Thursday, September 21, 2023

To Niche or Not to Niche: The Pitfalls of Over-Specialization

To Niche or Not to Niche: The Pitfalls of Over-Specialization written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with John Janstch

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I decided to go solo and talk about a topic that’s been on my mind for a while: the evolution of niche marketing. In the dynamic world of marketing, strategies are ever-evolving, and staying ahead of the curve is crucial for success.

Join us on this journey as we unravel the future of niche marketing and discover how adapting to the changing tides can lead to greater success for businesses and marketing professionals alike.

Key Takeaway:

In the world of marketing, focusing on a niche can be both advantageous and limiting. While specialization can bring efficiencies and higher value to clients, it also leads to increased competition and the risk of being overshadowed by template-driven solutions. Learn how to transition from being tacticians to orchestrators, and leverage your strategic skills to serving your niche. This approach will provide a unique value proposition for your business in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Topics I cover

  • [00:14] The evolution of niche marketing
  • [01:14] The cons of niche marketing
  • [02:08] Tactics for niche marketing
  • [03:40] Drawbacks of niche marketing
  • [05:22] How to become an orchestrator
  • [07:26] Develop strategic vision
  • [08:38] Learn about our methodology


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John (00:14): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch and no guest today. I'm going to do a solo show, so it's just me. Well, I guess it's just me and you, right? Alright, so here's what I'm going to talk about. The [00:00:30] evolution of niche marketing, or is it niche? I don't know. I mean, it depends on who you're talking to, right? So you've probably heard this countless times. The riches are in the niches. So I think this is rung true. This idea is rung true. I don't know, probably like a decade or so. And I think a lot of businesses have found success narrowing their focus to a specific industry. And I think there are a lot of pros to this. I think some of the pros are undeniable. I mean, if you imagine if you're a [00:01:00] marketing agency and you have developed Google ad campaigns for dentists in Cleveland, I'm pretty sure those same campaigns and keywords and ads even will be successful in, I don't know, Detroit.

(01:14): And so there's a lot of efficiencies, frankly, in this model. And ironic thing is it's a lot cheaper for you once you get all these efficiencies down. You've got content, you've got campaigns, you've got emails all working in various [00:01:30] markets. You don't have to write them over and over again. So it's a lot cheaper for you to provide that service. And the flip side of that is typically people will pay more because, well, my industry, you specialize in working with my industry. So there's a belief at least that you can provide more value for doing that. So I mean, the pros are obvious, I think, for a lot of people that have gone down that road. But I believe that there are some negatives that are evolving that I think present actually a great opportunity. I mean, if you are [00:02:00] niched down in that industry or you're thinking about trying to go after a specific industry, I think the market's flooded.

(02:08): I think that you might have some real competitive challenges, but personally, just as a side note, probably this is probably a topic for another day, but I'll cram it in here. I've always found that the idea of narrowing down to a single industry was a tadd limiting and maybe even potentially boring, at least for me. Again, this is maybe my personal opinion, but to me it's [00:02:30] never really been about an industry, but about an ideal client. So I've always enjoyed a focus on client behavior, their problems, the way they invest in solving those problems. To me, that is a greater driver of fit. So you can actually have a narrow focus. It doesn't have to necessarily be on an industry. It can be on who you like to serve, a type of client you like to serve. I mean, we lead with strategy before tactics.

(02:56): You've certainly heard me say that before, and frankly [00:03:00] is actually limiting by itself because there are a lot of people that just want tactics. They just want this thing they heard about this week from somebody. So there are lots of ways to think about narrowing. It doesn't just have to be on a niche, but let me just say this idea about the niche landscape. I think it's really changing for service providers. Flooded niches. I think competition intensified. I mean, if you go looking right now, if you're thinking to yourself, I'm an S e O firm and I'm going to specialize in working with H V A C contractors, [00:03:30] for example. I hate to tell you, but there are not just one. There are many, many SS e o firms that are really trying to tackle that industry. In a lot of cases. They've really mastered it.

(03:40): I mean, there are SS e o agencies that can get an A to C firm in most cities on page one. Now, I would suggest there's some other limiting factors. I would suggest that in many cases it's very expensive, but what I think a lot of people kind of fell prey to in a way was [00:04:00] the easy button. I think another example I used SS e o, but website designers. I mean, almost every industry has some sort of template driven website builder that can push your site live in 48 hours for $199 a month. So really as a marketing agency particularly, I mean, how do you compete with that? Here are the drawbacks of course, that I think people are starting to realize, and in a way, bear with me, what presents, I think the opportunity, there are horror stories [00:04:30] that certainly maybe you've heard.

