When you think of a "niche" market, you tend to think "small". After all, targeting a niche market is really the process of breaking down or segmenting a larger group of individuals. A niche market is really just a tightly targeted market… and it’s possible to be targeting a niche market even if the size of that market is over 50 MILLION strong!
Take for example the new start up Disaboom.com. a new web site that has chosen to target the potentially lucrative market of people with disabilities. Disaboom is offering a diverse set of offerings ranging from social networking and dating to medical advice, career advice and product reviews.
According to an article in the New York Times:
People with mobility challenges are active consumers. A 2005 Harris Interactive study commissioned by Open Doors found that 69 percent of adults with disabilities — more than 21 million people — had traveled for either business or pleasure at least once in the preceding two years. In that same period, more than half had stayed in hotels, while 31 percent had booked at least one flight and 20 percent had rented a car. More than 75 percent of people with disabilities dine out at least once a week.
Needless to say, targeting savvy advertisers are lining up for an opportunity to deliver their message to this tightly targeted audience. Creating ads featuring people with disabilities is nothing new. Advertisers who have already featured people with disabilities in their advertising include such heavy hitters as McDonald’s, Verizon Wireless, Sears and Target. However, until now reaching this segment of the population is difficult.
Again, from the NY Times article:
“We’re a very difficult group to reach,” said Eric Lipp, founder of the Open Doors Organization, a nonprofit group that consults with companies about the disability market. “People in the marketing world will say, ‘I can reach out to them,’ and I’m just telling you it’s not easy. We’re just spread out over all kinds of walks of life — from different races to different religions to different income levels and education.”
For advertisers like Bioness and MagicWheels, Disaboom is the perfect place to deliver their message. However, it’s not just the companies who create products for this market who are lining up to become a part of this community. Mainstream companies like Ford are also on board.
“I didn’t have to think real long and hard about it,” said Kathy LaPointe, mobility motoring manager at the Ford Motor Company, about the automaker’s decision to advertise prominently on the site. Click-throughs from the ads to Ford’s Web site “have performed well above the benchmark,” Ms. LaPointe said. “This has been a huge success for us so far.”
By the way, if you visit the site, you’ll notice that this site really does have it’s target market in mind. In the upper right hand corner is the ability to change the size of the display text. The content also displays the provider’s in depth understanding of their target market. By knowing their market, Disaboom is delivering tightly targeted content to a tightly targeted audience.