It’s tempting to think that your product is perfect for… everyone. Now, there is a broad market sector. Generally when a company markets to everyone it’s listened to by no one. Not only that, if you want to market to everyone, that means your marketing has to be everywhere, which generally means you need to invest millions in your campaign
There are times where your product or service will define your market for you. For example, if you produce golf clubs you have a pretty good idea of who to market to, although even within such a defined market you can generally drill down quite a bit and define a variety of different markets within the overall target audience. Let’s get a little more general, let’s say you develop a line of lipstick. You’re primary market is female, that is somewhat safe to say, but that still leaves you a rather large terrain. Is your primary market teenage girls, women in their 20s to early 30s, women over 40? Are you focusing on women who shop at Wal-Mart, Nordstrom’s, or trendy boutiques? These are just a few of the questions that you’d need to answer before you launched your line of lipstick.
Let’s broaden the scope even more. Let’s say you’re selling a new brand of bottled water. Everyone drinks water. Your market is infinite, right? Wrong. What you need to discover is who drinks your brand of bottled water. Are you targeting men, women, teens, seniors, athletes, moms, who are your customers?
Finding a niche market does not mean that you will only focus in that arena, it means you will create a following a loyal group of buyers who know and trust your product or service. Once you establish yourself in a niche market, you can then branch out and develop customers in other arenas. By targeting your approach, your odds of success are also much greater and your risks are reduced.
But how do you know what your market is? First and foremost know your product or service. What does it offer? What problems does it solve? Whose life does it make easier? If you truly know and understand your business it will lead you to your customers. Be honest with yourself. Don’t develop a product that is perfect for college students that are on a budget and then market it to private jet owners. That is an exaggeration, but I’ve seen companies who refuse to see their true customer base because they had a preconceived idea of the market they wanted to capture.
To start, you need to be sold on and passionate about your product or service. If you don’t believe in it, don’t expect anyone else to. Know your business. As I mentioned, if you truly know your product or service it will help define your market for you. Take some time to research that there is a need for your product. Don’t create a business solely because it interests you. A hobby is not always a business. In some cases it can be, but make sure you have researched the need and demand for your business.
Now if the demand is there, you’re onto something. Create the best product or service that you can and go forward. Figure out exactly who your potential customers are. Where do they buy? What magazines or newspapers do they read? What TV shows do they watch? What sites would they visit on the internet? Once you have that information, you have your direction.
If you’re working on a limited budget start with a targeted PR campaign combined with a social media/blogging campaign. If you have the funds hire a public relations firm, otherwise, do some homework, learn the basics and start by launching your own targeted niche marketing campaign. You can broaden your scope and target other markets as you grow, but to start, find a niche, develop your marketing and media relations campaign and grow your business.