Finely targeting your marketing efforts is an effective way to start digging out of last year’s financial woes. This article offers tips to help you on your way.
By Mark Coudray
Changes in the economy, technology, and markets are putting extreme pressure on companies that conduct their marketing in a business-as-usual way. The scramble to find new business, new markets, and new customers in an environment hostile to all three efforts means nothing is business as usual anymore.
It’s no secret that all segments of the graphic-arts industry are now fiercely competitive. We’ve moved away from simply converting substrate with ink and an image. We can no longer be focused on products or processes if we want to bring real value to the market. We need to solve bigger problems for our clients. To do this, we need to open our tool bags and get down to business within our own targeted markets.
Are you one of those printers who’s still in denial over the impact of digital, or maybe you’re whining about losing business to low-cost competitors. The time to wake up to the situation is long gone. Sooner or later every serious screen printer faced with these issues will begin to search for a niche mar-ket where they can differentiate themselves and increase their profit potential.
In December 2006, I wrote an article called “Finding, Developing, and Prospering from Niche Markets.” In light of the current conditions, I’d like to expand on that article in an effort to stimulate our own recovery efforts. The markets are showing some signs of life, but there’s so much more we can all do in a positive way.
Finding your niche
The process of finding niche markets is really quite deliberate and direct. There’s no real mystery to it. It requires some research, asking the right questions, and knowing where to go to get the information you need. You usually start close to home—take your own personal special interests. These are things you enjoy doing, often hobby or recreational in nature. A number of very important aspects become crystal clear when you think in these terms. The process is outlined clearly in the previous article. In this next step, I’d like to introduce concrete ways you can expand and develop maximum results from your specialized areas. The three core ways to grow any business are:
1. Increase the size of your customer base by adding more customers.
2. Increase the average sale amount.
3. Increase purchases frequency.
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