Other marketers frequently advise me to “find a niche.” What they mean is to specialize in an industry, or re-package my stuff for an industry. Such as “The Marketing Spot for Real Estate Agents.” I don’t want to…at least not in the way they mean niche.
The thinking is this: people would rather see a specialist than a generalist. Those who are in the swimming pool construction business would rather see a marketing package for “How to market your swimming pool construction business in ten easy steps” than they would a system that works for any business. It’s true that they do, but that doesn’t make it right.
Here’s the problem in my mind: those types of programs aren’t specialization, they’re homogenization. They counsel and teach businesses how to do the same thing as everyone else in the industry. Brands in those industries suffer from niche marketing programs because differentiation is sacrificed. When you market your tire dealership using the same program as all other tire dealerships… Well, you get the picture, because they all look the same.
I understand the power of specialization, and highly recommend it. You should be good at doing something specific: a website developer that specializes in ecommerce sites rather than just a general website developer. But this is about your marketing, not your skill. There are hundreds (thousands?) of ecommerce website developers out there. If they all use the same marketing program which one should customers choose?
Over the years I’ve been blessed to work with businesses in several different industries. We’ve helped build unique marketing plans for restaurants, medical clinics, car dealers, chiropractors, apartment management companies and many more. Should I re-package those plans as the “The Awesome Marketing Plan System for (fill in the industry)?
Not that it would be the wrong thing to do. I don’t begrudge those marketing firms that cater to a specific industry. As my marketing friends are quick to note: “People would rather see a specialist than a generalist.” And I could probably make more money doing that. It’s just that I choose not to.
However, my friends make the mistake of thinking that I don’t have a niche, when actually I do: businesses that don’t want to do the same thing as everyone else in their industry. I have a lot of fun in that niche.
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