(04:32): I've heard maybe if you're a business owner, maybe you've experienced a lot of these niche providers took advantage of the efficiencies, if you will, of serving one market and now all the content that they're producing is just duplicate. The campaigns are identical. There's in many cases a lack of ownership over the content or even the strategies. I can't tell you how many times we've had people come to us and say, I'm not getting any results from my current provider, but I'm locked into [00:05:00] this contract, or I'm locked into their proprietary tools and they're telling me that if I went out, I lose everything. My website, my content, my campaign's all gone. I don't even own any of those. And I understand how people got into this situation. I mean, it was cheap. It was the easy button. They promised the moon. A lot of business owners don't really want to pay attention to marketing.

(05:22): So it was very easy to abdicate, if you will, of their marketing. But I think I'm finally getting to the 0.6 minutes in [00:05:30] herein lies the opportunity. I think that as a marketer, as a consultant, as an agency, as a fractional C M O, as a fractional marketing department, as a fractional marketing director, whatever terminology or positioning you want to use, I think businesses are starting to slowly grasp that marketing is not just a bunch of tactics. And so the opportunity is to become the orchestrator. I [00:06:00] mean, competing on tactics alone is a race to the bottom price wise. And so I think you're kind of dooming your business as a consultant if you are just providing tactics. I'm not saying those tactics aren't needed and that there aren't people that won't pay for them, but it's a race to the bottom price wise. So if you're the orchestrator, if you're the strategic provider, if you're the person that is actually building the plan, then you can use all of those providers.

(06:27): I think businesses need someone who can weave together the [00:06:30] tactical strengths. So if you want to focus on a very specific industry focus as that industry's fractional C M O, then take advantage of the fact that there are great content producers and website producers and SS e o folks and paid ad campaign folks that specialize in that industry. Use 'em, use the fact that they have built a robust platform that you can actually use very cheaply, but then you can pass on your strategy and [00:07:00] be the orchestrator for that industry. And that's again, because so many people have been burned, I think that they're looking for that trusted advisor who can actually make sense of the various parts, the fact that everybody's selling a piece of the pie. So somebody who can come in and say, look, I'm going to run this for you. I'm going to actually direct to people in your organization, be your niche's fractional C M O or marketing director.

(07:26): I mean, start with strategic vision. Assemble the dream [00:07:30] team of experts that are out there and just embrace the pool of skilled tacticians, guide them, leverage their skills for maximum. That's I think, the future. I think that's the opportunity. In fact, it might be the only thing left. I mean, AI is making the tactics even cheaper. So I think being the person that is pulling the strings, whatever metaphors we want to use is really the opportunity. So the riches may indeed be in the niches, but I think it's more about [00:08:00] driving the niche strategy than ever before. So my recommendation, dive deep to the fractional niche marketing, become the trusted orchestrator. Discover one of the most profitable ways to position your business against the price driven tactics providers. So I'm curious your thoughts on niche marketing. I'd love to hear from you as I always do, but I also want to remind you in case you forgot, didn't know first time listener, that [00:08:30] for the last decade or so, I've actually been training marketing agencies on this idea of fractional C M O of being a strategist.

(08:38): We license our methodology and our system for creating strategy first, which we've done now thousands of times. It is fall of 2023 when I'm recording this. We've run about 60 agencies through our licensing program just this year alone. I think more and more people are waking up to this idea that they have to have a differentiator to compete today. And certainly [00:09:00] tactics is a tough way to compete. So if you want to know more about our fractional CMO system that we will gladly license to you, just check out DTM world slash cmo. So it's just DTM world slash cmo, and you can find lots of amazing information about our system and how you might acquire this approach to drive your business, to scale your business. I mean, we've certainly licensed our [00:09:30] system, but we've also been training agencies so long that we also teach on lead generation, lead conversion, fulfillment, bringing in account managers.

(09:39): We have a network of over a hundred agencies that collaborate actively. So tons and tons to really either get you started or to really reposition your business. I would say about a third of the people that join us are just starting a business. They see this as the fast track to really get going. And probably the rest of folks that join us are [00:10:00] often either web designers or somebody that has really realized that selling tactics is tough and they need to sell strategy. And then other businesses that are consultants, they've just been doing it all, making it up with every new client that see this as really the fast track to significantly improve their billings as well as their profits. So any rate, thanks for listening. Take care. We love those reviews. Hopefully we'll see you one of these days out there on the road.

from Duct Tape Marketing