How to Identify Niche Markets

One of the most productive things you can do for yourself in business is to get to know your target market better.

How do they think?

More importantly, what do they think about?

The lifestyle of our western society has been based on excess for many years. Spending too much, eating too much, living in homes that are cavernous with one or two people in them, commuting in large vehicles built for a family; all at the expense of our free time and debt levels. There is a boomerang effect that can be seen in the portion of the current generation of teens to early 30 somethings who often spurn high paying jobs they spent years studying for and pursue more personally rewarding service work.

Mercedes, one of the ultimate status brands, identified this trend and embraced this opportunity by producing the Smart Car. The Smart Car brand is a separate division of Mercedes. It has its own logo, look and messages crafted specifically to appeal to this emerging market.

The tag line is “open your mind” – a challenge to think differently.

They discuss the technical aspects that provide safety, as well as addressing the target group’s need for individuality by offering over 60 accessories and fashion items to personalize the car and then the environmentally friendly features are also emphasized. They cover pretty much all of the major concerns of this consumer group.

You too can identify trends within your customer group and develop strategies that address their needs and wants with your marketing.

When you’ve identified the who, you definitely want “the do” to be things that will motivate a purchase…but it doesn’t stop there. Once someone buys something from you, it’s easier to motivate a second purchase. Many companies contact customers right after their initial purchase, with special offers, coupons, and other enticements to return again soon.

Look outside your industry to identify how other businesses develop multiple hooks in their marketing to get customers to come back repeatedly. In the car business, for example, they provide a warranty that means you will be in and out of the dealership for service, for a few years. You meet more and more of the staff and become friendly with them. Every time you come in for a scheduled service, they have a chance to sell you more than you came in for. In between services, they contact you with special offers, contests and new product introductions to entice you to buy another car from them and bring your friends.

More sophisticated tracking systems, such as Amazon.com’s, suggest other purchases you may want to make, basing their offerings on your previous purchase history.

Many businesses offer something “free” and use various forms of word of mouth marketing to spread a message or to capture additional sales.

“The do” should be activities that put you in front of your customers more than once.

Get others to do your marketing for you. There are many creative ways to encourage people to do this. A contest – offer them some sort of reward for sharing your info, provide free t-shirts, a movie with an email capture at the end etc.

Write down the characteristics of your target market to remind you of what they like, where they go and the things that concern them. Create marketing materials and messages that address their concerns and provide solutions or a break from their daily worries.

You can know everything about your ideal customer but if you don’t do the right things, they will never know who you are nor will they care and all of your knowing will not translate into sales.

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