If you’re a successful business, there’s at least one avenue where you already excel at reaching your target market. Whether it’s online, at trade shows, or through word-of-mouth referrals, you have a niche – and it’s working for you.
But no matter how strongly you’re performing within your niche, at a certain point, that niche will inevitably become saturated. You’ll already have claimed the share of your target market that you’re able to reach through this channel, and there simply won’t be any more untapped leads left to capture.
At that point, you may feel like you’re stuck at a Crossroads.
If you want to continue growing your business by expanding your pool of qualified leads, you’ll need to find another niche that’s relatively similar to yours – an alternate route to meeting your target market where they’re at.
Venturing beyond your safe, reliable niches to find your customers in less familiar territory can feel risky. But don’t let that intimidate you – so long as you’ve thought things through and created a solid, data-backed strategy, taking these calculated risks is the only way to sustain your business’ growth.
But how do you find the calculated risks that’ll move your marketing forward?
Meet your target market where they are
The key to identifying untapped ways to reach untapped segments of your target market is to look for niches that look similar to the ones you’re successful in.
Whether your business is a small childcare service targeting local families or a Fortune 500 company targeting high-powered executives, you’ll have more success reaching them when you meet them in the spaces – whether online or physical – where they already spend their time.
For example, imagine you own a childcare business. Your target market is families in your area, and you’ve had lots of success acquiring customers through local SEO, word-of-mouth referrals, and listings in local directories.
Assuming there are more families in need of childcare in your area, your job is to meet them where they are and get involved in a way they’ll value and take notice of. So if families in your target market are excited about the local Little League program, can you provide childcare for younger siblings at the ballpark, allowing parents to focus on their older child’s big game?
Whether your business is a small childcare service targeting local families or a Fortune 500 company targeting high-powered executives, you’ll have more success reaching your customers when you meet them in the spaces – whether online or physical – where they already spend their time. From there, your goal is to show them what you do best by finding thoughtful ways to add value to their experience in a way that they’ll remember.
Challenge your assumptions
Let’s say you’re a niche service business. You find the vast majority of your clients through referrals, and have virtually never gotten a lead through your website. You might assume digital marketing would never work for you – but what does the data say? Have you actually done the keyword research and determined that nobody is searching for your offering online?
What if people are searching for it, but they’re calling it something different? What if they are searching for it, but your site isn’t showing up in the results because you haven’t invested in solid SEO? What if they are searching for it, but they’re clicking on your competitor’s paid ad because it’s the first result on Google?
Don’t make the mistake of writing an idea off just because you haven’t tried it yet. Sometimes, the assumptions you’ve made about marketing your business will prove correct – but not always.
Embrace risk as part of your marketing strategy
So you’ve identified a thoughtful way to meet new customers where they are. You’ve done the research, and it seems like a good opportunity. But you’re still feeling wary – what if it doesn’t work? What if something else is better?
This hesitation is natural, but it’s not doing you any favors. Taking calculated risks is key to successful marketing. You can discuss potential outcomes or stare at the data forever, but you’ll never predict whether an idea will work with 100% certainty.
So go ahead, take a risk on a marketing idea that scares you. You’ll either be successful and communicate your brand message to an untapped segment of your target market, or you’ll learn valuable lessons that will inform your next calculated risk.