niche marketing

The Marketing ToolBox: Advertising In The “Loo”

Great... now I am craving toast!

Great… now I am craving toast!

Minding My Business & Taking A Pee. But There Was This Toast Staring At Me…

Alright we’re no mother goose so we’ll stop with the rhymes and get down to business.

Consider the ad on the left. It makes a valid point. Arguably a weird one… but valid nonetheless.

This ad was positioned over the urinals in a men’s bathroom.

Now let’s face it you are likely going to be standing in front of this ad for a minimum of 30 seconds (longer if your chugged that “team pitcher” all by yourself). You are either going to be staring at a blank wall, this piece of toast, or a carefully thought out and targeted advertisement.

Advertising works.

Consider this. If you had just finished a pint with your mates and found yourself taking a much-needed bathroom break, what ads might appeal to you?

  • A Taxi Service?
  • A Late Night Pizzeria?
  • A Reminder That Next Week is Fight Night?
  • A New Mobile App?

Advertising works and the options for ad placements are limited only by the imagination. If there is a venue on which to place an ad, then there is a niche market that it will appeal to.

What are some ideas for ad placement areas that would work for you?

Advertisements

Tapping Into Trends & Engaging Consumers

We have always enjoyed a good zombie trend. What other trends out there have seen success?

We have always enjoyed a good zombie trend. What other trends out there have seen success?

We’ll be honest we love the whole “Zombie Movement” that has taken place over the past 5-6 years and while it may have played out a little, we still enjoy seeing stuff like this.

Which brings up a great marketing point: Tapping into growing trends is never a bad idea, so long as you do proper research and do not go into it half cocked (Ahem! Kenneth Cole #Cairo! Ahem!).

By tapping into trends, you can hit a nerve centre with consumers and really bolster sales. Look for opportunities to resonate with your customers.

….and remember to have some fun.

Target Marketing For Dummies

Target Marketing is all about zeroing in an a specific consumer demographic

Target Marketing is all about zeroing in an a specific consumer demographic

Target (Niche) Marketing Explained In Simplest Terms.

“Targeted (or Niche) Marketing is all about specifically and purposefully marketing to a distinct consumer base. Whether a specific age, gender, race or other profile, it is all about zeroing in on a specific type of customer. As big box stores continue to increase the array of goods they offer, it is becoming necessary for small businesses to appeal to “specifics”. By finding a “niche” they can then build their business supplying goods and services that big box stores simply do not offer.”

So how does one do that? Below we will examine just that by using a simple example – The sandwich board!

Now take the lowly sandwich board. Here is a tool that just decades ago was an esteemed part of any business’s marketing plan. Yet in this era of technology, instant sharing and online commerce, one must ask themselves… does the sandwich board still have a place in our marketing tool box and specifically for use in targeted marketing?

We are here to tell you that yes, yes it does.

In fact simple tools – like the humble sandwich board – can be some of the most effective tools available. What is more, they are ridiculously cost efficient.

“Simple tools are the most practical for small businesses. Small business cannot afford to advertise to EVERYONE via carpet bomb tactics and targeted marketing means nothing if it is off target or if their specific niche consumer base never sees the message. It is crucial for small business owners to understand what works and how to specifically address their target market. How do you do that? by understanding your consumer base.” – Miles Gunnar

Small businesses don’t have the budget to mass-market. Instead they must develop “smart-bomb” (targeted/niche) marketing by creating marketing content that targets the consumers of greatest potential. To do so they must first ascertain WHO those targets are by asking:

  1. WHO are the customers you want to target? (age, demographic, location etc).
  2. WHERE are they that they can be targeted? (where will they see the marketing).
  3. WHEN will they be available to be targeted (when is their attention available).
  4. WHAT is the most effective message to target them with? (what matters to them?).

Essentially you are determining where you need to be, what you need to do and what you need to say to get their attention (a lot like dating actually), then building your marketing content based on that.

“All marketing success is determined by the content and content is determined by knowing the target and specifically addressing them.”

Take this excellent example of a small business using the simplest of marketing tools (a sandwich board) effectively and specifically.

Some of the most effective marketing tools available, are also the simplest.

