If you have been observing the posts I have been writing, in the last few weeks, you would have noticed one common traits.
I have been asking you to continuously reduce and sharpen your focus.
In the marketing focus I spoke about identifying a single niche which is small enough for the big players but large enough for you to focus. So we eliminated all the remaining markets/segments and isolated a minimum viable market to start. Once you become successful in one, then you can move to the next segment and so on.
In the B2B messaging that I have been speaking about in the last few days , again, I have insisted on you sending a message which cannot be made shorter for conveying the information or problem. Once you can start the conversation with the recipient, you then have enough time for discussing about the various services that you offer. But there are so many distractions and complexities in our lifes, that if your message will look even slightly complex people will ignore you.
Its very tempting to try and grab as much as possible in the market, to write as much as possible in your message, but that is the sure shot way to not get anywhere in marketing .
Like the master piece sculpture in the picture, if the artist had not chiseled away the unwanted stone, you would notice this sculpture. Similarly for your market remove all the things which reduce your focus.
In marketing , most of the times , Less is actually More.
Till next time.
Yesterday we spoke about a specific usage scenario can create a niche for doing DR for ERP users in states where hurricanes are common.
Lets look at how on the consumer side you could use the same concept.
There are a lot of dry cleaners in every city. If you were to segment by just the demographics you may not be able to come up with a uniquely different niche.
But suppose, your demographic data threw up a lot of families with kids and you were to target parents of kids who play sports.
You create your operation in such a way that you can turn around a dry clean in less than 6 hours.
When my son was school going, there were so many times I wished if we had a dry cleaner who could get the blazer cleaned within a few hours.
Now if you can message to these parents about how you can get their sports stains completely removed within 6 hours, then you could remove one of the major hassles.
For doing this service you could be charging a premium. Once you have made the customer you could still offer the normal dry cleaning as well for all types of clothes but you will create the perception of being a specialist.
Where this strategy could fail is if there aren’t enough school going kids in the neighborhood or if someone is already giving 6 hour dry cleaning for all clothes at all times.
Marketing at the end of the day is also knowing about what your direct competitors are doing as well as what are the other methods for the customer to achieve the same outcome.
As I write these things, I also sometimes get a better understanding of how to solve a problem I am facing. As Joe Polish says – and I am paraphrasing it – the best way to learn anything, is when you are able to teach someone about it.
Till next time.
In part V we spoke about identifying different channels to reach your prospects.
To grow any business you need to identify the one key constraint which could hold you back.
In professional services its your time, in manufactured products its the time of the slowest machine, products which are dependent on natural capacity like farm produce or eggs are dependent on the the capacity of the farm or number of hens respectively.
If you can plan your business based on the constraint – highly recommend reading the Theory of Constraints by Eli Goldiratt and his second book The Goal – then you can take better decisions.
So if you are in professional services, and you can only work 8 hours a day, you need to figure out which is the niche which can help maximize the return on your time. If you’re a property / real estate agent then you need to focus on the segment where you can get a higher value for your listing as in designer homes versus condos.
Or you build partnerships so that your constraint can be a leverage to someone else.
Till next time.
One of the biggest arguments that I hear against identifying a niche is “How will we grow and adrress the full market”
First trying to address the “full” market is a fallacy. Its not ever feasible….but we will address it in a separate post.
For this post let’s keep our focus on the niche you have and how to grow it.
We will take 2 examples – one from the low value “eggs” that we had touched earlier and another from the IT services segment which is B2B and ultra high value.
This topic will be carried over multiple posts, because any product management process will need to go through multiple steps to make it successful in the market. The logic will hold whether you are selling financial services or consumer products or technology services
The assumption over here is that you have a ” Market in the niche” . If you are reading my blog posts for the first time, I would suggest you look at my previous posts where I give a detailed explanation on this topic.
The second assumption is that you have a very good product or service and you can differentiate it in the market.
The third assumption is that you have analyzed and seen that there’s what Dan Kennedy used to call a “Hungry Crowd” or a market for your product or service.
So if you are trying to sell eggs in a locality which is predominantly populated by vegetarian people , then however good your product is, you will never be able to grow your business because there are not enough people who eat eggs. So there will hardly be anyone willing to eat a “red” egg ( see my previous post on this red egg example)
With the above 3 assumptions in place, it means you have been able to identify your market, identify the niche in the market and size it.
From the next post we will start looking at making an entry into the market and growing it.
Till next time.