In the middle of a crowded street at the Kotla market in Delhi, I noticed the above banner. It wasn’t the name that really caught my attention as much as its tag line – “Gym For All”! I couldn’t help wonder how on earth do the Multi-Gym owners go about marketing their gyms to “all”. I believe in the saying that “If everyone is your customer, then no one is your customer.” Targeting the general public is not only expensive but ineffective, which is why I love niche markets.
I have been working in a niche industry for about 4 years now. When people ask me what I do I tell them that I help companies share confidential information. I usually get a blank stare at that point with a look which says – “talk English please!” So I introduce them to the industry by giving them the following example:
Scenario A: Suppose you want to share a confidential piece of information with me and you email me a pdf document to do so. Now I have the pdf and can do whatever I want with it. I can print it, copy it, distribute it online, share it with competitors or do all kinds of stuff with that information which would not be in your best interest.
Scenario B: If you shared that same pdf document through a Virtual Data Room then I don’t have control over your document. You decide whether I can copy or print it and if tomorrow you don’t want me to see the document anymore you can just disable access to it. You can also gauge interest by seeing how many times I have opened the document and at what times. The main purpose of a Virtual Data Room is to keep your information secure.
Most people didn’t even know that such an industry existed and that’s when you usually know that you are working with a niche. Do not confuse a niche with no competition, however. The industry for ‘Virtual Data Rooms’ is niche but very competitive. In fact, Google the term “Virtual Data Room” and you will get a dozen companies from across the world offering all kinds of products which offer control over your proprietary data. You still need to differentiate yourself from the others. You still need awesome marketing and awesome relationships to compliment your awesome product, if you don’t want to live in mediocrity all your life. What a niche has helped me do is identify the people who are likely to use my product, which in turn has helped me to focus. If “everyone” was a prospective client, I wouldn’t even know where to get started!
Let me give you another example of a niche. Recently a friend of mine identified a niche in the bicycling industry. With a growing number of bike enthusiasts in North America, the demand for Ritmo Trainers is growing so he is trying to fulfill that demand by supplying this product to those who want it. What on earth is a Ritmo Trainer? Exactly! Ask a die hard biker and he’d tell you. Why is that a great thing? Because it is easy to identify bike magazines, bike websites, bike events that die hard bike fans read, visit or participate in. It is a niche, making it easy to target those who are likely to find value in your offering.
A niche will help you focus on those that really matter.
What industry do you work in? Have you identified your niche? Are you trying to be everything to everybody?
Tags: Awesome Marketing