The secret to becoming successful as a little guy in an over-saturated market, especially when you don’t have a huge budget for advertising and cannot take the risks that larger companies can, is to figure out how to target their audiences better than the bigger guys can and in ways that they haven’t though of yet. Being able to think creatively and find these opportunities is what separates successful Marketers from the people that read those boring business blogs that only point out and state the obvious then follow the heard.
I’m always amazed at how all of the “Gurus” whose sites I have seen or books I have skimmed through have followers and why those people think that the “Gurus” are even remotely intelligent. They are just better at pointing out the obvious but in reality never really give a way for you to benefit from their posts, books or articles, unless you were looking for a reminder of the basics.
Anyways, this is probably going to be one of those posts where it covers a basic, but at the same time is meant to help motivate you to think about how to break into a niche or a huge market and then carve out a way to not only start to be able to attract parts of your goal target audience to your products and services, but also to help build your site and Marketing campaign up so you can compete with the big players. As always, these are just my thoughts and they work for me, however that doesn’t mean they are guaranteed, 100% going to work for you. In fact they may never work for you. You need to become a Marketer and use advice and your own creativity to drive your own campaigns and make them successful.
Anyways, here is how I break into a niche when I don’t have a large or any budget and cannot afford to take a risk. Let’s use Baby Boomers as an example for this post.
Baby Boomers are getting up there in age. They tend to hate being called Seniors and they like to be active. Many of them were liberal at one point but started to grow a little more conservative as they got older and I believe they control a considerable percentage of the wealth in the USA.
Baby Boomers are being targeted left and right. You see campaigns featuring active Boomers on beaches, doing Yoga, using terms like Feeling Young, Energy, etc…. The one thing that I don’t see a ton of companies doing yet though is going after their kids who are now grown up and starting to help make decisions about and for their parents.
The kids of the Baby Boomers are the management level of the workforce right now. Sure many of them are fighting for jobs but there is a huge amount of Baby Boomer kids who are stable in their lives. They are beginning or have started their families. Their priorities are changing and safety, security and family is now more important than partying and having fun. You may also start to find that Baby Boomer’s Kids are also taking a more active role in their parent’s lives as their parents are getting older.
If my goal was to target the Baby Boomers and I didn’t have the budget to compete with the bigger corporations or had a brand new site with no authority or relevance to break into the SERPs, I would think to myself, who else has access or influences Baby Boomer’s decisions. One of the Influencers is their Kids.
I would create sites about the safety of their Parents. Create articles about dealing and working with aging parents and products that may assist my new readers if they have active and aging parents. It is a Market that is “booming” and I am sure there are some Affiliates out there already doing this.
The thing I think about when entering an niche or a huge market is who all of the Decision Makers and Influencers are for the people who spend in that Market. The majority of people and Marketers think they are brilliant for going after the Baby Boomers and creating sites focusing around Baby Boomer imagery and phrasing but in reality, the brilliant ones are the ones that find the other influences in their decision making process and start building their Market Share off of that audience and securing them in first.
If you want to go even a step further and want to cross niches like Travel and Baby Boomer family vacations you could go after the Baby Boomers by going after their Grandkids with your ad campaigns.
Not only would the grand kids bring the websites up to their Grandparents, but the Grandkids would also be the ones who would nag and keep going on and on until the Grandparents caved in. By showing the kids ads with them having fun but the Grandparents watching with their kids and everyone relaxing and enjoying themselves, you have begun to do your job since your images cater to the needs of everyone.
You also need to remember though that if the Kids of the Baby Boomers are not the ones making the actual purchase in this case but the Grandkids are the Influencers, you need to have your ads and messaging cater to the Grandkids and the Baby Boomers. Cater to their wants and needs which may include being active, fun, and being together. Word it about the family but also mention the attractions and things to do with excitement for the Grandkids so you keep them on your side. Even though the Parents are not the Influencers in this, they still do count for something so go after what is important to the kids of the Baby Boomers. Show the Parents about how it can be done on a budget and they can escape to relax.
Picture the kids coming down a water slide or smiling at the bottom with the parents standing by cheering them on or drying them off with a towel. Then picture the Grandparents standing in the background smiling, holding hands and watching them while they enjoy a glass of wine or are taking pictures. Depending on the ad you may want to have them grandparents on the slide to or on a lazy river ride waving to the family on the slide as they go by. Then show a golf course, then a restaurant and spa and all of the sudden you have everyone pretty much covered. The kids will be excited, the parents will see that they will be able to get away and the Baby Boomers can enjoy their family, stay active and also include everything that is important to them.
Targeting your audience and reaching out to the other Influencers is key to a successful Marketing campaign in a saturated market and the people who can effectively do this are the ones who in my opinion have a better chance at succeeding.
One other example you may want to think about is Dog Training Products.
Suppose you are doing a postcard mailing or a direct mail piece for your Dog Training Product. You are trying to select your list of people to go after and from what I have seen, most “Marketers” would go after people that own dogs. Makes sense right? Wrong!
If the person owns a dog already then there is probably a good chance it doesn’t need training. You don’t know how long they have owned their dog for, if it came house trained, etc… Chances are they already picked something up as well when they initially bought their new best friend. So who would you go after if you don’t go after the dog owner.
Ok, don’t even think about saying the Dog. People and companies have tried going after pets by showing lights on a tv screen, scenting packages, etc… Think a bit more into future. Go after people that are likely to buy a pet. New homeowners or people moving into an area where Dogs and pets are more common and are also in a typical dog buying age range and income bracket. Go after the local dog stores and offer a bulk buying discount or wholesaling information to get them to carry your product. You can even go after potential dog owners based on shopping and buying patterns.
With a bit of research you can find out buying patterns and see that people who bought a and also own x, y and z usually end up buying a dog in a year or two. Then you can start plugging the idea into their heads and also be the front runner for them to buy your product when they are ready to make an addition to their family with their new best friend.
Thinking about who the Influencer is and how to properly target your audience is key to running a successful campaign. Unfortunately talent is very limited for this and when you do find it they end up being Affiliates or working for themselves in small mom and pop shops. Creativity is rare and when you find someone that can target like this, in my opinion, you should immediately secure your relationship with them as they are the ones that can help you target your audience and generate campaigns that no one else has though of yet. They can also help you move in and secure pieces of an over-saturated market more easily because they think of the ways to move in that no one else has thought of yet.
Again, these are only my thoughts and opinions and just because they tend to work for me and my Clients does not mean they will work for you. Use this advice if you want but you also have to make it your own. Just remember that because it may work for me does not mean it will work for you. My goal is to try to spark creativity for you and get you as a Marketer thinking on your own.