The case for the niche specialist
By Ernest Falkner III
Zillion Dollar Thinking
As businesspeople, we must be aware of sales and marketing minefields that have the potential to explode the status quo. The "head in the sand" or "we're so busy doing the day-to-day" or "if it aint broke..." syndromes will not lead to a happy end in today's environment.
We recently reviewed an archived article comparing 1903 to today. It is remarkable. Consider these facts:
- In 1903, the average life expectancy in the US was 47
- Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub
- Only 8 percent of homes had a telephone, and a three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost 11 dollars
- Only 8,000 cars were on the road, with a maximum speed limit of 10 mph
- Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee each had a greater population than California
- No Mother's Day or Father's Day
- One in 10 U.S. adults could not read or write
- Only 6 percent of all Americans graduated from high school
With the development of technology, this picture will change dramatically. As businesspeople in the middle of all this compounding change, we willl be challenged to stay competitive and cognizant of what it will take to succeed in our new frontier.
In the world of communication, a remarkable transition is taking place daily, hourly, instantly. It will change the way marketing is conducted forever. The future of much of our marketing and communication will be from the position of universal portability and instant accessibility. A universal communication device (UCD)*, today called a "smart device," will eventually be our constant companion.
Question: Are you, in your business or company, prepared for this revolution?
Niche specialists will be entering the new marketing landscape. Because of instantly emerging technology, this new arena will be transformed and rapidly create a level playing field, both for the new and the established. As such, these niche specialists are not only aware of the emerging frontier, but are already re-engineering and re-designing their sales and marketing communications methodologies with laser focus and speed.
These niche specialists are for hire to anyone at large. As a part of their assignment, they will use all the new tools to increase their market share, while diminishing the competition's market share. Maybe yours? And, as we can witness today, clients are less and less faithful in their business relationships and will jump ship quickly, which will create a thunderous shake-up by these aggressive innovators.
Today, clients and customers are more and more "value-proposition" driven. We can expect them to be even more charged because the value-added bar will continue to be raised by, you guessed it, the niche specialists.
If a business owner or management team would apply the last 100 years as a backboard, and develop strategic alliances with niche specialists whose sole purpose is to help guide them and their business through this emerging minefield, their chances of success will be greatly enhanced.
Niche specialists will come from myriad industries, but one of the most vital will be the sales and marketing niche specialist in specific sectors. That specialty will dictate the plan of execution over which most of the others will follow. So, in the case for the niche specialist, the marketplace will ultimately be the judge and jury, but from where we sit, we would not bet against their leadership and innovation.
Going forward, will it be status quo for you? Will you partner with a niche specialist? Will you become a niche specialist in your field of expertise?
Author’s Note: This article was originally written in 2005 as a part of a marketing series. Has the prediction proven to be true? Do you still have an opportunity?
* Broadband in Our Pockets by David Cohen August 4, 2004 http://www.clickz.com/experts/brand/emkt_strat/article.php/3389361