In business we often hear comforting little idioms meant to inspire confidence. Little phrase like “dream big” or “aim high” inspire confidence in business owners who feel their fledgling company is ready to take on the big bad corporate world.
But I call foul on these sayings.
There is certainly nothing wrong with doing your best, but the fact is, small, niche markets offer some unique benefits that broader markets do not. That is also a common theme that we hear across all the successful Ordoro customers.
For example, in a niche market, you can create unique products that your customers cannot find anywhere else. Assuming that your product is of good quality (whether you’re in a broad market or a niche, quality is key), your customers will come to view you and your company as the leader in that niche. This will generate repeat business and simultaneously create a unique brand for your company. In broad markets with many sellers selling similar products, this sort of differentiation is not as easy.
Businesses aren’t the only ones who realize the value of niche marketing. In an article on Forbes.com, Alan Rinzler told the story of one author who used niche marketing to move more copies of her latest work of fiction. By including real recipes from the fictional characters in her book, the author was able to make her work appealing to foodies and bookworms alike. The author, Erica Bauermeister, would contribute guest blogs to cooking websites that included a recipe from the book. In addition to the recipe, she would include some back story about the character the recipe was coming from. This marketing strategy earned her book a spot on the Indie Bestseller list, where it stayed for six months.
Breaking into a niche is not as easy as putting an interesting item up for sale on eBay. There is a sensitive order of operations to niche marketing and if you are able to follow it, you will have soon mastered your niche.
First, you need to know who you’re selling to. This is a key to all marketing efforts, niche or not. Just take a walk through the mall to get an idea of this concept. The Gap is usually close to Express, which is near the PacSun and the FYE. These stores know their markets are all similar. Gap, Express and PacSun are all in the same line of business: retail clothing. The people who will shop at these stores are also likely to be interested in the latest movies and music, so FYE will set up shop near these “hip” stores.
When you have identified the “who,” you can start to focus on the “where.” Where should you focus your marketing efforts? Let’s say you’re in the business of selling comic books. But not just any comic books. You have come across a large collection of vintage comic books and you’ve worked out a deal with one of the top publishers to get rare and limited edition comic books at wholesale prices.
So where can you target your niche marketing? As with many of life’s challenges, look to Google. Run a search for something vaguely related to your market. In this case you might search something like “new Avengers movie” or “Andrew Garfield as Spiderman.” These are topics that your clientele are likely to be interested in and the search results will give you a good idea of where they “hang out.”
Your situation with the comic book publisher puts you in a unique position to offer great products to this market and, assuming that you’re willing to put in the work on the marketing and customer service side, should allow you to begin making a healthy profit and building your brand as one of the premier rare comic book dealers on the web.
Once you’ve found your niche, figure out who fits into that niche and where they “hang out.” When you’ve tailored your marketing strategy to target the who and where, you’re ready to take over that market. Who would have thought that thinking small could lead to such big success?