Yesterday, Old Taskmaster took a look at a peculiar breed of consumer: The insider.
Depending on your industry, you might call your insiders: fans, enthusiasts, foodies, hardcore gamers, wine buffs, beer snobs, tech nerds, fashionistas or any one of a dozen other terms.
Often, insiders are the readership of specialist publications (be they websites, blogs or magazines), while also either gathering in online communities (sometimes there are on social media sites, in other cases on dedicated message boards) or at face-to-face get-togethers. They typically have a greater depth of knowledge or opinion about a given industry than your average consumer.
This, of course, raises a big question for your start-up: Should you bother with them? Or should you ignore them and just focus on attracting mainstream consumers?
Common sense says the answer will vary depending on your products and industry. That’s why Old Taskmaster set you some homework yesterday to look at the breakdown in your sector. That being said, especially as a start-up, there are a couple of crucial reasons why you should (depending on your sector) make an effort to engage with the insiders.
The first point you must keep in mind is the multiplier effect of insiders. These people are known in other social or family circles for their interest and expertise in a particular area and will often get asked for advice on it. They can also dominate a conversation when the subject is raised. As a result, when you reach an insider, you are potentially also reaching several other consumers indirectly.
Another important reason is that many of your larger national or multinational competitors will chase the mainstream mass audience with a mass produced product rather than chase a smaller insider niche. By pursuing a niche they’re too big to be interested in, you can get a foothold in your industry.
The final reason is that it is often far easier to start with a base or a niche and then build outwards into the mainstream. However, be aware – as I will discuss next time – there are some key ways the needs and desires of insiders might be quite different from your mainstream customers. Also, make sure you filter any feedback you get from them through the reality of your business.
So get out there! Track down the specialist publications and online communities in your sector and get in touch! Then start engaging with the insiders in your sector.
Get it done – today!