Technology has revolutionized much of our economy, but some fields more than others. Marketing, for example, has changed immensely. Where information was once scarce and required days of research and evaluation to acquire, it is now plentiful – so much so that you can be overwhelmed quickly if you are not careful.
To compensate for the torrents of data you can pull from Google Analytics, SEO research tools, Facebook, YouTube and more, marketing has become an incredibly niche-oriented industry. Niche-oriented marketing is not new, but today’s economy is hyper-specialized to the point that it is a practical necessity.
For those seeking a career in the marketing industry or who want to move up in its ranks, that hyper specification will become a very important part of how you brand your own expertise. If you haven’t yet, now is the time to start thinking about where your expertise lies, what you will focus on and how you will focus on it.
How Niche Is Too Niche?
A niche is any category within a vertical that has a similar audience. It can be broad, such as “sports and athletics” or it can be very specific like “fantasy football”. The chances are, no matter what niche you are looking at, there will be thousands of websites to sift through and choose from – many people to interview and industry terms to internalize as you come to understand what drives that market.
More importantly, there is a very real overlap between many hyper specialized fields now because of how people use technology to search for that information. We no longer have to break them up into individualized categories.
Men who like football also read books. Women who go to nail salons also go mountain biking. The lines are thinner now because we can drill down deep into the data to see what people are interested in and how they spend their time, and more importantly, their money. No niche is too niche.
How to Brand Yourself in the Marketing Industry
A general marketing education is sufficient for most entry level positions. If you have an MBA in marketing from a major university, you can expect there will be plenty of opportunities open for you in the field. But at a certain point, you’ll need to determine which direction you want to go, and having a niche in mind or at least some specific experience you can point to will change everything.
Spend time, whether you are in school or in a different position, thinking about the ways you can stand out in the niche you want to work in. If you want to work in sports marketing, for example, spend time evaluating the campaigns being run by professional sporting teams and promoters.
Read their tweets, evaluate the data on their sites, talk to sports professionals on forums and social media. Learn how to speak the language of that niche and become immersed in it enough that when the time comes to show what you have learned, you have an easy answer.
The marketing industry is not fractured so much as it is segmented. You can find your way between segments relatively easily if the results and expertise are there to speak for you, but if there is something very specific you would like to do with your skills, the economy makes it possible to seek that ONE career and have a decent chance of landing it.
You just need to establish your personal brand and take the extra steps to stand out as an individual uniquely suited to that position. This alone will set you apart from the crowd.
About the Author
Featured on websites in more than a dozens countries, Anthony Chatfield has consulted with business leaders, Fortune 500 companies, and entrepreneurs for much of the last decade.
Anthony founded two companies in content development and marketing and currently provides private consulting services for the online-side of small and medium sized business’s marketing campaigns.
Anthony currently lives in Staten Island, NY and produces marketing and content development training on numerous websites.
For more information, visit his Google+ Page.