Best Experienced With: White Zombie: More Human Than Human
(Please right click on the link below to open the suggested background song for this evening’s treatise in a new browser window. Were I able to afford Stevie JC as my Chauceresque niche marketer, I would also pay a minivan to follow me everywhere I roam, blasting out this White Zombie ditty. Just because.)
“Like satin sheets on a waterbed”. That sentence has nothing to do with this missive on niche marketing. It’s been rumbling around my noggin for a year, looking to get out. Waking me up at three a.m., smacking me on the leg, looking for a place to live on a screen or on paper.
Have been mesmerized, perplexed, and intrigued by the giant inflatable purple gorillas on top of business establishments for decades. That would be an interesting sales job; calling on business establishments and uncovering the unmet need for the giant purple gorilla. “Hello. How has your top line revenue growth been year to date? How is that versus your 2011 budget? Do you believe that if you put a large, purple gorilla on top of your establishment you would be closer to your top line revenue growth target?” That would be an interesting sales and/or marketing gig.
The silliest assumption in business is oft spoken: “this is a $1B market and if we only capture three percent of it over the next four years, we will be at $30M in revenue within the first forty-eight months. That’s thirty million more in top line revenue growth!” The best way to market is to niche market…plagiarized definition below:
“Marketing strategy whereby marketers devote 100% of their efforts toward a small segment of a market instead of the whole market. Niche marketing generally appeals to smaller companies with limited resources. Typically, the small market segment, or niche, has been overlooked or only casually served by other larger competitors but is still large enough to be profitable. There are several different niche marketing strategies: end user strategy, serving only one type of end user customer; vertical level strategy, specializing in one level of the production-distribution cycle; customer size strategy, selling products designed for only one size customer, such as petite or extra large clothes; service strategy, offering a service not available from any other company; and geographic strategy, selling only in one geographic area.”
The best way to market is to niche market. Carefully choose a smaller segment of a segment and then go after that smaller segment of a segment as fiercely as David Hasselhoff goes after hamburgers when inebriated. All market spaces are subdivided into market segments and, with the proper homework and strategic market analysis; you can carve a niche out of any market segment in any market space in the galaxy. Find an unserved or underserved part of that market, develop a unique offering with differentiating features and benefits, and then begin marketing to that niche.
(Faulkner fans, get warmed up)
Take magazines, for example. Magazines are a market segment of the larger periodicals market. A market dying a slow lingering death as children and the mentally infirm choose to read only in mouth bites 144 characters large. There is a segment in the overall magazine market of “magazines for dumb people”, yet within this market segment there are further market niches. There are “magazines for dumb people who cannot read” (People and US), “magazines for people who can read and have suspended all disbelief” (The National Enquirer ) and then there’s Tiger Beat. There is a niche in the magazine market called “magazines for straight men who have not yet figured out they are not heterosexual.” We would find Men’s Health and GQ in the “magazines for straight men who have not yet figured out they are not heterosexual” niche market. We can also niche out the business magazine segment of business magazines. There is a niche called “magazines for people who are trying to pick up a significant other on the plane by reading something of import” (The Economist, Harvard Business Review). There is a niche in the business magazine market segment called “business magazines for those who support Rick Scott and the religious right” (The New Republic and Rolling Stone). You doubt me on Rolling Stone, aren’t you? I harbor a Mel Gibson-like conspiracy theory that The Man bought Rolling Stone several years back and The Man is using Rolling Stone as a vehicle to drive our youth ever closer to Jerry Falwell and his ilk. How else would you explain Justin Bieber on the cover two months back? No way would Jan Wenner’s original crew would have put Justin Bieber on the cover back in 1972, absent an accompanying article by Hunter S. Thompson where JB snarfs mushrooms and Jell-O shots at a Greyhound bus terminal en route to Youngstown, Ohio.
(Faulkner just rolled over in his grave, sat up, and started a standing ovation)
Dennis Rodman niche marketed himself as the best rebounder in the NBA. Dennis did not shoot: he went after the boards. Pinochet niche marketed himself as one of the most ruthless dictators Latin America has even seen by taking people on one way helicopter rides out over the Atlantic. Pinochet did not lead: he killed. Marsupials are a market segment of animals. If we wanted to niche market an animal in the marsupial market segment, the best choice would be a wombat because most people think “kangaroo” when they think about marsupials. Would venture to guess that the wombat niche has more runway for market share grabbing because wombats are far more unique. The best way to market is to niche market. When you niche market, find an unserved or underserved and bring a unique solution or product to that niche with differentiating features and benefits. Wombats are unique. Wombats.
