Here’s How Niche Marketing is Done Properly by Lead Optimize
Lead Optimize is an outsourced marketing company in Houston, TX that puts special emphasis on getting their clients into high-margin, high-growth niches.
Texas (PRUnderground) December 31st, 2014
When you first glance around the offices of Lead Optimize, an “outsourced marketing department” in Houston, TX, they look just like any other small marketing company. They use an “open office” design so there are a few small lounge chairs with ottomans, a standup desk, a laptop desk, and a few computer desks. Next to the mini-fridge in the corner, a wooden IKEA shelf has everything from books about design and copywriting to miscellaneous tools and coffee supplies on it. There are whiteboards covered in random brainstorms of the past and drawings of rough layouts of websites. The walls are spotted with various clients’ magazine ads taped or pinned to the whiteboards and walls.
The people are casually dressed – but certainly presentable – with their eyes beaming into computer screens between brief discussions about one project or another.
However, when you look more closely at the scribbles on the whiteboards and listen more carefully to those brief discussions, you start to see the word “niche” a lot and hear them talking about what seem to be sub-markets of sub-markets, even referring to a single person as if he represents the entire market. These people love niches.
A Niche in Niches
“Niches are our niche.” Says Chris Denny, Founder of Lead Optimize. He continues, “When I started the company, I didn’t necessarily realize my marketing philosophy revolved around reaching niche markets but then we pinpointed what we were doing best and went with it. We were always drilling down to find the best prospects to deliver our customers’ messages to. Niches deliver better margins and better growth opportunities and we’re really good at digging into them and making our clients visible.”
Breaking Down Markets into Niches
To discuss and break markets into niches for their clients, the staff at Lead Optimize uses an illustration Chris drew on one of the white boards a while back. It’s purple. In fact, the version they use on print outs and even on their website is just a picture taken of that initial drawing. When Chris was asked why they never polished it up, he says, “Well, it works as it is and I like that it reminds everyone you can work this stuff out on a whiteboard or scratch paper. Your niches and sub-niches are reachable.”
The chart looks like a cake which represents a company’s entire market – everyone they would ever sell to – and it is “sliced” into pieces that represent the various niches they serve. Coming down from those slices are what look like straws which got poked up into the bottom of the cake. Those straws have what look like peas inside them which represent leads from each niche – targeted leads. Those “peas” drop into various buckets where niche-oriented sales activities and lead nurturing take place.
Companies Usually Do Niche Marketing Wrong
Niche marketing is something of a cliché these days. Everyone wants to be in a niche because everyone knows they offer stronger margins and more loyal customers. Most people do it wrong, though, and the problem, according to Chris, is that most companies don’t properly dedicate their marketing to a niche — or group of niches – at the individual ad level. He explains, “Each marketing piece, whether it’s a print ad, mail piece, or landing page, should speak only to the niche you are selling to but business owners keep thinking they can sell to multiple niches at once. That’s just not how it works.”
Chris describes the cause of the problem as what he calls “message creep” which stems from having limited resources. For instance, say a business owner has products A and B and each goes to unique markets with unique needs – markets A and B, respectively. The business owner decides to use his remaining marketing budget to send postcards for product A to market A because it has the potential for higher margins. However, he would still like to sell product B but doesn’t have any money left in the budget for it. At this point, his desire to sell product B overwhelms his initial sensible decision to focus his budget on product A (and market A) so he puts text and pictures about product B into the ad going to market A. The result is that market A receives a confusing ad which has less information about the only thing they care about – product A. So, they don’t buy anything, the marketing budget is wasted, and sales stay low. He should have focused 100% on telling market A how product A would solve their problems.
Objectivity is Important for Niche Marketing
Lead Optimize can easily be objective about budget decisions and how ads get used for two main reasons. First, other than enjoying successful campaigns, they are not emotionally invested in the products themselves. Second, they make their decisions based on goals, metrics, and the budget. If “product A” will bring in the most money and that is what they have the budget to promote, that is what gets promoted.
Once a market (or markets) is selected for the product that needs to be sold, the folks at Lead Optimize develop short and long-term strategies for lead generation, branding, and lead nurturing. Those strategies depend on factors such as how well the product is known to the market, whether the company is known within the market, and whether prospective clients will be actively seeking the product or need to be approached. From that point, the Lead Optimize system takes effect.
Lead Optimize’s Niche
Lead Optimize’s primary niche is marketing for manufacturers but they have clients in many industries including construction, medical, automotive, 3D printing, office supplies, professional services, and more. They focus primarily on manufacturers because, not only are they good at marketing their existing products into markets but, they can also help manufacturers find completely new niches and propduct lines altogher so the value they can deliver gets compounded expontentially.
They only select clients for whom they are certain they can deliver results. Chris says they turn down about one in four prospects that come to them. It makes sense that a company so focused on niches would be so careful about who they bring into their own market.
About Lead Optimize, LLC
Lead Optimize is an outsourced marketing department in Houston, TX. Lead Optimize designs, implements, and manages profitable marketing and sales support systems for clients with complex or long sales cycles to increase sales and close rates.