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Is a niche audience strategy still relevant?

I’ve had a number of conversations with business owners and marketers over the last three weeks where, in an attempt to replace lost business, they want to shelve their niche audience targeting in favour of a ‘broad brush’ approach.

As Covid-19 forces us into lockdown, the way we are all working has totally changed.  And for many of us, business has slowed – for some dramatically.  So I understand and share your predicament.

It’s definitely healthy to look at what you do and how your customers’ problems have changed – to look at what else you can offer to help them.  And if you spot an opportunity to serve a new, emerging market with your product (I doubt Zoom would have seen home-schooling coming) then that’s fantastic, if you are set up to take it.

But I would urge you not to apply the scattergun approach in any of these situations. 

People are even more distracted right now, and everyone is trying to adapt to a new way of not only working, but also schooling their kids, shopping, staying in touch with friends and family.  They have less time and attention to give to your offer than ever before.  Targeting the right people at the right time with the right message is going to get more, not less important over the next few months.

The niche audience approach is still the best place to start.  It allows your marketing to talk to someone specific, rather than no one in particular – which gives you the best chance of being heard. If what you have is specifically designed for them, and talks their language, they’re more likely to understand its value.  And so to buy. 

The key elements of good marketing orchestration still stand, even now:

  • Find the Audience you can best help and go all-in on helping them.  Others will ask for your help once they see this success.
  • Make sure your Song is crystal clear.  It has to work even harder to cut-through so your value proposition needs to be simple, compelling and speaking to a specific audience.
  • Adapt the Score. Your marketing strategy needs to change to help your team know where they fit and what to do with new ways of working or interfacing with customers.
  • Run a Rehearsal to help your team connect online.  You can use team sessions to run trial runs and let your team optimise the new customer experience.
  • Conduct your team clearly to Perform. Look at targets, and your own leadership touch points build momentum.

Unless there’s a genuine new opportunity in another niche audience out there, focus on offering more help and value to your existing market.  If you see a new niche, apply the same principles to that new audience.

Your brand continues to be a performance that people contribute to, day in, day out.  Right now you need to help them contribute differently. Don’t be tempted to distract yourself by trying to do everything for everyone.

Jill Pringle is a brand marketing consultant and classically trained singer. Author of The Brand Symphony she developed The Orchestrate Method after 25 years as a marketing director in large and small organisations.  Click here to book a free consultation call directly with Jill.

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