Some of the most effective marketing tools available, are also the simplest.

For those of you not in the know, this sandwich board has been creatively rendered to portray a slightly modified battle scene from the best-selling and wildly popular Pokemon series of games (which has a massive cult following). Anyone familiar with these games will instantly recognize this image. The sheer popularity of this game within the last 15-20 years of pop-culture makes it easily recognizable with a specific (and wide) demographic.

Let’s examine it’s target:

  1. Because of its “Pokemon” based image, it will likely resonate very positively with a consumer base that spans both genders, most races and predominantly an age group of 8-30 years old.
  2. Being an isolated board on the street outside the shop, it then narrows that targeted audience down to those passing by, which is precisely the consumer base most likely to immediately make a purchase here.

This little sandwich board, with an estimated cost of $100-$150+the artistic labour (likely volunteered by staff), has just addressed all of the necessary target parameters to effectively engage this specific demographic. As outlined above, its content was determined by taking into consideration:

  1. WHO? It knows who it is addressing (specifically those with a knowledge and affection for a widely popular series).
  2. WHERE? On the street outside of the very business it promotes. This means those impacted by this marketing, can instantly follow through with a purchase (as opposed to ad’s found online, on television, in magazine etc).
  3. WHEN? Likely during the lunch or dinner hours, when hungry people are more prone to purchase a taco.
  4. WHAT? The message clearly indicates that taco’s are on the menu, but does so via a creative, fun and insightful means.

This meager sandwich board is going to grab the attention of a specific demographic, one that is in position to immediately make a purchase. Would it be as effective on a website, or social media? YES! However it would then be addressing a slightly different demographic.

Why? is it because sandwich boards are truly that awesome?

No. The sandwich board is no more than the medium, it is carrying the message and in this case the message is what is so effective (Note that the Medium can impact and change the Message and vice versa. The relationship between Medium and Message is a complicated one. For more on that we recommend reading our post here and also familiarizing yourself with Marshall McLuhan and his writings here).

It is enough for now to say that the success of the example above is found in the specific, direct manner and the content being used.

It is true what they say: “Content is King” and it is the specific TARGETED content of your marketing that will make or break your efforts.

This rule applies for advanced marketing tools as well. All marketing success is determined by the content and content is determined by knowing the target and specifically addressing them.

Summary.

Whether you call it “Target”, “Niche” or “Smart-Bomb” Marketing, the philosophy is the same. Build your marketing and advertising content to address a SPECIFIC set of consumers. Don’t try to reach everyone, you will either run out of money, or build flimsy, ineffective marketing. Discern WHO the BEST consumer base is for your business and then apply yourself to getting their attention.

For more on HOW TO DISCERN YOUR TARGET MARKET we recommend reading this post.

Okanagan Small Business Marketing

Transition Marketing Services is a small business marketing firm in the Okanagan. Our passion Small Business Marketing. Educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how we’re doing or if you have any questions.

Brand Expansion, Diversified Marketing & Business Growth

20130509-105832.jpg

Angry Birds Are Everywhere!

It seems like everywhere you look “Angry Birds” is popping up as another product. Two years ago we saw plushies and various children’s toys enter the market, then shortly afterwards gummy candies begin popping up on super market shelves. Now we are finding their own brand of cola cropping up.

This begs the question, is this smart marketing?

One can argue that if they are selling and turning profit, then yes indeed it is. Yet one has to be careful, diversifying and attempting to place your brand into new market regions can be a risky proposition with long-lasting repercussions.

Take these “Angry Birds” for instance. Is the same demographic that the games, plush toys, candies and t-shirts appeal to, the same that would look at drinking this cola?

Probably yes and this could be a safe and smart choice.  However that is not always the case.

If one intends on entering a new market region with their brand, products or services, then they MUST do their research. History is full of examples of brands that tried – and failed – at creating new sources of profit. One needs to be aware of all of the variables that can affect their success and sometimes those variables are just about impossible to prep for.

There is always a certain level of risk when seeking new target markets to aim for. By doing the homework and paying attention, that risk can be greatly reduced. Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, seeking new markets is a key to growth. Searching out people who can benefit from your products & services, or adapting existing products & services to meet a new markets needs always merits investigation.

