Let me start with the technical definition on Niche!
…that appeal to a small or specialised section of the population.
Niche Marketing is the strategies and communication designed for products and services meant for a special audience. Segmenting and Targeting a set of people is often confused with Niche Marketing. However, this difference lies in identifying a subset of the targeted group with special or specific attributes and marketing the product or services designed for their specific needs.
Some niche markets can be the entire TG while others might just be a small portion of the entire market. So conclusively, targeting and niche marketing can be called mutually inclusive of each other but cannot be tagged as the same.
This strategy might sound like something meant only for a special kind of product or service but here’s the catch. Any brand with a large and generic TG can narrow down its offerings to suit a subset of the existing market. This subset may be a small percentage of the larger TG but can be highly profitable and winning over it could mean rising to become a market leader for some brands.
So, how are both similar, digital marketing smudges out the boundaries between targeted and niche marketing. Digital Marketing is based on quantifiable metrics and the ability to target specifically is what differentiates it from traditional marketing of the past. Branding campaigns are no longer restricted to mass marketing campaigns requiring a significant investment of money. Niche marketing is not a new concept but has evolved in the digital era mainly as digital marketing has reduced the entry barriers for marketing initiatives. Niche marketing provides greater ROI at the expense of lesser resources, as this strategy has the ability to create specific personas for a niche whilst creating a unique brand identity- which can be leveraged in the rest of the market segments.
Another advantage of niche marketing is that it enables a brand to develop authority and expertise amongst its niche audience. Marketing campaigns with a wider scope today, use niche segmentation to deliver personalized messages to audiences along their sales cycle. E.g. A brand shows a generic mass market video to the TG and uses the data from it to execute remarketing campaigns. These remarketing campaigns are based on initial behavior of the TG and attempt to convert them into leads.
The consumer brand Divvies which sells sweet treats and snacks created products catering for vegans and with food allergies. They targeted this potential niche while staying away from the saturated general market. This gave them not only a unique brand identity but also a high ROI on their marketing initiatives. This is one amongst a plethora of success stories achieved through targeting a niche segment.
Another company named, Lefty’s: The Left-Hand Store carved out a business for that 10% of the population who are left-handers and have had to manage with products designed for the right-handers. They saw success by serving this 10% of the population.
Once a brand has identified its core competency and it’s USP, in-depth industry research along with an extensive keyword search can play the most crucial role in redefining the market strategy for brands. While sometimes it can also lead to completely new product design for a niche segment, at other times it can help the company realize its biggest strength and play by them to beat the competition.