The future of (digital) marketing – reaching out to distinct market niches

fedrateddepartmentstoresmacys The future of (digital) marketing   reaching out to distinct market niches In 2005 I was fortunate enough to spend a few days in New York on a marketing project. My colleagues and I were tasked with looking at how various companies package their brands and present them to the public. Two of the companies we looked at were Macy’s and Malin + Goetz.

For those of you who might not be familiar with Malin + Goetz they describe themselves as apothecaries who create “formulas without unnecessary detergents, colorants and synthetic fragnances creating the most effective systems to simplify your life”.

I found the difference between the two astounding. Macy’s was simply huge, corporate and trying to please everyone – and doing an extremely poor job in the process – even down to the in-house McDonalds not far from the childrens clothing section.

Malin + Goetz on the other hand were simply inspirational. This was clearly a business created by individuals with a passion for what they do. Individuals with a clear concept of how to package their brand and tap into a niche of highly influential ‘style mavens’. People, who if they took up the brand, would be instrumental in distributing Malin + Goetz products by being ‘brand ambassadors’. These were the kind of people Malin + Goetz did not have to pay, but who achieved their ‘credibility’ and ‘endorsement’ power by being ‘in the know’ about what is ‘hot’ and what is ‘not’. If you remain unconvinced, simply look through the Malin + Goetz press area and I think you will understand what I mean.

It was this trip and my subsequent reading of ‘Chris Anderson’s book The Long Tail’, that really made me think about the power of digital marketing and how it could be leveraged to tap into these pockets of highly disparate, but incredibly powerful, market niches – not so they could be exploited, but serviced by brands with a passion for their products and services.

Chris Anderson clearly articulates the power of marketing to niches, by pointing out that 25% of Apple’s iTunes revenue comes from the incredibly long tail of songs they sell. These are songs that in normal circumstances would not see the light of day in record stores. Too few people in certain geographic locales are interested in these songs, to make it worthwhile for stores to stock them.

By leveraging the power of the internet, Apple has however, been able to turn these occassional and geographically distinct song purchases into a global and economically viable business model.

Having read this post I hope you might think a little about how you market your products and services. Do you cater to distinct niches or try to squeeze everyone into a one size fits all marketing strategy. We are, after all, distinct individuals in a very diverse society and it might make more sense for your plans to reflect this.

From my own perspective, this is an approach I follow on behalf of my clients’. By intimately understanding their businesses and the various segments they service, I can do a better and more profitable job for them.

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