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Is it Possible to Niche Market and Mass Market at the Same Time?

How can you broadly target narrow markets? Is it even possible?

A recent article in Fast Company discussed Seth McFarlane, creator of the TV series, Family Guy and his ability to broadly target narrower markets. He was so successful at this, that he is currently consulting Google on new means of internet marketing.

This led me to wonder just if and how it is possible to accomplish these two seemingly opposing techniques at the same time. Here are some ideas as to how this may work.

Offend some while gaining loyalty with the rest

This was the tactic that McFarlane used, as discussed in the article. Through Family Guy’s dark comedy, some are offended and completely turned off by the show, while others are drawn even more to the series.

Those that enjoy this type of comedy are not necessarily a narrow demographic, but they are loyal to the series as if they were targeted as a niche. Why? My guess is that there is such a stark difference in the public’s perception of the show. Many hate it and many love it. Because of this strong contrast of opinion, those that love the show feel as if they are more personally targeted.

Offending is not a new marketing technique. If you read any blogs on copywriting, or even blog writing you will see a mention of the merits of writing something that is controversial that may turn some people off. The effect from this is almost the same as that of what McFarlane has experienced.

Niche market to multiple niches

You can have a great product with a multitude of benefits. However, not all benefits are relevant to the niche you are targeting.

For example, say you are marketing a facial exfoliator. Facial exfoliators can help to clear acne and also reduce wrinkle development. Clearing acne may be a benefit that would attract teenage girls, but they would most likely not care as much about wrinkle development. However, women in their late 30s and older, would probably have no concern with acne, but would want to reduce wrinkle development.

Including both benefits in all of your ad copy is not the answer. What you could do is either:

  • Create different ad copy for each niche
  • Create different branding and market these separate brands to each niche

This way, both niches are being marketed too and feel as if they can more personally identify with the benefits of the product.

Pretend to niche

This is just speculation, but perhaps it may be worthwhile to try pretending to niche. Many demographics have similar needs, so identifying these needs in your message may cause multiple niches to feel as if they personally identify with the product or service you are offering.

How would this actually work? Say the problem your message is addressing is: “Short on cash?”. This could simultaneously target new entrepreneurs, those undergoing housing foreclosure amongst many, many others.

Again, this idea is just speculation and the above example isn’t the best one to use, but if implemented correctly, this technique may be worthwhile to try out.

Target a broad market but understand the demographic very well

Niching is targeting a narrow and specific market and identifying their needs precisely. However, if you do this with a broader market with a more flexible product, perhaps you can reach some success this way.

If the broader market feels as if they are understood well enough, they may identify with your message as well, as if their more specific characteristics were targeted.

Do none of the above, but target different niches with different products

Try creating products that are either tweaked or completely different that will each cater to specific niches. This way, you are able to target a variety of different specific demographics while still maintaining that more personal connection with individual niches.

Has anyone tried any of these ideas? Were you successful? Does anyone have any other ideas with how you can mass market and niche down at the same time?

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