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What is a Niche Market?

3 min read

Jul 3, 2014

Targeting the niche market has long been seen as a more effective way to sell your wares and build your business. However, it always fell subject to one massive restriction; cost.

Targeting the niche market has long been seen as a more effective way to sell your wares and build your business. However, it always fell subject to one massive restriction; cost. It was the cost of targeting niche markets that mean this was always the domain of the big businesses with the big budgets that could afford to make their big businesses even bigger.

What is a niche?

According to the Oxford Dictionary a niche is:

“A comfortable or suitable position in life or employment”


“A specialised but profitable segment of the market”. Whichever definition you like, it sounds a pretty good place to be, right?

So what is a niche market?

The term niche comes from the early C17th French term nicher ‘ to make a nest’ and was based on the Latin word nidus for ‘nest’. Perhaps the word niche, when looking at the business world of today, is more relevant than we thought. Maybe, by focusing on our niche audience we are indeed building out own nest which will, in due course, give us the base for continued growth.

The evolution of niche marketing

Thankfully times are changing and the world of niche marketing has been blown right open.

The spread of the internet, Google Ads, search engines and content marketing have levelled the playing field and are allowing small businesses to compete alongside the big business counterparts, and with the launch of Google’s Hummingbird update last year it is quite possible that it now truly is a matter of ‘may the best man win’ when it comes to market share.

Now, the inconceivable has happened – small business can compete like for like with the advertising of the ‘big guns’. It is now possible that a one-man band can run a Google Ads campaign in the same way that a multinational giant can.

Niche marketing is levelling the playing field

Before the internet there was big money in advertising hoardings, TV adverts and magazine advertising. Whilst these mediums still exist they are now in competition with online advertising, a form of advertising that is growing dramatically. Where TV advertising in particular used to be the reigning champion of advertising channels, TV ad spend has been on the decline for the past decade.

This is good news for small businesses because whilst they could never have competed previously for space in Vogue or The Sunday Times’ ‘Driving’ magazine it is now possible for them to see their advert alongside those of the big businesses. With smart marketing it is even feasible that they can achieve a more prominent position on the same page. Even better, they will also be paying the same price as the big businesses and it is now affordable for them to do so.

Big businesses are finding that they suddenly have thousands of small businesses nipping at their heels, trying to get a share of the good stuff. And with a niche market being split between thousands of smaller companies, market share growth is more accessible to companies of all sizes.

Get to know your niche

So to grow you market share companies need to get closer to their niche market to win customers in a way that is smarter than the more traditional approach that relied on just having a presence in the right places. Companies now have to convince their targeted niche that they understand their pains and problems. They need to teach their niche market that they can help make the world a better place. And then they need to deliver.

It is only through a greater understanding of your own niche that it is possible to respond to your target market’s needs in such an in-depth manner. This means that it is pushing up service levels for customers and exposing the poor performers, making way for the small businesses that have laid the ground work in building their nests.

We can help you discover your niche and come up with an integrated digital marketing strategy to expand and grow your audience. Find out more.

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