You’ve drilled into your customer base and figured out how to best serve them with your products and services. You’ve defined your niche and your micro-niche. You’ve become an expert in your field.
Chances are, by the time you get all that accomplished, you’re industry will have changed, the ways to best connect with customers have shifted, and your expertise will feel dated.
There’s no doubt staying current in your industry and keeping on top of marketing trends can feel like more than a full-time job. There’s definite value in staying ahead of the curve, but you can’t redefine your business every time a new trend or buzzword comes along.
The secret is to identify which trends will be important to your customers and which will generate more revenue. Here are a few ideas on accomplishing that.
Look at past data
In many cases, your best indicator of where your market is headed is where it’s been in the past. Look at who your customers were and what they were buying from you last year, five years ago, or 10 years ago. What changed between those times and now? What’s likely to change in the next year — or five?
Note: Past data isn’t great at predicting major, game-changing events. Few businesses would have been able to look at past data in the late 90s and predict the social media boom. But many companies saw the rise of Twitter and Facebook and used that information to predict the rise of Pinterest and other social networks still developing.
Talk to customers
Want to know what customers are going to want a year from now? Ask them.
Customer surveys and feedback on social media are great ways to figure out where buyers’ minds are at — and where they’re headed. Zero in on the customers who are bringing up products and services you’ve never heard of.
Maintain your brand, but stay flexible
Once you’ve defined your niche, most of your heavy lifting is (hopefully) done. But that doesn’t mean connecting with customers and finding ways to better serve them can be put on the back burner.
Continue using all the same outlets you’ve been using to connect with buyers and maintain a good product or service. Just be ready to adapt as the market demands. Changes in your industry may feel sudden, but they won’t happen without you. You just need to know when to react.
If you would like to find out more about defining your niche
I invite you to contact me. I have been helping professional service providers such as CPAs, attorneys, and financial services providers focus their business development efforts on profitable micro-niches for over 10 years. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.