A lot of people seem to get confused by the difference between mass marketing and niche marketing. Maybe because even the biggest mass markets are niches. for instance, something like milk is mass market but not everyone drinks it. Within the milk market, you’ve got niches such as low fat, soya and many others. So, no pun intended, that actually gives you a quick flavour of the difference between mass markets and niche markets.
The main difference between the two is the size of the potential market.
There’s no reliable definition of a mass market that I’ve come across although the closest description might be a mass market would be something that could have been advertised on peak time television back when there were only a handful of channels in existence. The quantity of people watching the shows – and hence the size of the price ticket – was such that only the biggest brands with the widest appeal could afford to buy peak time adverts.
Contrast that with today’s technology where television channels cater to small (niche) groups that wouldn’t even have had their own shows 20 years ago let alone an entire channel devoted to them.
It’s that splitting of markets that has caused an explosion of interest in niche marketing.
The internet has taken the segmentation down even further.
It costs a handful of dollars a year to have a website and if even that small amount is too much there are websites out there that allow you to put up your own content at no cost. And you maybe even get a share of the advertising revenue that your pages generate!
In a lot of ways, mass marketing is getting even more expensive than before.
In order to reach most of the population, you need to buy more advertising.
Gone are the days when half the UK was guaranteed to be watching one of the more popular shows and your adverts could reach people reliably.
Now, with time shift and on-demand programs, there’s no guarantee people will even see your advert let alone pay it any attention.
The same goes for the internet.
Banner blindness – tuning out any banners that happen to be on the site you’re visiting – is on the increase.
In fact, niche marketing has an advantage in this respect.
By definition, a niche market is smaller than a mass market. Which means the adverts – and the sites they appear on – can be narrowed down so that only the most likely prospects ever see your message.
In turn, that means that within a niche market you can have the same – or even higher – impact that the big brands for a fraction of the budget.
For traditional marketers, this is a topsy turvy time.
But for nimble internet marketers, it presentsa fantastic opportunity.
You can get lower advertising costs on sites like Facebook yet only show your advert to people who are likely to be interested in whatever you have to offer.