There’s a trend in marketing that has taken off in the last few years. But unlike most trends that come and go without importance, this one has only grown in necessity!
I know, you’re thinking “But I want people to buy my product/service! Why would I exclude people from my marketing??”
Once Upon A Time...
Marketing from the 1920s through the 70s was all about reaching as much of the market as possible. There was so little competition in each industry that all you had to do was show people you were in that industry and they’d come to your business.
Marketing doesn’t work like that anymore.
Here’s 4 Reasons Why Exclusion is the Marketing Trend that Matters:
#1: The Pond Analogy
Small, startup businesses trying to market to all the same people as international chains are marketing to, is like a baby fish trying to live in the same gigantic pond as a 20 year old catfish. You can’t become a bigger fish by just jumping straight into the bigger pond. You have to slowly work your way there as you grow.
I see this principle at work all the time at the barns where I visit my horse. There’s a pond that has a big stream flowing into it. The pond obviously has all the large fish, but along the stream there are these little eddies that feed into the stream. The eddies are pretty calm, and that’s where you find the tiny baby fish hanging out. As they grow, they move along the eddies, from one to another, until they’re big enough to live in the pond (I. E., big enough to find enough resources to live and avoid immediately getting eaten by bigger fish).
If the baby fish jumped straight from the tiny eddie into the giant pond, they would most likely get eaten up pretty quickly and wouldn’t be able to compete with the bigger fish.
Business owners need to approach marketing the same way. In other words, business owners need to niche down.
The challenge is…
So many small business owners’ immediate response to being told to niche down is “We can’t niche down because we serve everybody!” The issue with this mindset is that it is costing you money. And it prevents you from getting to the place where you’re working with the people you actually want to serve. You must determine who it is you want to serve. Otherwise you’ll be chasing nutrients in a huge pond and unable to keep up with the big fish.
So take the first step toward niching down/exclusion and get clarity on who you want to work with.
Even if it starts as just geographical clarity: going from saying that you serve all plumbers in the USA to saying that you serve all plumbers in the Central Texas area. That’s still a gigantic area, so you’ll have to continue to narrow it down and niche down and exclude people from your marketing plan. To relate it back to the pond analogy, you’re swimming away from the gigantic pond until you reach the size eddie that is right for you at this time.
A Quick Caveat:
This doesn’t mean you can’t expand later on in your business! What it does mean is that you need to have your marketing fit your current company size.
#2: Audience Attention Shrinks
When your marketing demographic is smaller, it’s easier to get people’s attention.
The more local and direct you are with your marketing, the more likely people are to notice you.
Think about it this way…
There are a thousand national brands clamoring for people’s attention, and a thousand companies in your industry that are out there “for everyone.” They’re all saying “We want to work with everyone for any reason at all!” It’s overwhelming, and often gets ignored.