Niche marketing: How to find ways to reach your niche audience
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What can be considered as a niche market is confusing. A niche market can be anything from "Women's clothing" to "Women who love red dresses", depending on how it is defined. Due to this, the niche market you are targeting can be a multi-billion dollar market or a market with a handful of people.
What is a Niche Market
A niche market is defined as a product or service made not for masses. But that does not tell us a lot of things. Is bottled water a niche market? Or a niche market for consumers who do not drink from the tap?
Shopify defines a niche market as:
"A segment of a larger market that can be defined by its own unique needs, preferences, or identity that makes it different from the market at large."
These preferences can be either or more
- Price (e.g. luxury, moderate, discount)
- Demographics (gender, age, income level, education level)
- Level of quality (premium, handmade, economical)
- Psychographics (values, interests, attitudes)
- Geographics (residents of a certain country, city, or even neighborhood)
- Technological (e.g: iPhone, Android)
- Physiological (e.g: above 175cm)
Niche Marketing Strategies - Understanding your Customers
The key to the successful execution of niche marketing strategies lies entirely on how much do you know your audience. Hence it is imperative to spend more time on customer research than executing marketing strategies.
As niche marketing requires a more precise targeting to ensure a positive return of investment. Questions such as who they are, where they are from, why they are buying or using your products & services, should be understood thoroughly. Research is often recommended to understand your customers better. Here a step-by-step guide on how you conduct research on knowing your target audience better. Feel free to skip some of the steps if you have already answers for them.
Set up a goal
Before you conduct your research, you first need to know what to achieve with the research result. What are you trying to find out from the results? Are you trying to find out what channels are frequently used by your competitors to acquire new customers? Or what new product line to launch?
Conduct an interview
When conducting interviews, make sure you are choosing the right person to interview. The interviewees can be your best or frequent customers. Ideally, you would like to interview as many people as possible, customers and non-customers. But realistically, customers who are less enthusiastic about your product and service will most likely not cooperate with you unless some incentives are offered.
In addition, make sure the questions asked are not leading to the desired answer, or they might result in bias. For example, instead of asking, "Do you shop at the supermarket?", ask "Where do you shop from." Unless the previous research or data indicate that users shop in the supermarket, there is no reason to have an overly specific question.
Finding the right channels
One of the many purposes of an interview is to discover the channels that can be used to reach them. Here are some of the channels that are typically used by companies. You can create a question for each of them in your interview or survey.
Who should you partners with? What kind of products and services do they usually use?
Who are the influencers they followed and who do they trust for purchase advice. (e.g: Youtube, Instagram)
Is there a place do they frequent? Do they frequent a certain venue? (e.g: Fishing shop, bread shop)
- Website / App
What website or App do they use? If the people from the niche you targeting frequent a particular webpage, you can setup behavior segmentation and market to them separately using Repro's marketing software.
Conduct a Survey
A survey is usually conducted after the interviews. A Survey should be used to verify specific claims and insight received from the previous interviews and gauge the influence of insights. For example, if someone mentioned they eat bread for lunch in the interview, the survey can used to discover roughly how many of your current customers eat bread for lunch. The survey also can help you find answers to questions like - How many of them are willing to spend more if provide your business launched a new product line or How many more are they willing to spend.
Creating a User Journey
After you have received enough data, a customer journey should be mapped out to gain a better understanding of your customers' journey looks like. We have an in-depth article on how to map a customer journey, and we will only be talking about it here briefly. A good customer journey map should reveal to you important touchpoints your customers interact with while looking for your products and services. The map should also provide insights on how they are feeling when they travel through the journey and what are the issues and roadblocks that they faced before discovering what they are looking for.
Niche Marketing Example
Our client Mamari, is a niche media platform whose target market is to-be-moms. Their platform marketing strategies mainly focus on creating a strong sense of community and providing a Q&A space for moms-to-be. With the power of online marketing software, they are able to segments their audience and send personalized messages based on expecting dates to their babies.
Goo-net is one of the largest Online listing sites in Japan that sell cars. At first glance, they do not seem to be in the niche market, but with a closer look, the car market is quite fragmented. As the reasons for purchasing a car, highly depends on multiple factors such as the personality of the driver, the uses, brands, and budget, the marketing message sent to a potential customer who is looking to purchase a Mercedes is different from someone who is looking to buy a Honda.
Goo-net created a customer journey map to understand their customers more and devised different marketing messages to users based on the type of cars they are looking for. They created two personas which are: 1) Housewives who want to travel short-distance and 2) A family person looking for a car to fit his family. Based on these personas, they have sent out different messages and improved their Push Notification open rate by 80%.
HaruHaru is a media App that is used frequently used by young schoolgirls in Japan. To find a niche within their existing readers, they using a marketing analysis software - Repro, to conduct a category analysis on their App. After performing the analysis, they noticed their readers are more interested in Korean-related content than other contents out there. Hence, they started creating their content centering around this niche, which resulted in them gaining more users and increased their retention rate by 10%.