The one question I am very often asked is: “what are the differences between a target audience and a niche?” Most business owners interchange these terms not realizing that they have very different meanings.
Your target market is your typical customer who you should be directing your marketing efforts towards. When looking at target marketing you take into consideration, things like sex, age range, marital status, education, race, profession, income, where they live and whether they rent or buy.
On the other hand, a niche market is even narrower and very specific. It is that group of customers that you build your business, services, products or blog around. Usually you know where to find them.
I know that both sound very similar but there are some main differences that you must be aware of in order to master Growth, achieve Success and live in strategic Acceleration™ based on your niche.
One of the primary differences is that in most cases when you are talking about a target audience you already have a business started or are planning on starting one soon. You have or are currently defining your ‘ideal customer’ for your business and are determining how to target them.
With niche marketing you are purposely building a business (or website) to fit into a very specific niche. If you select your niche well, it will be something where there is a definite market, or it could be relatively undiscovered or has been overlooked by other businesses.
So in short, with a target audience the business comes first and then the targeting while with niche marketing you build a business around a profitable niche you plan to market to.
In all cases, you should define your target audience before starting a business in order to see if there is enough of an audience to require a need for your business venture.
Another way to differentiate between the two is how much they narrow the market. An example of finding your target audience would mean narrowing down who your typical customer is to something like “married females, over age 35, with a college education”.
A niche market goes beyond simply targeting someone by age or income; it breaks the market into smaller segments, identifying a group of people by very specific identifying characteristics.
Using the same example as above you would define this customer even more by saying that your niche market is ”married female, over age 35, stay-at-home Mom, with a college education, runs a small business from home and want to have tremendous business grow over the next two years”.
Lets put it anther way, your target market is the group of people you serve and your niche is the service you specialize in offering to your target market.
Niche marketing is really about ‘energy’. Especially as a small business owner you can’t be everything to all people, and there are only 24 hours in the day. Niche marketing will help you to focus on two things:
- Where and with whom do you want to spend your energy?
- Where and from whom do you get your energy?
Have you determined: what is the difference between a target audience and a niche for your particular business?
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