Finding Your Micro Market

Sooner or later, it happens to nearly everyone. You’re more than excited about promoting your new service or product… you roll out the marketing campaign and…. it falls flat.  Or maybe your still using sales materials that have previously worked well for years, then suddenly…nothing.  Business comes to a stand still.

This isn’t atypical in today’s changing market.  Previously mass markets have imploded releasing a cloud of micro-markets that have evolved.  Consider the newspaper or the music industry evolutions in just the past decade.  Mass markets are quickly becoming micro-markets, and the days of selling “one size fits all” for either services or products are gone.

Micro markets are, by their very nature, specialized.  A micro brewery obviously isn’t targeting a mass market – they’re looking specifically for beer aficionados and connoisseurs. These people would rather savor a bottle of a special brew than a six-pack of Budweiser.   Conversely, mass markets are composed of a large group of people with a specific need or want – and within them may reside countless micro-markets as of yet untouched.  Consider how a newspaper targets a mass market, while a blog make be the ideal channel for a micro-market.

No matter how big or small your brand, I always suggest focusing on finding a “market within your market” – your target micro-market.

Here are four fairly simple steps you can take immediately to help reveal an untapped micro-market existing within the larger market.

  1. Adjust your message. You don’t necessarily have to start over completely…simply adjust it. It may be as simple as saying the same thing with slightly different words as your audience may have grown tired of the “same old headline.”   Ad messaging that worked perfectly in the past simply do not have the same attraction power that they did 5 or 10 years ago.
  2. Reconnect with “your people.”  Are you sure you’re really still in touch with your market?  Take the time and start talking to people again. Ask questions about your services and products… and listen intently to their feedback. Getting back in touch, if you haven’t for some time, will guide you to a new relationship based on communication, and not broadcasting.
  3. Provide solutions the market can afford.  Simply put – don’t be greedy.  Greed can go well beyond valid price-points. Obviously, you still have to make enough of a profit to warrant staying in business at the end of the day – and your price may be greatly affected by that basic overhead. Those realities aside, carefully reconsider your pricing structure, and how your customers feel about it in general.
  4. Adjust your short and long-term focus.  The unfortunate fact is, many industries are dying and not coming back.  When the writing’s clearly on the wall, why go down with the ship? There comes a time when a new plan is exactly what you need.  Over the years, the US Military learned from experience – an entrance strategy is extremely important but at the end of the day, the exit strategy is just as important.

Realistically addressing these four areas of your business up front will help you from making emotional decisions along the way. It should also help you from giving up to soon or staying too long. During this process, you will be able to adjust to the changes in your market as well as discovering new micro-markets in your industry along the way.

How have you adjusted your marketing mix in today’s micro-market driven economy?

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