3 ways to sustain your ‘hustle’ through micro-marketing

Micro-marketing involves selecting a market with a unique need to serve. The fragmentation of society and media has made this approach all too important. It does mean that to pretend to be serving everyone is the first step into failing in business.

The market, even in Nigeria, is too large. Every buyer understood what the core benefit of each product is. Say, you make soap – that is fine. Your customers understood that your core proposition is to make clothes or kitchen wares clean. But, then, almost everyone of those customers wants some extra mix, in addition to making the dishes or clothes clean. Some want ‘clean and fabric softness’; others would appreciate ‘clean and good smell’. Amazingly, a good number of the market may want ‘clean and strong brand image’ or ‘clean and affordable”. Putting those differing strings of augmented benefits into one product would weaken any product proposition.

Many companies have been deploying this strategy. Procter and Gamble makes and sells different brands of soaps. Each of the brand maintains the core proposition of providing cleaning solutions. However, each come with different added benefits. Ariel (cleans deep but does it in a tough manner), Ivory Snow (cleans deep but mild), Cheer (Cleans and protects garments colours); Dash (Cleans well and provides good smell). Likewise, Coca Cola now sells Classic Coke, Zero Coke, Diet Coke. Lipton, these days, is sold as tea bag and carbonated drink. Nigeria media too, especially the radio stations, have different brands under one establishment (i.e. Wazobia and Cool FM).

Although it is true P&G, Coca Cola, or Unilever, have enough resources to pursue different segments with differing propositions; the strategy provides a lifeline for SMEs with meager resources. It does mean entrepreneurs who do not have enough capital to cover every market, can choose one segment, understand the segment, and tailor one particular product to meet the needs of the segment.

To sum that strategy up, here is the approach:

a. Comb the market and choose one segment that you think you can serve well based on meager resources

b. Continually seek to understand and innovate to meet the changing phases of needs in your market

c. Hedge your market by building relationship based on trust, friendship and constant bonding with your niche customers

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