Who Will Best Serve Your Niche?
Specializing has always been an effective marketing tool for businesses, and it’s a hot new trend for marketing agencies. This year, it’s all about the niche. The problem is, many niche market marketers are not true specialists.
In the past few months, a number of people have come to me very excited about the marketing service they found online that caters to their particular field. The reasoning behind hiring a niche market specialist is sound. People will buy from those they believe understand them and their needs the best. Writers will buy from agencies that specialize in promoting books. Insurance agencies will hire web designers who specialize in insurance agency websites.
If things were always as they seem, it might be prudent for business owners to hire a specialist. After all, consumers do it all the time. If you want the best camping gear, do you go to a department store or to REI? The problem with applying this thinking across the board is that many businesses catering to a niche market actually have no special expertise in the niche they serve. They have simply rebranded themselves in order to make more money…essentially tricking businesses into thinking they are getting a premium service.
There is an even bigger problem, however, with narrowly focused marketing. When marketing becomes formulaic, and not fluid, you do no service to your clients. From our experience, we know that every business is unique, despite being in the same industry as another business. No two businesses were built the same, nor to do their marketing campaigns develop or perform the same. There is a real risk in getting put into a box and treated like every other business in your field.
What many people don’t realize is that the expertise needs to be in the service offered, not necessarily in the business they serve. The product or industry does make a difference, but expert marketers will know how to adjust advertising accordingly. If they have been in business for any length of time, they will have experience spanning numerous industries; and, frankly, this wider array of experience is an asset. Specializing too narrowly can lead to methodically building campaigns, instead of actively researching and strategizing with the client in mind.
As I said, niche market services make perfect sense at the consumer level, and even business to business. The abuse of the niche market trend is primarily in the advertising and marketing arena. If you are about to ramp up your marketing, look for a company with experience, expertise in what THEY do more than what YOU do, and check their reputation through the normal channels. Remember, you are dealing with marketers whose real specialty is convincing people of something. It’s your job to make sure your working with an agency that will work hard on your behalf, whether they serve a niche or not.