By definition, niche marketing is: “Concentrating all marketing efforts on a small but specific and well-defined segment of the population. Niches do not ‘exist’ but are ‘created by identifying needs, wants, and requirements that are being addressed poorly or not at all by other firms and developing and delivering goods for services to satisfy them. As a strategy, niche marketing is aimed at being a big fish in a small pond instead of being a small fish in a big pond. Also called micromarketing.”
When I was growing up, my father would take us kids camping and trout fishing in the Pecos Wilderness, just north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. My father, in his infinite wisdom, decided early on, that fishing from a lakeshore with two children was much more advantageous than hiking through rough terrain to fly fish from the small creeks that ran throughout the Rocky Mountains. So we would sit all weekend long, throwing bait into a lake, hoping that something would bite. Now the lake contained several types of fish, from carp, channel catfish, crappie, to the covenant brown speckled and rainbow trout. If you’re not familiar with trout, these are torpedo shaped fish, with a mouth full of sharp teeth and a fighting spirit. The rainbow variety is just a tad larger with a splash of color on their sides.
To a ten-year old little girl, the catfish and carp were ugly, unappealing fish that would snatch up an earthworm every time. So I dug through my tackle box arsenal of bait and decided to try the artificial neon-colored worms that I just had to have. I threw out the purple and orange colored worms randomly and managed to entice a couple of brown speckled trout. Yeah! But I really wanted to catch the better looking, rainbow trout. So after numerous attempts, I found that the bright neon pink and yellow worms attracted my prize fish and I was rewarded with catching the most trout during that particular camping trip.
In my analogy, the lake represents the mass market and the different fish are the target audience that the average business might market to, trying a variety of marketing methods, to generate business from. Niche marketing narrows down the mass market to a single segment or group of buyers and addresses them directly, with what appeals to them the most.
2013 Marketing trends touts the switching of mass marketing to niche marketing. With access to all of the most advanced technologies, people know that options are endless and they won’t stop until they get what they want. In order to be profitable and maintain a competitive edge, businesses have to suit the needs of the individual consumer, or someone else will. Although Niche marketing maybe seen as a little more expensive, is an extremely effective market strategy for smaller businesses, to utilize their marketing abilities to their full potential and directing their efforts and marketing budget to more of a qualified target customer.