Sales and Sales Management Blog

January 9, 2008

New Hampshire Demonstrates the Power of Niche Marketing

If you have ever wondered if niche marketing works, just look at yesterday’s New Hampshire Democratic primary race.  Hillary Clinton ended the race by concentrating on what she believes are her natural niches: Democratic regulars, women, and working class voters.  By doing so, she stunned the pundits, Obama and everyone else who had bought into her political demise. 

Certainly, some of the predictions of her impending doom were undoubtedly due to hope and wishful thinking.  Nevertheless, it appeared yesterday afternoon that not only were the polls forecasting massive defeat and the commentators calling for the casket to be brought out, even her advisors seemed to be resigned to a stunning loss.

As we all know, it didn’t happen. 

When it came time to perform, Clinton went back to her niche markets and worked the devil out them.  Thousands of calls by volunteers drove people to the polls; providing transportation and babysitting literally drove others to the polls; and readdressing the issues she believed played to her niche markets brought her core constituents to her aid.

She had tried to expand her message to incorporate new niches.  However, she allowed her opponent to formulate the key message for those new niches, and then tried to usurp his message rather than formulate her own.  Her efforts failed and the proclamations of the end of the Clinton era flooded the papers, internet, and airwaves. 

In the end, she went back to her mainstay niches and did what everyone thought was impossible.  She won by reconnecting with well defined groups of people who were receptive to her message–and then she worked those groups to the end. 

She stumbled when she tried to expand her markets by imitating someone else’s message; she succeeded when she concentrated on delivering to her core niches.

If you are a salesperson, professional, or small business owner, finding those niches where you have a natural affinity and connection with those within that niche can take your business to new levels—and sometimes, like with Clinton, save you from disaster. 

Fortunately, unlike Clinton, you don’t have to end the day with the largest number of sales.  You just have to find two or three defined groups of people that you connect well with and that are large enough that you can grow your business to the extent you desire.


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