Niche Specialist or Broad Market Leader?

By Chuck Sink | November 15, 2022

“How many pet hotels have you worked with, hmm…?”

The category experience question comes up often in discussions about hiring business services professionals. Whether it be an architect, law firm, CPA or marketing agency, potential clients naturally want to know what you’ve done for others in their industry.

Tempted by Templates

Gaining experience serving one niche of clientele is a proven strategy for many service providers and this can allow them to scale services easier, especially when they can reach a large market base. In essence, these providers learn to apply common industry-wide applications of their specific services and repeat them for other clients in the same industry. Some may see this as a cookie-cutter approach.

The Secret of Brand Buckets

When a “niche specialty” approach is applied in marketing, clients are usually assigned one of about 6 or 7 repeatable branding categories. For example, if the agency niche specialty is banks, the client’s brand promise will always focus on one or more of these general themes:

  • You’re a customer, not a number…
  • Local decision making…
  • Invested in the community…
  • Supporting all your life’s stages…
  • A financial partner you can trust…
  • Big enough to serve, small enough to care…
  • Banking your way, 24/7…

By interviewing bank representatives and customers, the niche agency can quicky figure out which brand bucket that bank belongs in, and a new campaign iteration emerges. Think about it. You’ve probably heard all that stuff in various campaigns from different banks all your life.

Rising from the Pack

Consider the marketing “generalist.” He or she has a track record of doing business in their own specialized field – marketing communications. They have delivered results to diversified clientele in multiple industries by learning about each one and applying a fresh creative approach to it.  This experience provides a wider vision lens on the whole market. We offer broad market knowledge to clients which the niche-focused companies do not.

Goals are seen from different angles and more creative ideas for achieving them can emerge. Coming from a broader business knowledge base, we can often create more distinguishable and attractive selling propositions. We add value with additional networking channels as well.

Would you rather follow a common marketing formula that may be shared with your competitors or your own customized, targeted marketing plan? While the former can show results, what are you really trying to achieve? What exactly do you want to be known for in your industry?

Custom or Commodity?

You already know what works for selling your products and services or you wouldn’t still be in business. By all means, keep following and repeating the sales and marketing formulas that work for you and your worthy competitors.

Now take your marketing a step further to outpace the average company in your field. This requires expanding your market reach with better messaging.

You can breathe new life into your business with a breakout marketing campaign and a commitment to following through.

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