Niche marketing is a simple yet effective idea. Done well it can deliver great results and for relatively little cost.
Marketing your business can sometimes feel discouraging. Perhaps you’ve already invested in a visual identity, website and other promotional items, or run or sponsored events, or experimented with advertising and the results have not been what you’d hoped. There may be a good reason for that.
The ‘too general’ trap
Marketing is at its most powerful when it taps into the specific needs, desires and characteristics of a well-defined target audience. But it’s easy to fall into the trap of marketing a general service (financial advice or planning to help you achieve what you want in life) to what is effectively a general audience (anyone locally with investible assets of £x or above, for example).
How niche marketing can help
Niche marketing is about zoning in on a very specific target audience. One you can get to know well, build your service around, target effectively and grow a reputation amongst.
It can make sense commercially, helping you get maximum bang for your marketing budget whether big or small. And there’s a potential compliance angle to it too.
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has produced the Product Intervention and Product Governance Sourcebook (PROD) rules designed to help firms improve product governance and oversight, for example by ensuring products meet the needs of one or more identifiable target markets, are sold through appropriate channels and deliver appropriate outcomes. To that extent they can complement a niche-marketing approach.
Are there any local groups you might naturally target and already have some interactions with? If you are based in a rural area for example, what about farmers and local landowners? How can you tailor your services to meet their specific needs?
If you have moved into the advice or planning business from a previous profession you understand well, and so have a natural affinity with and personal connections to, could you build on this?
Attending relevant events to network, offering free seminars to local branches of relevant societies or even helping to organise community activities can all be good ways of building relationships and gaining trust.
The key is to keep things under regular review, build on what’s working and keep up-to-date with the changing challenges and priorities of your target niche.
Please remember the value of your clients investments and any income from them can go down as well as up and your client may get back less than the amount they originally invested.
Sara Wilson, Head of Platform Proposition, Alliance Trust Savings Limited
Sara joined Alliance Trust Savings in March 2013. Previously, she worked for Standard Life and Xansa, a technology outsourcing company. She received a BA Honours in International Business from the University of Teesside and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing of Napier University, Edinburgh.
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