Online Marketing Essentials Selecting Your Market

Submitted by: Tony Marriott

You want to make living on the internet but what market do you want to be in? What area you would like to trade in? How do you decide? This second article in a series of five, looks at your choice of market sector.

If you already have an off-line business, i.e. a shop and want to market your current products then you need to look at markets that are appropriate for your product. You will already, presumably be marketing your products to customers.

Don’t Choose a Product First

If, as is more likely the case, you do not already have a product then you need to focus on your market sector first. DO NOT select a product first.

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Selecting your correct market is crucial. It is very easy to make a mistake here. Consider this the foundations to your house. Get the foundations right and the house will stand.

If you do not yet have a product then you should consider an area of which you have some knowledge. This may be from your day job, hobby or pastime. You will have a much better chance of success if you know your subject and preferably are passionate about your subject. All this will show through to your customers. Do not think that because you are not trading face to face that your customers will not notice if you have no expertise, or enthusiasm, in the things you sell. That does not mean that you have to have intimate knowledge of everything you ever sell in the future but certainly for your first forays into internet marketing you will be far more successful if your knowledge and passion can show through in your marketing literature, web pages, emails, ads and everything else.

Narrowing Your Market Niche

I used the word ‘niche’ in the section title above. This is a well used word amongst online marketers (pronounced ‘neesh’ in the UK and ‘nich’ in the USA) which basically means a sub section of a market sector. This becomes important when you need to attract customers. The internet is so vast, that trying to compete at a market sector level (i.e. cars, golf, money etc.) is impossible for a new starter. The costs of getting any advertising to be seen against the major companies like Ford or Barclays and other huge competitors in the sector would be prohibitive. So don’t even attempt to play in those large markets. We look for a market niche i.e. a more defined area within the market sector.

Just to clarify that when I say ‘advertising’ I am referring to a whole range of ways of getting customers to your products. Some free, some paid and some you would never think of.

Think about the following scenario. ‘Second hand Ford cars in Bristol’ is a considerably smaller market niche than ‘Ford Cars’ but there is still enough customers in this niche to support many traders. This is basically what we do with internet trading. We find the niche we want to be in and we focus our advertising (free and paid) on that narrow field. It is then far more effective as there is less competition and so the overall cost of advertising is much smaller. For example attracting 1% of 2,000 customers is a far better result than 0% of 20,000,000. We can get our advertising to the group of 2000 with very little cost but for same money we could not even get our ads seen in a market of 20 million where we would have to compete against major players.

This is also why we select our market before the product. Once you have a market niche you can then look for appropriate products to sell in that market. Don’t worry there are plenty around.

Try and Think Outside Box

When considering your niche market don’t think that you need to follow a mainstream ideas. Don’t look at what you think is making money today and be driven by that. The truth is that the more obscure, original, unusual etc. the more likely you are to succeed. You will have less competition and that means you will get to a larger share of your customer base. Avoid the ‘making money’ sector. I can speak from experience that is completely dominated by large players and very difficult to make anything out of unless you come up with very new angle. It is the one sector that a lot of new starters pick and then drop out of very soon afterwards and never venture back to the internet again.

About the Author: Tony Marriott has worked for over 33 years at the top of the UK IT industry. He now lives in Greece and is the is the founder of The Online Income Club, created to share FREE quality information, tools and training for anyone trying to earning a living online.


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