Any business with a target to increase sales in a niche B2B market faces a unique set of challenges. Unfortunately, most marketing advice and literature is focussed on the mainstream and little information is available on niche marketing. This three post series attempts to address that issue.
A niche market is defined by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as ‘marketing of a product to a small and well defined segment of the marketplace’. Breaking that definition down then product obviously may be replaced with service. Small means there will be relatively few prospects in the niche and well defined means that a niche does not exist at all unless it can be clearly defined with no ambiguity.
There are many advantages to niche marketing including less direct competition and lower sales costs (message to fewer prospects) but there are also major challenges including:
- Small number of customers / prospects.
- Ensuring the message is heard.
- Relatively small number of opportunities.
Each is discussed below
Small number of customers
The blunt truth is most marketing is shotgun based, that is aim to hit as many targets as possible in the hope a percentage (often <2% is deemed a success) will respond and interact. Of course good marketing is about targeting, segmenting and creating specific content to improve the hit rate but the shotgun approach remains.
In any market niche there are simply insufficient prospects to employ this approach. Sometimes the total potential market may be less than 200x customers. At that level the shotgun approach simply does not work.
Making sure your message is heard
There may be limited competition in your specific niche but it is highly unlikely the decision makers within your target customer will only be interested in your limited part of the whole. In B2B markets your product or service may well compete for attention with messages delivered by the larger suppliers delivering other parts of the complete package required by the prospect. The challenge is to make sure you are heard.
Relatively small number of opportunities
By definition a niche is not a mass market, therefore there will be a limited number of prospects which in turn means there will be a limited number of opportunities emanating from those prospects. Each opportunity therefore is potentially more important than in mass markets.
Our next post examines how various marketing tools and techniques may be employed to address these specific challenges. In the meantime, if there is any other challenges you come across in niche markets that you feel should be addressed please feel free to comment.
- How To Select The Best New Product Ideas - July 20, 2015
- A B2B Market Analysis Template - June 4, 2015
- Can A Content Marketing Mentor Add Value - May 5, 2015
- How To Create B2B Case Studies That Generate Results - April 1, 2015
- An Integrated B2B Marketing Campaign Vs The Ad Hoc Approach - March 17, 2015