But remember doing it haphazardly could cost you big.

We will leave you with few examples of diversified marketing failures from the giants who should have known better:

  • Turner Broadcasting. Their attempt at Guerrilla Marketing quickly became a fiasco when their novelty glowing signs were mistaken for terrorist threats.
  • Coca-Cola. Everyone in the industry is familiar with the 1980’s “New Coke” failure.
  • Gap. Had a quick two day stint with a new logo before realizing it just wasn’t cool.
  • Netflix. Tried to hit two rival markets at once… oops!

Okanagan Small Business Marketing

Transition Marketing Services is a small business marketing firm in the Okanagan. Our passion Small Business Marketing. Educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how we’re doing or if you have any questions.

Beer for Nerds – Niche Marketing at its best!

Niche-Marketing.jpg

Some brilliant niche marketing is demonstrated in this image. A beer marketed to “nerds” aka those of us who enjoy the occasional RPG.

Niche (Nerd) Marketing

This particular bottle of beer, known as “Critical Hit” and produced by Ninkasi Brewing in Eugene Oregon, was designed for the “nerd” and in fact is marketed as such!

The label you see is a “stats sheet”, similar to what you would find in an RPG (role playing game) like Dungeons, Final Fantasy or Skyrim.

It gives you all of the “vital stats” of the beverage itself. A wonderfully niche and fun bit of marketing!

Apparently this beverage will up your strength, wisdom and character, but lower your intelligence… well that sounds about right!

With this “liquid courage” let’s hope the drinker gets a +1 to personality and helps you avoid trolls! 😉

Jokes aside one has to admire the ingenuity behind this product. They are locating a very specific demographic and (successfully) appealing to their personality and taste. This company has clearly done their homework and found a target market that is often missed.

Will they make a lot of sales off of this product? That will take time to see, however they have tapped (no pun intended) an otherwise overlooked market by presenting a unique product with distinct appeal.

The original poster of this content, whom we were able to take this shot from, had purchased the beverage for their boyfriend. That alone is enough to indicate that the market exists for this product as a gift.

It may be a small market and the profit margins would need to be looked at, but this is a prime example of Niche Marketing.

Okanagan Small Business Marketing

Determining The Right Goals For Your Marketing & Branding Campaign

When determining your market goals you need to weigh your strengths & weaknesses against what matters most to your customer (their interests). Using a series of Measurements and Delineations, business of all sizes can systematically filter down to the root areas of Strength, Weakness & Customer Interest.

DISCLAIMER: The concept put forward in this infographic can be a complex One. We have not touched on all aspects of this model in detail, but have attempted to paint the concept with a rather broad brush. This particular example shows a delineation of “Brand Strengths” however when using this system you would want to include areas of “Brand Weakness” as well as “Customer Interests” (areas that matter most to the customer).The concept behind it is not new, we have simply adjusted and applied some colour to it. If you have questions or comments please touch base with us!

Once More Into The Fray:

In Marketing, as in Manufacturing, success is marked by results. Results are determined by measurement, and to measure one needs a target. When developing a Marketing campaign/strategy one must know which results matter and set their target appropriately. By doing so one ensures a direction, and measurable results.

Each business sets different goals based on products or services offered, brand strengths, target markets and resources. To achieve the greatest success a company must do the research, discern the priorities and set their targets appropriately.

One business may see value in Niche Marketing to specialized customers via Customer Service Strengths, while another may see more value in Mass Marketing via Product Integrity. The key to effective Marketing Strategies is to know what goal is right for your company.

That is where the use of the “Delineate & Measure” model is so key. It uses very bare bones concepts taken from Six Sigma, Kaizen and Lean Manufacturing and applies them to Marketing & Branding to accurately discern Brand Strengths, Weaknesses and Key Areas of Gain for Marketing Campaigns. These “High Gain” areas are considered “Low Hanging Fruit”.

Low Hanging Fruit? A practical name taken straight from Six Sigma. It refers to the areas of quickest, most immediate gain.

