It’s now 2013.
In recent years we’ve seen a trend that should continue in 2013 (and well beyond) and that trend is segmented marketing.
What is segmented marketing? It’s essentially the niche-ification of every sector of the marketing world. In this instance we’re obviously discussing marketing, but it’s happening everywhere – the stores we shop, the blogs we read, even the cars we drive. Everything is becoming niche-ified, and that’s certainly not a bad thing.
It seems that in all walks of life we’re moving further away from the all-encompassing and more toward the specialist. The generalist is obviously still important, but those that devote all of their time to a specific marketing-related niche are usually going to be those that are most knowledgeable in that particular area. We’re seeing SEO firms begin to re-brand themselves as “local SEO specialists,” while others devote their resources to “online reputation management” or “link building.” Five years ago there wasn’t enough “meat” in the SEO world to specialize in any one thing. You were expected to know SEO inside and out and to deliver results when the client wanted it. With today’s feature-driven Internet, SEO, social media, content production and even PPC have all become so multi-faceted it’s nearly impossible to be good at everything.
And the digital agencies that claim to be one stop shops for all your marketing needs? Pffft.
We’re seeing the world embrace the little guy while we witness the slow demise of the mega agency. These agencies still exist and I don’t see them disappearing in the near future, but the simple truth is you can’t be great at everything. The paradox goes: “do you want to be pretty good at everything, or GREAT at just one thing?” In 2013 and beyond you’re going to find the answer more and more is “I want to be great at one thing.”
Bloggers are a great way to get a read on coming trends and if we trust the current indicators, blogs are shifting their focus towards a niche-centric approach. Inbound marketing, content marketing, local search, mobile marketing, email, ppc, design, link building, traffic creation and others might have all been found on the same authority blog in past years. Now, we’re loading up our feed readers with the best in each of the respective niches rather than trusting one “big box” blog that contains all of these topics. It’s the wild west and people are laying claim to their respective niches – or creating them entirely rather than trying to include additional topics just for the sake of including them. Thought leaders push innovation and the all-encompassing blogs are just re-hashing their thoughts.
If I can make a restaurant analogy for a second – take a look at In ‘n Out Burger. They know they don’t need a fancy menu or even a varied one for that matter. They make the best hamburgers and that’s what they focus on.
It’s the 80/20 rule (Pareto’s Principle) in action. 20% of the things your typical “all under one roof” marketing firm offers are responsible for 80% of its income. I’m sure you can apply the same rule to your business. Find what you’re good at, and become even better at it.
Rather than trying to know everything, make sure you know one thing really well. Those that focus on this one idea are the success stories of the future.
The future is a segmented world and you’ll only rise to the top by being the best at something.