Riches in Niches

I am always amazed at the remarkable opportunities there are to identify specific target markets, to tailor goods, services, offers, and messages to them, and to reach them through publications they read with intense interest.

I’m also amazed that more marketers don’t take advantage of them.

For example, there are magazines for every conceivable kind of pet owner, including some you may not have known existed (like Miniature Donkey Talk for, you guessed it, owners of miniature donkeys). And every month, one of my former clients advertises a home-study course on careers in animal care in virtually all of them.

Art Talk and Southwest Art are two regional magazines for art gallery patrons, art buyers, and investors. Presumably, a pretty affluent crowd. But I can’t recall seeing any financial ads in these publications. Wonder why?

Or consider Fate, Magical Blend, and Shaman’s Drum. (Fate magazine has been a “secret” of a lot of information marketers.)

Car Stereo Review’s Mobile Entertainment (all about and only about mobile music systems, car stereos, MP3s, etc.)… Airline Pilot (“The Magazine of Professional Flight Deck Crews”)… Woman Pilot (for women who are private pilots – and who, I’d guess are affluent, independent thinkers, and probably entrepreneurial)… Perdido: Leadership with a Conscience (a magazine for metaphysical-leaning executives).

There are quite a few ethnic magazines in many different categories (including Family Digest, “the Black Mom’s Best Friend”). For years, I worked with a business-opportunity advertiser who used them all. Same ad. Just switched the testimonials (with photos) to match the ethnicity and gender of the publication’s audience.

There are magazines for many different health conditions, including Arthritis TodayHepatitis MagazineIn Touch (cancer-treatment).

There’s Reunions Magazine (for people organizing family reunions – a good place for a company that makes custom T-shirts, polo shirts, etc. to advertise)… Good Old Days (“America’s premier nostalgia magazine”)… and Lakeside Celebrating Life on the Water (one of a number of magazines for people who have vacation homes).

And there’s Brew Your Own (for home beer makers)… Classic Toy Trains (for people who spend an amazing amount of dough on toy trains)… Crochet World MagazineDollhouse Miniatures Magazine. (Collectors and hobbyists are rabid, passionate, and irrational. They spend.)

Sadly, a lot of ETR readers have already bailed out of this message, deciding it doesn’t apply to them. “What does this have to do with me? I own a restaurant, auto body shop, sell real estate, etc.” Well, here are four reasons this information is important to nearly all marketers:

1. As I often point out, every potential customer belongs to at least one business, professional, occupational, or vocational niche AND has at least one interest on the side. And people pay infinitely more attention to what comes to them through those side windows than through their front doors.

2. The “small” magazines often have ridiculously cheap advertising rates. They cater to a small crowd with a narrow interest. They don’t attract any big, dumb, image advertisers, and that forces them to keep their rates low. These magazines are analogous to what small towns were for Wal-Mart and what college-campus-adjacent locations were for Domino’s Pizza.

3. Most magazines rent their subscriber lists. And even local marketers can benefit from the work they do by rounding up and identifying people with very, very, very specific interests.

Right now, we have one Inner Circle member who has determined that his odds of closing a sale go up exponentially if the prospect plays golf twice a week AND has a swimming pool in his backyard. Finding the frequent golfers is easy. It’s proving more difficult to get lists of pool owners. Maybe he’ll make this work… or maybe he won’t. But at least he KNOWS what he’s looking for. Most marketers don’t.

4. Everybody – including you – stubbornly, incorrectly, insists and devoutly believes that they’re different. The miniature donkey owner, for example, thinks his critter has nothing at all in common with a full-size donkey. I laugh every time I open up Hoof Beats (the magazine for those of us in harness racing) and see a stupid company’s big, full-color ad for a feed or vitamin or gadget with a picture of a thoroughbred horse in the ad.

The above-mentioned ad is DOA. 90 percent of harness horse people not only think their horses have nothing in common with other breeds, they detest and despise people involved with thoroughbreds. And vice versa.

So it is with every niche, every subculture. That’s why there’s a magazine JUST for Cessna owners, JUST for Honda Acura owners – and an ad with a testimonial from a Beechcraft owner or a Toyota owner is useless there.

Of course, all this is useless to you if you insist on being a “generalist” and making one big, sloppy offer to anybody and everybody. Or if you don’t bother to learn the minute details about your best customers so you can hunt for their clones in the subscriber lists of special-interest magazines.

To find low-cost publications to advertise in, go to the library or your nearest Barnes & Noble and check out the special-interest magazines. You’re looking for two possibilities: (1) Magazines that might appeal to the kind of people you sell to, and (2) magazines with readers that you might be able to “tweak” your product/service for. For example, if you own a resort, maybe you could put together a “family reunion” package and advertise it in Reunions Magazine.

It’s astounding to me what people don’t know, never uncover, never investigate. People look but do not see. You have to hunt for opportunity. It doesn’t come knocking at your door. And one of the opportunities you should hunt for most aggressively is new markets.

[Ed. Note: Dan Kennedy, aka “The Millionaire Maker,” is known worldwide as a leading consultant in direct marketing, copywriting, Internet strategies, and profit improvement systems. Find out more and get Dan’s Most Incredible FREE Gift Ever – over $613.91 of pure money-making information, including his NEW series of Glazer-Kennedy FREE webinars – here.

And discover more easy-to-implement marketing strategies and expert advice on how to apply them to your own Internet business here.]

Click to comment on this article.