Article by: Jacqueline Jewelry
The most successful small businesses understand that only a limited number of people will buy their product or service. The task becomes determining, as closely as possible, exactly who those people are, and ‘targeting’ the business’s marketing efforts and dollars toward them.
Simply put, your target market is a narrowly defined group of customers, while your market niche is the particular product and/or service you offer to your target market.
Try to describe them with as much detail as you can, based on your knowledge of your product or service. Rope family and friends into visualization exercises (“Describe the typical person who’ll buy my handmade beaded jewelry…”) to get different perspectives – the more, the better.
Here are some questions to get you started:•
Are your target customers male or female?• How old are they?• Where do they live? Is geography a limiting factor for any reason?• What do they do for a living?• How much money do they make? This is most significant if you’re selling relatively expensive or luxury items. Most people can afford a carob bar. You can’t say the same of custom murals.• What other aspects of their lives matter?
Example of a Target Market
This is my target market (in the works): Women, over 30, median income of $60,000, single or married, college-educated, urban, professional, but quirky…
A niche market breaks its market into smaller segments, identifying a group of people by very specific identifying characteristics. And as a business owner, you take this small segment and market to it.
Your niche market should consist of each of the following: •
People who have the same specialized interests and needs.
• They must have a strong desire for the products you offer.
• You must be able to provide compelling reasons why the people in this group should buy from you.
• You must be able to easily reach the people in this group.
• It should be large enough so that it produces sufficient income.
• On the other hand, it should be small enough so that there is limited competition.
Keep these 6 items in mind as you select your niche market. But where do you start?
My suggestion is to start by looking closely at yourself. What are your interests? What do you enjoy doing? What are you good at? Where have you had accomplishments in your life? What has been your background – a job, volunteer organizations, hobbies, etc.?
Example of a Niche Market
An example of a niche market is women over the age of 60 who have a median household income of $65,000 and like to give baskets as gifts to their family and friends.
Reaching Your Niche Market
After you have identified some potential niche markets, the next step is to research the internet. Find out how many people are searching for what you have to offer. How much competition is there in your market?
Go to blogs, message boards, and forums related to your niche market to see what problems are not being solved or what questions are not being answered. Then focus your marketing campaign (including your blog or website) on providing educational information that solves these problems and answers these questions.