Going niche

No product could serve everyone (well except water and electricity). Minimum viable audience (MVA) is the way of survival. It’s about time for hospitality companies to adopt a laser-cut niche product (and marketing) strategy.

American Express GBT (Global Business Travel) is a good example. They are a credit card company focusing solely on businesses. They just launched a service called “Rest Assured Solution”. It’s an online travel booking platform for business travellers. Their research shows that some of business travellers make bookings outside the company’s policy because they can find cheaper rates out there. As a result, GBT incorporates this rate guarantee feature in this service.

Who are your minimum viable audience?


*Credit: I took the minimum viable audience from Seth Godin – my (book) marketing mentor.

Your product is not for everyone

Do you believe in the above statement – your product is not for everyone? If you do, how do you market your product? If you are using one of the mass marketing tactics, you are trying to sell the product to everyone. It would be quite expensive, wouldn’t it?

The competition out there is super fierce. Every industry is super crowded. The easiest marketing tactic for us all is to compete on price. Discounts are everywhere. I remember that I was excited to see a 70% OFF campaign 10 years ago. Now, it’s pretty normal to see something like half price or 70% OFF. It’s not normal anymore.

How to compete then. Enter a concept introduced by Seth Godin – “the Minimum Viable Audience”. Your product is not for everyone. You are not selling a universal remote control. You are solving a specific problem for a specific group of customers. You just need to ensure that 1) that group is big enough to sustain your business, and 2) you are clear on the uniqueness of your product on how it could change your customer’s life.

The good news is all customers want the same things. They want one of these – they want to become healthier, happier, wealthier, less stressed, and to increase their social status. Being remarkable in delivering something that achieves one or more of the above outcomes, you will be very successful.


The 2 types of mass marketing

Are you happy with your marketing efforts? I am not. As a marketer, we are facing great challenges here. One of them is we have to overcome not only one mass marketing syndrome, there is another type of mass marketing now.

  1. Consumer sided mass marketing: this is the traditional definition that we just blast our marketing message to a large audience and hope something will stick.
  2. Competitor sided mass marketing: I throw this definition out there because this is a major challenge for us all. My point is we cannot do average work because there are so many competitors, so many people that do similar things as you do. In order words, your work is average in a sea of mass competition. If you fall into this syndrome, you chance of success is super slim.

Let’s start working towards a goal of doing things remarkable from today.