Data Dependency: The Downside of Niche MarketingIn my last article on niche marketing, I took a look at the positives. Now, let’s look at some of the limits of niche marketing, namely, relying too much on data analysis to shape a marketing campaign and assuming that niche markets will bite at your sales bait. I’ll also talk about some of the ways that your business can avoid the common pitfalls of niche marketing.

The Data Problem

Niche Marketing: Part One focused on all of the plusses of using big data analysis to drive a niche marketing campaign. But as I’ve said before, big data should never be the alpha and omega of your advertising effort. Besides the human factor that I’ve written about here on the CEM blog (which should absolutely not be ignored!), there’s the fact that many businesses have yet to figure out a way to use data well.

For one, there’s a lot of data – and a lot of it that has popped up extremely recently. As in, 90% of all the data in the world has been generated, mostly online, in the past two years. (Check out that link if your business is struggling with a mountain of data that you’re not sure what to do with.) So there is a ton of thought and strategy that has to go into figuring out what’s useful, what questions to ask, and what to do with all of that information. Targeting a niche market through data collection and analysis is definitely easier said than done.

More Power in Customer and Client Hands

In my pro-niche marketing article, I talked about how you’re likely to gain access to a ton of brand loyalty and word of mouth advertising if you can break into a niche market. And while that may certainly be true, the emphasis is definitely on the if.

As this Forbes article notes, there’s been a major shift in sales dynamic in recent years. While customers and clients used to rely on salespeople for most of their information about a product, buyers usually do their own research online these days. Usually, prospective clients and customers will rule out potential options (and decide to pursue others) by reading reviews, talking to friends, and looking at company ratings. Even if your ad is targeted extremely well, today’s buyers are inundated with so many ads that most of it is just so much noise.

All of this boils down to the fact that even with super-targeted marketing, sellers have less and less control over sales and marketing, even as big data and social media offer a way to constantly expand reach and create better focus.

Avoiding the Pitfalls

So, data-based marketing is tough and consumers might not want to engage with your ads anyway. But that doesn’t mean niche marketing is off the table! Instead, think about how your business might be able to combine niche marketing with other techniques to avoid some of the common pitfalls that often come with data analysis and marketing in general. Here are a few examples.

  • Instead of targeting, think context. What situations is your product or service relevant to? Why might a potential customer or client be researching your brand? Why might they want to look you up on a mobile device versus a laptop?
  • Know your brand identity and personality. This is almost the flip side of niche marketing – instead of focusing on what niche your business should target, focus on creating a unique voice and image of your brand that will be its own niche. The expression of this personality will draw in customers and clients on its own.
  • Use your data well. Data analysis should be a part of any business decision, but that means asking the right questions, using high-quality, clean data, and having an organizational infrastructure that can handle the incoming information.

With these three tips in mind, a niche-marketing inspired marketing plan can help you open doors instead of close them with an overly-narrowed, one-way campaign. A healthy dose of skepticism may be all your niche marketing campaign needs!

Are you pro-niche marketing, anti-niche marketing, or something in between? We’d love to hear your views on the topic in the comments section below.