April 26, 2010

Marketing to Your Niche Market

Last week, I talked about Defining Your Niche. This week, I’ll be discussing a little bit about marketing strategies.

"A marketing strategy determines the choice of target market segment (niche), positioning, marketing mix (promo, advertising...) and allocation of ressources (people and $)."

When you know who are you are marketing to it's easy to determine where your marketing energy and dollars should be spent.

First, understand that people purchase products or services for three basic reasons:
1) To satisfy basic needs.
2) To solve problems.
3) To make themselves feel good.

What is your product or service the solution to? This is called "positioning", determining how your products mostly appeal to your targeted customers (your products or services can fit into more than one category).

Now be prepared to market accordingly. The list bellow will help you to define your niche market if you're still struggling with that concept, give you ideas to target a more specific audience or choose a different angle to work from:

. Age: children, teens, young, middle, elderly
. Gender: male, female
. Education: high school, college, university
. Income: low, medium, high
. Marital status: single, married, divorced
. Ethnic and/or religious background
. Family life cycle: newly married, married for 10 – 20 years, with or without children. .
. Lifestyle: conservative, exciting, trendy, economical
. Social class: lower, middle, upper
. Opinion: easily led or opinionated
. Activities and interests: sports, physical fitness, shopping, books
. Attitudes and beliefs: environmentalist, security conscious.


If you're trying to target everybody, then chances are, you're not targeting anybody. All of the questions above are there to help you take care of that. Try to get a clear picture of your “average” buyer whenever promoting, advertising or writting a product description... just like if you were talking directly to her/him and always choose to:


Focus on Helping, Instead of Selling
You shouldn't be trying to force people into purchasing your product or service. You should find people who want your product or service and then focus on that particular angle in your descriptions. Do it in a fun, light and concise way.


Focus on Benefits, Instead of Features
Focusing on how your buyers will benefit if they purchase your product or service will go a long way. Be inspired by the diet industry: they get people buying exercise machines and programs not by telling they will sweat a lot, not look too good while doing it and hurt a lot the day after but by letting them know how great they will soon look and feel about themselves.


Be Persistent
Persistence is power when it comes to increasing your sales and profit. But be persistent in a discerning way: repeating the same thing that never got you any result over and over again will most probably never will. Maybe it is time you try something different.


Increase your Credibility
Whenever an existing or potential customer says something positive about your company or product, or if you have perfect score feed-back, use it! Taking advantage of testimonials is a very easy way to increase your credibility.


Make it Easy for People to do Business with You
Do anything you can to make doing business with you easy and a pleasure and go beyond your buyers expectations. Have clear and easy to understand policies your buyers can simply access.


Advertise and Promote
Advertising will work if you keep it simple and adapted to your niche. Because budget is sometimes tight, here is the link to 10 ways to advertise your business for free.

I truly hope this will help you get your business where you want it at:) Please, feel free to share your own tips or strategies that brought good results!


Have a wonderful week,

Patricia Wood
VerreDesign


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