The marketing landscape is packed with fierce competition. There are thousands of agencies promoting similar products – in a similar fashion. What if we told you the solution to standing out wasn’t to go big? A simple way you can demonstrate your value and stand out in the crowd is by homing in on your niche.
What is a "Niche?"
A “niche,” is a specialized segment of the market for a specific kind of product or service. It’s the very thing that sets your services apart. If your bank or credit union does have a certain “specialty”, your niche is identifying the audiences you excel at serving. Niche marketing focuses on targeting a specific segment of the market with tailored strategies and messaging. Here’s a breakdown of how distinguishing yourself in the competitive landscape can benefit your marketing efforts.
Niche Marketing vs Mass Marketing
Marketing to the masses and putting emphasis on your niche both have their strengths and weaknesses. Mass marketing is the more familiar approach. With MM, you’re competing against everyone with the goal being to get your product or service to the entire market to boost sales volumes and ROI.
A great example of a mass-marketing juggernaut is Coca-Cola. There’s no doubt you’ve seen – or been influenced, by a Coke ad you’ve seen in the wild. Whether it be a TV commercial, billboard, or magazine ad, promoted by online influencers, Coke is everywhere. Other brands/retailers known for having mass appeal include:
While mass marketing has the advantage of casting a wide net for broad, general appeal, that doesn’t mean they’re always guaranteed to catch a big fish.
- Tough Competition – Mass marketing means mass competition. Similar products or services, low prices and low loyalty stoke the fires of competition between similar companies.
- Costly – Marketing to a broad audience can also cost more, as you’ll be buying media in a lot of different areas (TV, Web, Radio, etc.) to get your message out there.
- Long-Term Mindshare – It takes a while for brand mindshare to build when you appeal to a broad audience versus a niche market. Audiences will need more time with you before you become their “go-to” service. Even then, their loyalty may only go so far if they find someone with similar products or services at a better price.
Building your consumer base through mass marketing requires you to be consistent, which can be a challenge if you’re looking to get to the top fast. If you want to build strong loyalty and brand equity at a faster rate, then you may benefit from niche marketing.
Television channels are a good example of niche marketing. MTV, Comedy Central, and Adult Swim all compete with programming aimed at the young adult (18-27) demographic. They all use similar marketing techniques with their specific styles to capture their audience’s attention. Some more examples of niche marketing in the financial world are:
- Chickasaw Community Bank – Located in Oklahoma City, OK, CCB is a bank for Native Americans. It’s 100% tribally owned and a provider of home loans for NAs.
- Laurel Road Bank – A niche banking platform for healthcare and business professionals with student loan debt.
- Greenwood Bank – An online banking platform developed for Black and Latino communities.
If you haven’t heard of these brands, chances are you don’t have a demand for that niche – or maybe you’ve just found it. With an emphasis on specializations, niche marketing creates a more intimate form of advertising. Specializing in a select product or service, however, can have its fair share of pros and cons.
It’s often a fear for marketers to define a niche, as they might think narrowing their strategy to appeal to specific audiences might hurt what could be their potential audience reach. It’s quite the opposite, however, as you have the potential to see your clientele bloom:
- Highlight Your Value – When you boast your specialization, you make your service the “go-to” for anyone looking for that specific need. You position yourselves as experts, and your audience wants to put their faith in the experts.
- Less Competition – Competition becomes less congested with niche marketing. You’ll be competing with other marketers in your field, but that number will be significantly smaller and your chance to stand out will be greater.
- Cost Effective – Your marketing spend will go down as your ad placement will become more focused.
- Stronger Relationships – With a niche marketing strategy, hitting your customers on a smaller scale will also create a stronger sense of brand loyalty. They’ll feel like you’re talking to them.
While we’ve discussed how limiting your marketing scope to your niche has its advantages, there’s no denying that, in certain instances, it can have its drawbacks:
- Limited Growth Potential – Niche marketing can call for limited growth. You won’t appeal to the broader audience, and you risk alienating those who don’t require your specialty.
- Other Experts (Competition) – While your competition is smaller, you’re now mainly competing with other marketers who also “specialize” in your field – which means your team has to find your niche within this niche.
- Limited Marketing – Limited scope means you’ll have to limit areas of your marketing. Your strategy will have to meet your demographic where they’re at and that might be a challenge depending on where those areas are.
- Sparce Growth Opportunities – Marketing to a wide audience only allows for that audience net to grow wider. For a niche-sized net, you’ll need to wait for others who require that niche to hop in so you can expand.
Now, that’s not to say that, if you take the niche marketing approach, you will “lose” anything. In fact, these disadvantages can be offset by leveraging mass marketing with a niche audience.
Find Your Niche
When used correctly, niche marketing can be a powerful tool in the financial industry. No one builds customer relationships quite like businesses that capitalize on their niche. When you do the same, you have the benefit of refining your specialty, having less competition, cutting costs by focusing your media and building some of the most loyal relationships with your customers. Look inside and you’ll be sure to stand out.
Trouble identifying your niche? Thankfully, that’s our specialty. The Epic Vault is made up of financial marketing experts looking to elevate and push your brand to be its best and boldest. That all starts from within. Ready to level up? Then speak with our brand ambassador Nikki Doherty today.