Because of their unparalleled snack selection, Delta Airlines is my airline of choice. Delta Airlines is in Terminal 2 at the San Diego Airport and the baggage claim area resides at the bottom of dual escalators, directly in the center of the terminal. Each Friday evening, when I return from my Don Quixotesque like career adventure travels in these, our great United States, I see folks waiting for their loved ones at the base of these dual escalators. Sometimes they hold signs. Sometimes they hold snacks. Quite intentionally, for two years I have chosen to not have anyone waiting for me at the base of those dual escalators in Terminal 2. The truly single life is infinitely easier because when single it is virtually impossible to have the “you always” and “you never” conversations, be you the accuser or accusoree…..roles you should alternate on a regular M,W,F…T,Th,S alternating schedule.
I grow tired of snackless taxi rides home on Friday evening and have recently chosen to remediate the lack of someone at the bottom of those escalators. As a student of the game and a fan of niche marketing, have recently chosen to niche market myself. The key to successful niche marketing is carefully defining your niche. The diagram below clearly illustrates my target niche: the shaded portion in the middle.
In niche marketing me, the question I keep coming back to you, quite self absorbedly, is this. How do you niche market a force of nature? Many believe that Heath Ledger’s best role was his last: The Joker in that Batman flick. That is not Heath Ledger’s best role. Heath Ledger’s best character was his Horatio Alger role in A Knights Tale and the character who stole the show in A Knight’s Tale was the Geoffrey Chaucer character, magnificently acted by Paul Bettany. Paul Bettany later stole and married my dream date, Jennifer Connelly. I would have been a better husband choice for Jennifer Connelly. I digress.
Give unlimited resources and time, the best niche marketing offense for me would be to have Paul Bettany’s Chaucer character from A Knight’s Tale standing on that fence and being my own personal Johnny Olson. The Chaucer character would say the following lines from A Knight’s Tale just like he read them in A Knight’s Tale, save for the name change from Sir Ullrich. That would be some solid niche marketing. Given unlimited time and resources, I would ask Stevie JC to serve as my Chaucer and he would roam San Diego County broadly proclaiming the following as we entered nightclubesque establishments:
“For you are all equally blessed. For I have the pride, the privilege, nay, the pleasure of introducing to you to a knight, sired by knights. A knight who can trace his lineage back beyond Charlemagne. I first met him atop a mountain near Jerusalem, praying to God, asking his forgiveness for the Saracen blood spilt by his sword. Next, he amazed me still further in Italy when he saved a fatherless beauty from the would-be ravishing of her dreadful Turkish uncle.”
“In Greece he spent a year in silence just to better understand the sound of a whisper. And so without further gilding the lily and with no more ado, I give to you, the seeker of serenity, the protector of Italian virginity, the enforcer of our Lord God, the one, the only, Sir Mulligan Von Cleveland!”
“Yes, behold my Lord Mulligan, the rock, the hard place, like a wind from Guilderland he sweeps by blown far from his homeland in search of glory and honor, we walk… in the garden… of his turbulence!”
Alas, my meager resources do not allow me to bring along a minstrel/announcer or roaming thespian on my travels. Stevie JC bills out at $320.00 an hour because Idaho is worth it. Some friends suggested using the internet to niche market myself a month ago and, after working through the typical objections (what if a prison woman dupes me into parting with my life savings, how do I politely say “no” to really, really unattractive woman while not internalizing too much that a really, really unattractive woman thought I might date her if she sent me a message, etc), I first joined www.fitnesssingles.com and then www.okcupid.com. Both are solid niche marketing opportunities at opposite ends of the BMI spectrum: the former at an average of 5 and the latter at an average of 70.
The shaded portion is the niche I seek on these two BMI polar opposite sites:
The remainder of this treatise is my profile on OK Cupid as of this evening. Tell your ssingle friends, if they fit into that shaded portion illustrated above. The photo below is the single photo on my profile, because nothing screams “mystery” like a boa and nothing screams “I warned you at the outset” like a full beer being raised to the lips on a random dating site. If I could pay extra to have this White Zombie song come up each time someone looked at the profile, I would. I’d pay even more to make sure the program automatically cranked up the speakers. To eleven.
(BEGIN OK CUPID PROFILE)
6′ 0″ (1.83m).
—Greater Than (trending towards infinity)
Graduated from Masters program. Twice. Going to make it a hat trick here one day.
