TPF Panel: Knowing Your Niche Is Key

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Niche Marketing panel at the Phoenix Forum had a loud and clear message for the audience during Thursday’s session: when it comes to marketing niche content, there’s no substitute for knowing the niche.

The panel brought together Barry Fruitman of WebcamCash, Indy from Indecisive Media, Steven Gallon of Grooby Bucks, Kevin Godbee of Web 3.0 Internet Consulting and Adrian D of Radical Cash to discuss the do’s and don’ts of niche marketing.

One point that was reiterated time and again was the importance of understanding the niche that you are market — and when possible, marketing niches of which you are a fan yourself.

Gallon noted that niche site customers are highly familiar with the niche categories that draw them to the sites in the first place, and are not likely to be fooled by someone who is faking it.

“If you fuck it up, you’re fucked,” Gallon said. “If you get it wrong, you’re dead.”

It’s not just the niche customer’s knowledge of the content, Indy said, but their level of dedication to the niche itself.

“One of the things that sets the niche customers apart from fans of ‘vanilla porn’ is that they are passionate about the content,” Indy said.

The panel, moderated by AVN Online’s Sherri Shaulis, also emphasized the importance of soliciting and listening to customer feedback, noting that the feedback not only gives you an idea of what your customers want, but can be a source of valuable ideas, as well.

“You have to be mindful of what they want, and you have to be mindful of it at all times,” Adrian said.

The panel offered a variety of suggestions for how to collect member feedback, from setting up discussion forums to simply providing a comment box that allows members to submit comments on a given scene or photo set.

When the panel was asked how much content a niche site needed to offer to its customers in order to be viable and competitive, Godbee stressed that in niche markets “it’s more about quality than quantity.”

“Exclusive, high-quality content wins out over a large quantity of content,” Godbee said.

Indy opined that the adult industry is too generous in terms of the amount of content it offers customers for free.

“This industry is giving away too much content,” Indy said. “That’s a race to the bottom.”

Asked how a company comes up with new niches, Fruitman said there were two basic means of coming up with new ideas.

“One is to listen to your members,” Fruitman said. “The other is the shotgun approach: you try a bunch of different things and see what works.”

“You can always create a new niche by taking an existing niche and subdividing it,” he added.

The most important aspects of niche marketing are to know the market, know the niche, and know how to deliver on the promises you made to your customers.

“Don’t lie to them. Don’t try to con them,” Gallon said. “These guys are going to smell it.”