As someone with a more than passing interest in preaching the gospel of Niche Marketing to small business owners, I frequently run across various articles written extolling the virtues of Niche Marketing as a path to wealth and riches.
Over at Info Mean (link removed because it’s been labeled a "bad" neighborhood)
Achieving sales is probably the biggest challenge a web business owner has. It requires a balanced mix of the right products, competitive pricing, optimal web design, aggressive advertising and attracting the right online visitors.
While all of the above are equally important in achieving abundant sales, none of them will work at all if you don’t target the people that are most likely to buy your products or services. These people are known as your target or niche market.
The problem with the post is, he/she goes on to say: "Focusing in on your niche market will allow you to find only those that are ready, willing and able to buy what you have to offer."
CORRECTION: Focusing on your niche market will allow you to TAILOR your marketing message TO your niche audience. By TAILORING your message to your niche market, you stand a BETTER CHANCE of actually CAPTURING THEIR ATTENTION.
Make no mistake… targeting a niche audience with your marketing message is NOT the secret key to increased sales. TARGETING A NICHE AUDIENCE IS THE KEY TO CREATING COMPELLING COPY THAT BREAKS THROUGH THE CACOPHONY THAT IS MEDIA TODAY.
For example, Out Now is a consulting firm dedicated to helping companies market their products and services to members of a niche audience: Gays and Lesbians. According to Gay Market News, Levi Strauss is attempting to target their message to both gay and straight consumers:
in what is a first for Levi’s, the campaigns will target both gay and straight audiences.
Execution number one sees a model-type male yanking up his pants. As if in sync, the street below is pulled up into his room with equally good looking model type woman in a telephone booth. Guy meets girl and they disappear into the city.
Version two sees the girl replaced by another guy. It’s as simple as that.
Yes, it’s a small detail… but by altering this small detail and then delivering it via tightly targeted media channels, allows Levi Strauss to "break through" and speak to a new target market, a market that is appreciative of such recognition! According to the article at Gay Market News:
A recent Harris Interactive study claims that 69 per cent of all gay and lesbian consumers in the U.S. said they’re more likely to buy directly from marketers that have a non-discrimination policy.
The Levi Strauss campaign illustrates PERFECTLY the real beauty of Niche Marketing!
The message created with the members of the gay/lesbian niche audience in mind is SIGNIFICANTLY different than the message created for the "general" public. Would the "general interest" ad have generated sales amongst the members of the community? Probably not. After all, gay men aren’t INTERESTED in attracting women and that was the ‘hook’ used in the original commercial. However, by altering the message so that it "speaks" to the audience…VIOLA! Niche marketing, the effective kind, in action.
Notice, Levi Strauss isn’t creating a specific JEAN for gay men… they are just delivering their marketing message in a way that will appeal to this audience.
When you define your target audience, you then have a handle on what kind of message to create. When talking to gay men, you obviously do NOT want to present a "boy meets girl" message but rather a "boy meets boy" message.
I’ve yet to see a better example of why it’s so important to target your audience before you create your message.