Niche - what does it really mean?Mar 07, 2022
There’s a common misunderstanding when it comes to niche marketing, finding a niche audience or defining the niche for your product service.
People often think defining a niche is going to limit the reach of their product or service.
And that is true. If you only target a very specific audience or customer you are limiting your reach.
So it’s no wonder that people are very hesitant to pinpoint a niche audience or customer for their product or project. It feels like they could be ignoring people outside this niche, and therefore missing an opportunity to speak to them. FOMO…aka fear of missing out!
If you narrow your audience down to that of a typical marketing avatar, you are probably honing in on age, location, education status, marital status, number of kids, type of car and favourite TV shows and exercise preference etc etc.
That is very limiting and very superficial. But it might be helpful if you’re selling a cookbook.
For example, if the cookbook has been created with mothers of young children who are fussy eaters in mind, a hypothetical avatar might look like this:
- 33 years old
- She has completed high school
- She is a bookkeeper
- She’s the mother of two preschool children:1 boy, 1 girl
- Debbie drives a Mazda station wagon
- They live in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia
- They shop at a big chain store supermarket
- The children are very fussy eaters
- The family watch the Disney channel and Netflix
This detail is probably very helpful if you want to create targeted ads on Facebook for this type of customer.
Perhaps the most useful part is the location data. Knowing where your audience lives will help you geo-target your ads. If your cookbook is written by an Australian cook then it’s a good assumption that your niche audience is in Australia and you’ll want to sell it to Australians.
However, this is not the only niche for this cookbook. Let’s zoom out a bit.
Don’t fathers also need to feed their kids? Unless – have we taken a time machine? Is it 1970 and it’s ‘women’s work’ to prepare food for their children? But then how could you read this on the internet if it’s 1970! #it’snot1970
What about grandparents? Isn’t it possible that they are looking after their grandkids and need to know how to feed them food they want to eat?
And then there are all the preschools and daycare centres, they need to prepare meals for the children they care for.
Wouldn’t you want to sell the cookbook to those additional niche audiences as well?
And you can. Because finding a niche audience is not the same as creating a niche product.
This is where the misunderstanding about what it means to go niche comes in.
You’re creating an audience segment and each segment is a niche. You’re not creating a niche product for a niche audience. You’re selling the same cookbook but you’re targeting different audiences. Not creating a new cookbook for each niche.
In fact, you can run targeted Facebook ads, YouTube ads, create social content and niche marketing with unique messaging tailored to all of these audience segments. Because that’s what these niche audiences are. They are segments of your target market.
By identifying each ideal audience segment you can get very specific, aka niche, to speak directly to them.
So there you have it, niche does not mean creating niche products to serve small segments of people.
Niche is to do with the advertising and the marketing message for specific targeted audiences. But not the product. You’re creating the same product for all of them. But you’re tailoring the message.
To get a marketing message to cut through to a busy father with children who are fussy eaters, it’s going to be more like.
The one cookbook to rule them all, get your kids eating dinner without any fuss.
And for the mums:
The only cookbook you’ll need to have the kids happily eating a healthy dinner without any complaining.
And for the grandparents:
This cookbook will ensure you’ll be trusted to cook for the kids whenever it’s your day with them.
And for the daycare centres:
A unique cookbook with recipes that caters to all the various needs of the young people trusted to your care.
Yes, it’s good to specialise.
Yes, it’s good to diversify.
And yes, it’s good to serve a targeted audience or customer.
All of these audience segments combined make up your target audience. But as segments, they are specialised groups with needs, interests and values that are unique to them.
So doing the research to best understand each of these segments is going to help you craft unique messages that ensure you engage them.
There is no one message to rule them all! (Sad face)
By the way, do you say ‘niche’ or ‘niche’? I realise this is a blog and you can’t hear the different pronunciations, but if you want to have a giggle check out how many YouTube videos do a deep dive into how to pronounce this word. Just run a YouTube search on ‘how to say niche’. All you really need to know is that it’s the same meaning no matter how it’s pronounced.
I hope this post helped to clear things up.
The key to all of this is to know who your audience is. Then you can figure out the segments and how to craft messages that speak directly to them.
Get the audience info right and you’ll be well on your way to a successful outcome.
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