Stronger SWOT Analysis and Marketing 4 P’s (Part 2) by Barry Welford
The Market Niche
Given this chaotic world, it is important to apply all your energies effectively to have any chance at all of communicating with your target customers. If you try to sell to everyone, then you will probably end up selling to no one. It is much better to focus on a particular market niche, which is a group of customers who will be the target of your marketing efforts. To really sharpen your marketing efforts, a tight definition of this niche of customers is essential. In many business-to-business sales, it may be possible to create a database of the decision-makers in the client companies. This database is then your niche. This is the only target you will focus on.
This does not rule out that others not in the niche you have selected may become aware of your product/service and may wish to buy. Such fortuitous sales are most welcome but should not divert the aim of your marketing efforts away from your niche market.
There are two checks you should make on your selected market niche.
A reasonable target is that EVERYONE in your niche, without exception, should know about your product/service and have a favourable view of it in say 3 years. Your actions and communication efforts should be geared to making this happen. Is this possible? Or is your niche too large so that you will be trying to hit too many people with less than full effectiveness.
The second check is that this niche should be big enough.
That means that, with the rate at which niche prospects become aware of your product/service and then buy, the sales growth must produce satisfactory sales revenues to achieve the company goals. A “what-if” analysis done on possible sales scenarios will rapidly confirm whether the chosen niche can fulfill the company’s goals.
Once the niche has been selected, the typical prospect in the niche becomes a key in defining the whole marketing strategy.
What does that typical prospect really want and how can we make sure that he or she develops the confidence and trust in our company so that they buy from us? We should stand in the shoes of that typical prospect and see what our company and the product/service we offer looks like through their eyes. That niche prospect can become a mirror in which we check out whether what we communicate and what we offer will make the sale happen.
The typical steps in a Marketing Plan can be developed with that niche prospect in mind. If we do a SWOT Analysis, then this must focus on this market niche. If we use the Marketing 4 P’s then each can be considered with respect to that typical niche prospect.
SWOT Analysis and the Competition
In our SWOT Analysis, the analysis of the Strengths and Weaknesses of the competition versus our own company strengths is only considered relative to the needs of the target prospects in our market niche. Indeed a better way of doing the SWOT Analysis is to imagine that a typical potential customer is trying to evaluate which of the potential suppliers is likely to be the best supplier. So it is important to try to get into the shoes of that prospect and be very objective in identifying the strengths and weaknesses. Equally the Opportunities and Threats in the SWOT analysis should be considered as they apply to the Market Niche. Sometimes a market niche is not affected or is less affected by some trends that may be having a major impact on the big players in the industry.
About the Author
Barry Welford of SMM Internet Marketing Consultants helps you find ways to improve your company’s marketing and selling effectiveness.
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