The concept here is to take all of your research, customer feedback, polls, demographics etc. and measure against them in order to delineate or “filter” downwards to discern three things:

  1. Your root strengths and competencies (Your Branding should be based on these).
  2. Your weaknesses and areas for improvement.
  3. The areas that matter most to your customers.

By isolating highly specific areas of strength, weakness and customer interest, one can determine the areas that make the most sense to “exploit” (dirty word) for quickest, largest immediate gains.

In other words once you have these three areas isolated, compare your existing Strengths with Existing Customer Needs to determine which areas you can succeed in most immediately. BAM! Low Hanging Fruit (or areas of most immediate gain).

Your Customers Needs should play the primary role when developing your goals. It is the only way to ensure the best bang for your buck. To further illustrate here is an example of proper prioritizing that I read while doing some introductory Six Sigma Studies:

A local pizza franchise was experiencing terrible sales in their first quarter. As a part of their Marketing Campaign they began to offer a variety of new ingredients: exotic meats, Asian vegetables and gourmet cheeses. They advertised as necessary but sales were still dismal. As it turned out they lost money attempting to keep and circulate all of their new inventory – the result of the new ingredients.

Shortly thereafter, and entirely by chance, they begin discussing their issues with a Six Sigma Brown Belt. He asked them how they had determined their strategy of diversifying their menu, to which they answered that they were keeping with the trends of several of their national competitors. He then asked them what their customer research had indicated, they replied that they had only done some preliminary polls, but had spent most of the budget on the advertising for the new ingredients.

It was recommended that they poll their customer base and then determine how the resulting feedback played into their own root areas of strength and weakness. The feedback indicated that two primary frustrations for customers were late deliveries and burnt bottoms on their crusts.

The took a look at root causes for these concerns and determined that two of their weaknesses as a business, were employee phone training and dated ovens. They implemented training for the staff answering phones, to ensure accurate and detailed directions for their delivery drivers, then – at a fraction of the cost of the previous advertising campaign – they installed new ovens to reduce burnt crusts.

The results were outstanding in the fourth quarter, as word of mouth circulated and happy customers provided repeat business the struggling chain turned themselves around and we soon leading the local market. They established Brand Integrity with far less resources and far more result then their previous Marketing campaigns.

The concept is simple. Use the Delineate & Measure System to find your strengths, find your weaknesses and find what matters to the people purchasing your products and services, then use these areas to determine the “Low Hanging Fruit”.

Targeting the “Low Hanging Fruit” provides the gains that will fuel your climb upwards to the next “High Gain” area. They will also provide the growth required to improve areas of weakness, thereby increasing the number of “High Gain” areas available.

This is one method we use when sitting down with customers to discuss what direction to take their campaign. What is great about it, is it’s flexibility. It can be applied to Marketing Goals regardless of the business or industry. It can also be applied to determine Brand Strengths when developing Company Branding Strategy.

We developed the above infographic as a highly undressed depiction of how to utilize the system. The fields in the infographic were populated with filler info based on different strengths or areas that various companies may possess. Effective use of the system requires far more depth, description and research than is depicted in the infographic. This particular example only shows a delineation of Brand Strengths, when using this system it would include areas of Brand Weakness as well as Customer Needs.

Determining The Right Goals For Your Marketing & Branding Campaign

When determining your market goals you need to weigh your strengths & weaknesses against what matters most to your customer (their interests). Using a series of Measurements and Delineations, business of all sizes can systematically filter down to the root areas of Strength, Weakness & Customer Interest.

DISCLAIMER: The concept put forward in this infographic can be a complex One. We have not touched on all aspects of this model in detail, but have attempted to paint the concept with a rather broad brush. This particular example shows a delineation of “Brand Strengths” however when using this system you would want to include areas of “Brand Weakness” as well as “Customer Interests” (areas that matter most to the customer). The concept behind it is not new, we have simply adjusted and applied some colour to it. If you have questions or comments please touch base with us!

Once More Into The Fray:

In Marketing, as in Manufacturing, success is marked by results. Results are determined by measurement, and to measure one needs a target. When developing a Marketing campaign/strategy one must know which results matter and set their target appropriately. By doing so one ensures a direction, and measurable results.

