We Need to Talk
So let’s talk.
There’s something we need to address. No, it’s not bad. It’s not you, it’s us.
You’ll hear a lot of things about marketing, and we want to get out in front of some of the nonsense out there. Time and time again, the marketing talking heads on social media will give you their unsolicited 2 cents:
- “You have to find your niche.”
- “Be the expert at one thing.”
- “You can’t be great at everything.”
- “Like, subscribe, and comment below if you think pineapple belongs on pizza.”
Okay, the last one was out of context, but it’s something I am deeply passionate about. Save that for another time.
Let’s focus, because this matters.
I have to niche? Make me.
We absolutely, positively, unequivocally, whole-heartedly, categorically disagree with the sentiment that we need to “niche down.” Let’s unpack that phrase just so we’re clear.
By “niche down,” most mean focusing on a specific type of market or a specific service. So, if we build killer a website for a client in financial advising (which we have done and trust me, it’s the bee’s knees), they suggest we should just limit ourselves to either:
- Website design?
- Financial services websites?
- Banking clients only?
That’s stinks for a number of reasons.
First, like Shrek beautifully clarified to Donkey, “onions have layers.”
Except we’re not talking about onions, and we hope you aren’t a donkey.
We’re talking about marketing — that wonderful and hilarious mix of head-in-the-clouds creatives and cold, antiseptic taskmasters delighting customers with on-time delivery. Need I say more?
Marketing has layers. These layers all interconnect. ALL OF THEM. Understanding that interconnectedness and the who, what, when, where, why, and how that translates to client success…
…that’s the difference between strategy and tactics. Specialists are tactical. Marketing firms are strategic.
Why is this a critical distinction?
What do you want? It’s not that simple!
Ahem - allow me to show my sensitive side: you remember Allie in the Notebook? Clients are usually like her, and we love them for it.
This is a feature of running a business, not a bug. Clients have a general idea of what they want digital marketing to do for them, but it can be challenging for them to figure out - even with a flawless product.
This is where the “niche” advocates run into some serious problems. Here are some examples we field every day:
- “Hey Yonder, I want to be #1 on Google.”
- “Hey Yonder, I want to run a promotion about our new product.”
- “Hey Yonder, I want an awesome website.”
- “Hey Yonder, I think pineapple does belong on pizza.”
You may be surprised to hear…the answers to those are no, you probably don’t. And if you bring up the pizza issue again, we’re done. What we mean is, those aren’t the services you need — they are features within them.
- “I want to be #1 on Google.” What happens once you rank number one on Google? Nothing really if your website stinks or your UX stinks (or both).
- “I want to run a promotion on our new product.” Awesome! But why? Probably to gain exposure and ultimately sell more. But is your site conversion optimized? Does your eCommerce platform work?
The big pic
So, to reiterate, no you probably don’t really want what you think you want. At least not in full.
Our clients rely on us to help them see the ripple effect — AKA unintended consequences — of spending money without the appropriate resources to reach your business goals.
So if we agreed to “niche down,” we’d be agreeing to limit our view of the big picture. We’d be kissing strategy goodbye, wandering in the wilderness with a stellar pair of hiking boots - but no daggum compass.
Same, but different.
The same goes for staying in one market type. What do financial advisors, industrial manufacturers, local bakers, and global distributors all have in common?
Nothing, you’re right. Except…you’re wrong.
These people all have a service or a product. They all have a goal. They all are more than likely online. And they all need Yonder to guide.
We can guide, and we do guide — and will continue to. We learn from the countless lessons across our partners’ experiences and shape the future of Yonder and our relationships to respect them.
Shooing away a partner because we are niche firm would, in a way, acknowledge an inherent weakness, lack of experience, and aversion to challenge. We love challenges, we are super experienced, and we are not weak. Yonder is strong, like bull.
“Jack of all trades” has a nice ring to it
So yeah, we are a Jack-of-all-trades – if that means we’ve somehow assembled an incredibly talented team of go getters, problem solvers, action-adventure extraordinaries.
We wear the Jack of All Trades badge of honor proudly and will not waver in our commitment to bring our skillset to just about anyone.
The Yonder Team is dedicated to keeping an open dialogue with you, our readers. If you have anything you’d like to add or to reach out.