It’s nothing new to say that the marketing world is saturated with full-service agencies. Whether you’re a one-person team or a huge, award winning agency, with offices all over the globe, finding a marketing agency that does it all, from SEO to PPC, design to digital, isn’t that difficult.
However, with the market being so saturated, it makes sense that quite a few agencies are changing tact, and choosing a niche to develop a unique selling point. But what are the pros and cons of choosing a niche for your marketing agency? And how do you determine your niche to begin with?
Pros of having a niche as a marketing agency
- Growth potential
If you find a market or service that you can tap into, the growth potential for your agency increases, as you’re focused on only one offering and can really hone your skills. Potential clients can then see your level of expertise, knowing that integrated agencies can’t offer that level of experience in their sector.
- Develop a process that works
An integrated agency will have lots of different strategy plans for lots of different clients – and although they probably follow a similar approach, they need to be adjusted and altered for each individual client. With a niche agency, you’ll develop a process that works, not just for one client, but for every client. This is efficient and means you can probably take on more work at one time. Similarly if you offer a particular service, although this will need to change for each client, you’re still only concentrating on one offering; a lot less hassle than trying to implement every single marketing channel.
- Becoming the ‘go-to’ within your market
Once you’ve created that process and proven results, you’ll become the go-to within your market – at least that’s the dream. Clients like to see case studies and a track record of achieving what they want for their business. A detailed portfolio, with lots of great statistics, is worth a lot more than saying ‘we’ve worked with Big Brand A!’ but without anything to show for it.
- Understand your area of expertise
Lots of integrated marketing agencies claim to be experts within a number of different services, when in reality, it’s one employee per department – and there’s only so much work that an individual can take on. Having a niche, whether that’s a service or within an industry, means you have focused knowledge in that area and are constantly adapting and changing your output.
- Marketing industry is saturated
Let’s face it – there are a LOT of marketing agencies out there and, when you’re a client, how do you know if they’re really going to understand your market? Having a proven track record in working in a client’s industry puts them at ease and being an agency that’s dedicated to that sector or service makes you all the more appealing.
Cons of having a niche as a marketing agency
- Limits the type of work you can bring on
Although having an area of expertise is beneficial, it also means you’re limited with the type of work you can bring on. A current client might wish to have their website redesigned and developed, but you only offer content marketing and social media services. This could lead your client to take that work elsewhere, especially if they want to keep it all in the same place.
- Limits the staff you can employee
Not all marketing professionals are happy to pigeonhole themselves into one industry; if they did, they might choose to work in-house instead. Limiting your offering could mean you’re limiting your staff potential, with talented and experienced workers choosing to go for larger, integrated agencies, instead of a niche market. This may leave you with staff that aren’t as ambitious or driven. Incentives and employee perks could be a way to overcome this.
- Market can become dry and stale
What happens when your industry starts to falter? Although you’ve done the research and have predicted growth potential in your market, other factors can weigh in and cause an industry or service to become defunct. We’ve seen traditional marketing and print agencies fail, especially when they resist change – don’t let your agency follow suit.
- Limits potential
Although you might have spotted a gap in the market for you agency to grow and become the experts, are you limiting yourselves in the long-run? You’ve managed to create a solid process that really works within your industry – how about seeing if you could apply it elsewhere? Don’t feel pigeonholed once you have chosen a niche – remember to keep growing and adjusting.
How to determine your niche
There are two ways you can about choosing your niche. Deciding whether you’re going to target a particular industry or market, such as legal, finance, fashion, estate agents etc. or choosing a particular service, such as SEO, PPC, content marketing, design, or web development etc.
You might even go as far to choose an industry, and then choose the specific services you want to offer. For instance, you could be a dedicated web development agency for holiday let websites or offer SEO services to accountants (hint hint).
A great rule of thumb is to find a market that has enough opportunity to break into, but also allows you to find a service that you can offer than no one else is – and there’s scope for it. David Baker, Principal of ReCourses, developed this helpful diagram to show how to determine your niche:
Take a look at this helpful article by AgencyAnalytics, who have interviewed several niche marketing agencies, from roofing to yoga, non-for-profit to cannabis.
Talk to us today if you’re thinking about setting up a niche marketing agency, or thinking of changing your current agency’s offering.