I preach the principal of focusing your marketing efforts.
I believe it’s particularly vital for a small businesses to find a niche that they can own and focus their resources and attention on that niche exclusively.
Mostly people nod agreement, then ignore this advice.
There are two reasons, I think.
First, they aren’t patient enough. Understandably, they are cash poor in the beginning. We know the biggest concern of start-up businesses is cash flow. If you can help a business generate cash flow, you are considered an angel. Never mind where the customers come from or how they are acquired or how loyal they may be or how fragmented their needs may be, if they represent immediate cash they’re welcome.
So business owners try a coupon mailing. If the first one “doesn’t work” in generating immediate customer activity, they abandon it and begin listening to the radio salesperson, or the list broker with a sure-fire traffic generator. Flitting from one medium to the next, from one message to a second, from one offer to another, whatever income is produced by unfocused promotions is funneled to another medium promising better results.
Thus, prospects may never hear more than one or two messages. And according to Jay Levinson of the Guerrilla Marketing empire, it will take an average of 17 exposures to your message before prospects will consider purchasing from you.
The second reason entrepreneurs won’t focus is because they might miss some business. Their attitude is that if they do not address “the masses”, they will leave money on the table. It’s not greed so much as fear that they may be missing a great and on-going opportunity if they narrow their focus.
If you focus upon a specific market segment, fashion your product/service, your brand and your message to meet needs in that segment, you can build a brand and a business that will thrive long-term because it “means something” to your customers and to those they will refer to you.
Selecting the market segment(s) you will serve may be tricky. There are three criteria I believe a segment must meet to be viable
1. Is it large enough to accommodate your business?
2. Are the members of the segment willing and able to buy what you’re selling?
3. Can you readily identify those populating the segment?
It’s worth exploring niche marketing as a major strategy. Just be patient and never fear.