For example, how would you describe them to me. What's their age, gender, income level, education, problems or concerns, irritations, etc? The more detailed the better.
You should be able to tell me at least 20 things about your target customer. If you can't name at least 20 things, you don't know enough. Of course, most businesses don't do this, which is a reason why most businesses fail.
Mistake # 2 ... Not Digging Deep Enough To Find Your Niche!
In a competitive market, success doesn't normally exist in the first level niches. The sub-niches or secondary niches (or lower) is where you'll find more of the untapped profits.
As more people look for and fill the obvious niche businesses, it becomes necessary to dig deeper. You must look for a more targeted market now than you had to do in the past.
The number one problem I notice from many businesses is they try to compete in a niche that's too crowded. Usually, all they have to do is focus deeper on a narrower niche. For example, marketing apps for smart phones is a hot niche now. However, it's a niche that's extremely crowded and competitive.
So, instead of starting a businesses marketing apps, narrow your focus. For instance, market apps for auto buffs, for discount shoes, for gossip lovers, for football fans, etc. Also, instead of thinking product ... think product line!
The possibilities are endless. Just make sure the sub-niche is popular.
Mistake # 3 ... Not Keeping Your Niche Strong
This is an easy mistake to fall into. It usually happens to people who’ve enjoyed a successful niche product or service in the past.
When that happens, it's easy to fall into the trap of complacency. Result? A once strong niche that turns into a weak niche when faced with stronger competition, changing marketing conditions, or changing customer needs.
After you've found your niche - keeping it strong requires keeping your fingers on the pulse of your target market. You must pay close attention to their "current" needs, challenges and problems.
For example, what satisfies your customers today could be too slow, inconvenient or just irritating to them tomorrow. Many businesses never find out those issues until their core customers take their business elsewhere. By then it's often too late.
Others make the mistake of thinking no news is good news. If their customers aren't complaining - they assume all must be O.K. Right? Wrong! They could just be tolerating you until they find someone better.
To keep your niche strong, relevant and profitable requires you to be proactive. It requires making tough choices by cutting dead or non-productive weight, policies, or even people. Plus, it requires making quick changes and adjustments when your market demands.
If you can avoid these deadly mistakes, you’ll go a long way in equipping your business to survive and thrive for years to come.
Learn more about the author, Roy Primm.