Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Handling Niche-Market Exhaustion & Frustration

What do you do if you feel frustrated with either being part of someone’s niche market or trying to create your own niche market? It seems every person and product on the planet is trying to either gain a new niche, carve out a smaller niche for their own existence or just stick you into a niche. And yes, I agree, it can be really exhausting.

Start here when you go into negative experience or reaction on Niche Marketing: look to where this idea came from. The concept of niching as a marketing tactic that was taught and spread around the planet is about 60 years old. You won’t find a solitary event that indicates the advent of Niche Marketing. And in fact, when you really look into, people were practicing this kind of business approach for perhaps 100 years before that. What changed 60 years ago is that the approach of Niche Marketing became a business methodology that became accepted, expected, and taught as marketing success.

So it’s only reasonable that this methodology is getting stale. Nikoli Kondratiev discovered most economic waves have approximately a 60 year lifecyle (with fluxations of a bit longer or shorter). His calculations are incredibly accurate—even though other theorists are exactly sure why and continue studying this affect. On many levels, Niche Marketing is due for a change. So if you feel tired of being niched or working on your niche you’re in good company!

Once you understand that this type of thing works in waves, the next step is being aware of where the term even came from. It really comes from biological and ecological studies. The basic idea refers to the ability of living things to adapt in such a way that they optimize their usage of natural resources.

If you look at the research of how a biosphere interacts, you’d discover niching is different species tapping resources at different levels: right at ground level, say a foot off the ground, and others at even more different levels. In this way, there is greater distribution of both the resources and the species.

This is the problem and the solution. If an environmental shift of even small proportions occurs, any hyper-adaptations literally become the quality that drives a species to extinction. If you saw the movie “March of the Penguins” you saw this reality played out on the screen. Regardless of who or what creates that biosphere change (I do not endorse humanity wasting resources and continuing to abuse our own planet), a highly-specialized organism is at risk during changeable environments.

Yes, your business is an organism and can be viewed as its own entity—even if you have not incorporated to attain the defined legal status of entity. You don’t have to look very far in the business world to see this problem playing out around you. Right now you’re seeing the ongoing hyper-segmentation of marketing simultaneous with the failure of the long-standing structures created by this process.

How do you survive, or even thrive in the confusion? The most important point is one you’ve already heard from me. Be clear about your heart: why do you what you do? What is your passion? Check each and every activity in your day against this benchmark.

Does this specific action move me towards or away from increasing my passion? Even if you have things on your schedule that are not 100% about your passion and purpose, how can you be with each thing so that you do align it with some aspect of your divine drive? You can learn from just about anyone and nearly anywhere…how can this next experience be of benefit to your calling?

The other way to thrive in this arena is noticing when niching works and when it doesn’t. For example, you receive a marketing communication and you are part of the niche: do you like how it feels or not? What can you learn about how this person communicates niche?

Perhaps even more valuable in this shifting economy, when you experience niche marketing and you don’t like it—why not? What do you wish was different about this communication or experience? How can you adjust your communication to reflect what you learned?

With all the change-waves working in the world how we market is die for an upgrade. I’ll keep you posted as those changes make their appearance known! And get started now learning how to thrive during the change-cycles.

Wishing you Success & Heart,

Heidi Sue

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