Many businesses face a “chicken or the egg” conundrum when determining their marketing demographic: does a “unique” industry niche lead to vertical market segmentation, or vice versa? And what if your niche revolves around a universal product, such as televisions, kitchen appliances, or cell phones?
Both! As long as you have a solid business model and the drive to succeed, no approach is unwarranted. To use a metaphor: when writing a novel, some authors write the ending first. Some authors painstakingly plan each curve of the plot. Other’s sketch characters, letting those personalities dictate the story arc.
Many businesses begin with the founders having a passion; as for Holdcom, our founders had extensive skill in audio production and content creation. Soon they discovered their industry niche, and after several years, markets segmented themselves for Message on Hold and IVR solutions: Healthcare, Education, Call Centers, and Online Media. Other businesses will perform countless analytics to determine a vertical market, and will then tailor their product, their “niche,” to meet the demand.
Earlier today I was reading a Techcrunch post by Devin Coldeway about The Dangers of Externalizing Knowledge. Though a self proclaimed “alarmist,” he reflects on a technofetishist culture where “the short attention span and reliance on non-text media are…indulged by on-demand information,” that “the internet and connectivity expands our world exponentially [while] we find ourselves putting finer and finer a point on our role in it.”
Though the claims of “no more renaissance men,” have weight, I believe that businesses benefit immensely from being the experts in their niche. As more platforms are created that worship individual expression, more businesses need to accommodate the growing amount of “independent” consumers. Too many resources spread too thin will lead to poor customer service, a conflating company “image,” and unfocused branding.
Perhaps it is time to stop separating the “chicken” from the “egg” and view the problem from a holistic world view: for its function and place. The “connected” business is no longer just carving a niche, or just targeting a segmented demographic: it is responsible as a data center for its industry.