Niche marketing is the latest trend for business owners from South Africa to Egypt. Trying to sell your products to everyone, everywhere sounds like a first-rate marketing concept – but it is seldom successful. The fastest-growing businesses identify a targeted market, and sell only to those customers.
Find a Niche
Many small business owners make the mistake of trying to appeal to too large a customer base. Even when products eventually gain mass appeal, they do so by first attracting customers in one demographic, and then adding other targeted groups. Once the product is successful with young, urban customers, buyers of other ages may start imitating them.
Adapt the Product
Once you have identified the targeted market, tailor your product to appeal to those customers. What do the customers need, that you are in a unique position to offer? Is there a specialty or sub-specialty that you can focus on?
A restaurant may attract families, but it probably will not appeal to both young teens as a hip hangout and to their grandparents as a dignified social club. The restaurant owner must decide which type of product he wants to offer. A music group cannot be both hip-hop and mellow jazz, at the same time.
Focus on a unique or unusual product that fills an unmet need for customers. This will guarantee that there is a demand for your product, and little or no competition.
What makes your product better than your competitor’s? That is branding. Whether it is a grocery store in Lagos or a resort in Madagascar, customers want to thing they are making the best choice, and getting the best possible product for their money. Constantly reinforcing what makes your product better creates your brand.
Become an Authority Online
Customers want to do business with people they respect and trust. An excellent way to build credibility is to become known as the expert in the industry. Ironically, by giving free advice on your area of expertise, you will generate myriad sales.
…and In Person
The internet offers unparalleled opportunities to establish yourself as an industry expert. Blogs, forums, newsletters, Youtube, web videos and podcasts all allow the business owner to establish rapport with potential customers. Answering customers’ questions – in person, by mail or on a blog or forum – works wonders.
Don’t neglect traditional networking. Associations offer great opportunities to meet potential clients. The business owner can also give speeches, volunteer, teach a class, mentor young workers and be active in the community