IF YOU’RE STILL OPERATING under the advertising principles that worked 10 years ago, your brand equity and customer base may be slipping away before your eyes. In many ways, the strategies that work today are the polar opposites of tactics that worked even just a decade ago. Under the old rules, we created products and services that appealed to the masses and advertised them in that way, broadcasting to as large an audience as possible with a generic message that appealed to most people. We earned growth by building mass-market awareness around our brands, and then leveraging that consumer familiarity by creating product-line extensions with the same kind of mass appeal. Those days are gone. In today’s reality, the sheer volume of media outlets, along with the Internet, has created a highly fragmented marketplace. Brands can easily identify smaller groups of buyers and focus on those distinct interests and communication preferences. Thanks to small-batch manufacturing, new distribution options and the infinitely more detailed consumer data available to marketers, consumers have come to expect brands to communicate with them in a highly personalized way. You could refuse to adapt to this environment, but consumers are simply tuning out messaging that doesn’t speak to them directly. It’s easy for them to ignore you, after all, especially with the tremendous amount of promotional content they are exposed to every day. The strategy to thrive in this new reality is called narrowcasting, which involves targeting media messages at specific segments defined by shared values, demographic attributes or preferences. What are the new rules of narrowcasting? Rule No. 1: Narrow your target market to a specific niche, instead of trying to be all things to all people. The narrower your focus becomes, the better, provided you don’t limit your pool of buyers so much that you forfeit growth. Rule No. 2: Regularly ask consumers within your niche what they want and expect from your brand, then develop products and services accordingly. Great brands listen to the marketplace and respond quickly. They don’t just decide on their own what’s most important to consumers. This is a more egalitarian approach to research and development. Rule No. 3: Make sure your messaging and the marketing channels you use to promote that messaging are both a perfect fit for your brand’s specific niche. The days of casting a wide advertising net are over. Brands that will excel in this new narrowcasting environment may not appeal to the masses, but they will establish brand loyalty among narrow niches of consumers by creating a highly customized experience that is tailored and relevant. They will position themselves as specialists that can anticipate and nimbly adapt to the needs of their target audience, and they will ultimately be rewarded with greater profitability than ever before.
This blog was written by RedRover’s CEO & Founder, Lori Turner-Wilson. Read more about Lori and her unwavering commitment to guaranteed marketing results in her bio.