Don’t just define your target market – define your niche

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As tempting as it may be to market your product or service to every person in every demographic, this strategy might do more harm than good. You risk over-generalising your advertising, so that it applies broadly to everyone, but doesn’t strongly appeal to any group in particular. Different demographics have vastly different tastes, priorities and interests. Even within the demographic of females aged 21-25 years old in Brisbane, you’ll find a huge variation in preferences. This is why it is almost impossible to create campaigns that are personalised but also have wide appeal.  

The solution

The solution is to go to the other extreme. Define one or two very niche target markets and cater your marketing and advertising efforts directly to them. Look at who you are as a company and who you could offer the most value to. If you are a company offering an expensive or luxury service, then you are probably wasting your time trying to tap into a market of university students.

It’s vitally important that you understand everything you can about these niche markets to ensure that you are offering something that will appeal to them. However, identifying target markets means more than listing their gender, age and work industry. Instead, go a step further and define more meaningful aspects of their lives.

A few examples

For example, imagine that you are a business offering dog training courses. Instead of just defining your target market as dog owners, considering breaking this down into several niche markets. One market might be people who have just adopted a puppy. Another market might be people who have adopted a rescue dog, and a third market might be people who work at animal shelters.

Another example could be that you’re a winery owner looking to market your wine tasting and winery tours. Trying to appeal to everyone that is of legal drinking age is far too broad. Instead, you could break this down into a few groups. For example, one group could be retired couples who are looking for a unique day trip or weekend getaway. A second niche market could be engaged women who are seeking a luxury experience for their hen’s celebration. A third example could even be people who have recently signed up for an online dating service and are looking for a fun date idea. 

The applications

With these examples in mind, consider if you could be more specific about defining your target market. Once you are satisfied that you have identified the right group of people, you can design a campaign that will emotionally appeal to them. To demonstrate this, we’ll return to the examples from above.

A winery shouldn’t just be a place that people aged 18 or over can buy wine. For retirees, it is a place where they can take the time to relax and enjoy the retirement that they have worked so hard for. For engaged women, it is the perfect place to celebrate their last hurrah as a single girl with their closest friends. For people that are using online dating, it could be the place that they fall in love. Essentially, you want your niche markets to feel that your product or service has the potential to make their lives better.

Once you’ve found the right niche and the right angle, you can put your hard work to the test. A good start is to consider paid advertising on Facebook, which allows you to cater to the exact demographic you are looking for. Other advertising should be based around what you know about your niche demographic. To target retirees, you may consider approaching local organisations such as the Men’s Shed or Country Women’s Association to provide flyers to members. To target engaged women, an advertisement in a wedding magazine is a good option. If you’re looking to target online dating website users, approach the website and see if they send out a regular newsletter to members. While you’ll likely have to pay for the privilege, advertising in their newsletter means that you will be directly targeting one of your niche markets. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and get creative when it comes to reaching the people that you want to target!

As always, we love to hear your comments, so please send me a message if you’d like to chat about this topic further. Alternatively, leave a comment below with your thoughts.