Executive / Management
Rather not say
Doesn’t want children
Likes dogs and has cats
English (Fluently), Spanish (Fluently), French (Poorly), C++ (Poorly), Mongolian (Poorly)
This is the only other dating site summary I have ever filled out (below)….was on a fitness site. Not compatible with anyone there though because I can only run when being chased by the police. Which apparently is not valued by people who run marathons. To save time, I simply cut and pasted it into here. This will allow me to use the time saved to cure cancer or eradicate Polio.
After years and years of serial monogamy, I took the last two years off to learn the guitar inside and out and perfect my cat herding skills. Just graduated to black belt in cat herding and learned how to fake a bar B and bar F….time to date again. Qualifiers on the interests listed. Although I listed French, I really suck at speaking French. Just began learning it last year. Would welcome a French speaker to tutor me. Same goes for boxing. Began it later in life and I am the worst boxer (skill wise) in all of San Diego Cty. I make up for the lack of boxing skills with sheer stupidity and false bravado in the ring.
I have an MBA and a Masters in Science in Information Technology, neither of which I use on a daily basis. In fact, I remain shocked that USD gave me the MSIT because, like boxing and French speaking, I was pretty awful at a lot of the IT things. Because I was pre-law in undergrad. This simply proves that I can read. Reading is one of my true passions. If you have lots and lots of great books to lend me, I’ll be exponentially more attracted. Just please don’t ask me IT questions. Because I will ruin your IT things if I touch them. If I just look at your iPod, it may break. Hide your IT things in a drawer when I visit
As you may have surmised, am also far too verbose. The things I write make Faulkner look like a cartoon strip. Despite this, actually have developed skills for BOTH ears and I know when to shut up. Am also a great direction follower and if you loudly say SHUT UP while smacking me alongside the head, I will most likely pipe down.
Am one of the least perfect individuals you may find on this site. If you are looking for marriage material, skip to the next guy. If you are looking to have a mercurial weekend filled with silliness and randomness (one where you go to work Monday and say what the h*ll just happened and why am I not in jail?, then we may be a good match.
This is my first foray into the online thing. Since you already figured that out, feel free to skip to the PS below. Thanks for looking. If you want to eat raw fish some time, let me know. I like raw fish because they often times will serve it with cold, unfiltered sake.
PS: sometimes I look like crap in the morning. Really ugly. If we stay the evening together and you look at me in the a.m. and shriek, just quietly sneak out and come back at noon. Once I primp and such, I look good again at noon. Just fair warning there.”
What I’m doing with my life
I foster abandoned kittens for a group called Friends of County Animal Shelter (FOCAS) so there’s generally a litter here getting socialized and such. If I had a big yard, would also foster puppies and such….no yard…no puppies. Love animals…were I brighter, would have been a vet. Started playing guitar 2 years ago and now have 6 guitars. Play them a lot. Poorly. Love to surf and be in the sun, so clearly I am cultivating cancer and advanced rotator cuff injuries.
I’m really good at
Blinking and playing easy songs on the guitar. Groping fruits: never vegetables
The first things people usually notice about me
…is that I have never been in the Olympic Games, nor have I ever been convicted of a felony.
The six things I could never do without
I spend a lot of time thinking about
How I can become best friends with Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela. That man is batshit crazy and there’s nothing more fun than hanging out with a batshit crazy socialist dictator. How cool would that be?
On a typical Friday night I am
Flying back to SD. I travel a lot for work.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
If I drink tequila, the odds of me peeing in your bed are 73.7%. Do NOT allow me to drink tequila when we go have sushi. Unless you have plastic sheets, in which case, we’re not going to have that second date.
You should message me if
You can square Pi….OR….if you have won a Nobel Prize
(END OK CUPID PROFILE)
I am not going to date anyone I meet online because I have always adored Groucho Marx’s quote “I would not want to be a member of a club that would accept people like me as a member” and will most certainly be leery of anyone who wants to be my girlfriend based upon that profile. Because that relationship would be as safe, secure and as logical as satin sheets on a waterbed.
Good night and thanks for joining this evening.
I remain yours very truly,
(The Jigsaw Man)
(Turning The World Around With a Skeleton Hand)
(The Nexus One)
(The Ripper Man)
(A Demolition Style America’s Freak)
(More Human Than Human)
Good night, Bethany.
3 responses to “Niche Marketing @ Polar Ends of the Body Mass Index Spectrum (and some white zombie to get the weekend rolling)”
Loved it as usual! You make me laugh which is good!
Have loved making you laugh for decades, Mel.
Laughing like a hyena here… howling at the moon. Oh wait – that’s just a light bulb.