Consumers who really love your products or services can be thought of as your market’s “niche.” An economic recession should be a cue for companies to start looking at how their customers are changing their buying habits. As product choices continue to expand, consumers become increasingly more sophisticated and demanding. Take the time to review your public relations strategy and pay close attention to your niche markets. Part of your public relations budget can be spent studying and reaching out to your niche markets. Here are some quick reminders about developing niche markets:
Being all things to all people has been and will probably always be an inefficient way to run a business; ensure you haven’t fallen into that trap. During the early 1980s, Sears and Roebuck almost lost their entire business when they started buying financial institutions, insurance companies and stock brokerages.
Even if you can’t be all things to all people, consider being all things to your niche markets. Nike found its niche in footwear, and ran off with the industry by creating shoes for each sport.
Always talk to your clients and customers; this is a public relations basic. Customer feedback keeps business alive in troubled times. Such opinions will continue to define your niche market and give you clues as to how to refine your public relations tactics.
Be personable. Be polite about the customer feedback you receive and then be willing to change based on what you have heard. Using customer feedback constructively is another essential component in any public relations strategy.
Profile your customers and find out where they congregate to communicate your messages effectively. Consider using the internet to locate product or service-oriented chat rooms and message boards.
Take a gander at what the competition is up to by watching their ads and reviewing their marketing and public relations materials.
If your current niche has slowed down and your business prospects over the next quarter or two are appearing dismal, then it may be time to consider a new niche.
Consider adding a multi-tiered pricing system if you are going for new niche markets. A recent article in the New York Times cited statistics on the market slowdown. The conclusion was that the only segments left untouched are the health care and real estate industries.
Know every inch of your niche markets. Another part of your public relations budget might be devoted to demographics like buying habits, age brackets, education levels, frequency of product usage, or similar product purchases. This just some of the data you’ll need to be a successful niche marketer.
Niche marketing is an important key to staying alive and moving ahead in uncertain times. Developing niche markets puts your business closer to the finish line of continued profitability, and it’s a crucial part of any public relations strategy.
This article, written by Laura Bell, originally appeared in PR Fuel (http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel), a free weekly newsletter from eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/subscribe/.