Each business sets different goals based on products or services offered, brand strengths, target markets and resources. To achieve the greatest success a company must do the research, discern the priorities and set their targets appropriately.

One business may see value in Niche Marketing to specialized customers via Customer Service Strengths, while another may see more value in Mass Marketing via Product Integrity. The key to effective Marketing Strategies is to know what goal is right for your company.

That is where the use of the “Delineate & Measure” model is so key. It uses very bare bones concepts taken from Six Sigma, Kaizen and Lean Manufacturing and applies them to Marketing & Branding to accurately discern Brand Strengths, Weaknesses and Key Areas of Gain for Marketing Campaigns. These “High Gain” areas are considered “Low Hanging Fruit”.

Low Hanging Fruit? A practical name taken straight from Six Sigma. It refers to the areas of quickest, most immediate gain.

The concept here is to take all of your research, customer feedback, polls, demographics etc. and measure against them in order to delineate or “filter” downwards to discern three things:

  1. Your root strengths and competencies (Your Branding should be based on these).
  2. Your weaknesses and areas for improvement.
  3. The areas that matter most to your customers.

By isolating highly specific areas of strength, weakness and customer interest, one can determine the areas that make the most sense to “exploit” (dirty word) for quickest, largest immediate gains.

In other words once you have these three areas isolated, compare your existing Strengths with Existing Customer Needs to determine which areas you can succeed in most immediately. BAM! Low Hanging Fruit (or areas of most immediate gain).

Your Customers Needs should play the primary role when developing your goals. It is the only way to ensure the best bang for your buck. To further illustrate here is an example of proper prioritizing that I read while doing some introductory Six Sigma Studies:

A local pizza franchise was experiencing terrible sales in their first quarter. As a part of their Marketing Campaign they began to offer a variety of new ingredients: exotic meats, Asian vegetables and gourmet cheeses. They advertised as necessary but sales were still dismal. As it turned out they lost money attempting to keep and circulate all of their new inventory – the result of the new ingredients.

Shortly thereafter, and entirely by chance, they begin discussing their issues with a Six Sigma Brown Belt. He asked them how they had determined their strategy of diversifying their menu, to which they answered that they were keeping with the trends of several of their national competitors. He then asked them what their customer research had indicated, they replied that they had only done some preliminary polls, but had spent most of the budget on the advertising for the new ingredients.

It was recommended that they poll their customer base and then determine how the resulting feedback played into their own root areas of strength and weakness. The feedback indicated that two primary frustrations for customers were late deliveries and burnt bottoms on their crusts.

The took a look at root causes for these concerns and determined that two of their weaknesses as a business, were employee phone training and dated ovens. They implemented training for the staff answering phones, to ensure accurate and detailed directions for their delivery drivers, then – at a fraction of the cost of the previous advertising campaign – they installed new ovens to reduce burnt crusts.

The results were outstanding in the fourth quarter, as word of mouth circulated and happy customers provided repeat business the struggling chain turned themselves around and we soon leading the local market. They established Brand Integrity with far less resources and far more result then their previous Marketing campaigns.

The concept is simple. Use the Delineate & Measure System to find your strengths, find your weaknesses and find what matters to the people purchasing your products and services, then use these areas to determine the “Low Hanging Fruit”.

Targeting the “Low Hanging Fruit” provides the gains that will fuel your climb upwards to the next “High Gain” area. They will also provide the growth required to improve areas of weakness, thereby increasing the number of “High Gain” areas available.

This is one method we use when sitting down with customers to discuss what direction to take their campaign. What is great about it, is its flexibility. It can be applied to Marketing Goals regardless of the business or industry. It can also be applied to determine Brand Strengths when developing Company Branding Strategy.

We developed the above infographic as a highly undressed depiction of how to utilize the system. The fields in the infographic were populated with filler info based on different strengths or areas that various companies may possess. Effective use of the system requires far more depth, description and research than is depicted in the infographic. This particular example only shows a delineation of Brand Strengths, when using this system it would include areas of Brand Weakness as well as Customer Needs.