All businesses evolve. They either evolve or they die. By way of an example, Evolved Sound began as a new media, IT and marketing business in 1998. It wasn’t until the potential of new digital audio technologies became clear, coupled with an unprecedented rapid growth, that the company established itself at the forefront of specialty sound services.
Markets change, customer demand changes, competition increases and opportunities for capitalising on the next niche idea begin to appear. The difficulty is learning how to anticipate the shifts and turn them to your advantage. Particularly in an industry as forward-thinking and evolutionary as the sound industry. This is where the use of a well-drafted survey can really be put to good use.
Why are surveys useful for uncovering niche market ideas?
Surveys are great at uncovering niche market ideas for one reason: they can help you see where the flaws are in any industry and where products or services are letting the consumer or client down. The market research you gather from conducting a survey comes directly from existing or potential customers. It’s the most genuine and the most useful you’ll be able to get your hands on, even on a very tight budget.
According to Entrepreneur, there are three key challenges to be met when marketing a niche product or trying to attract a niche audience in a niche industry: meeting the target’s unique needs, saying the right thing to them and testing the market effectively. All three challenges can be met if you begin by running a decent survey.
Putting the sound industry in context
The important thing to bear in mind in the sound industry is that it moves fast. In the late 1940s, recordings were made on magnetic tape. By the early 1980s, digital recording was considered more practical. The Internet took over in the early 2000s, converting audio to MP3 format, and since the early 2010s we’ve been using a tool that’s referred to as ‘elastic audio’ or ‘elastic time’.
Technologies are being developed all the time, clients are always looking for better solutions that will improve quality or save time. Also, as sound is a relatively niche industry, what you offer needs to be sufficiently cool enough to stand out and draw attention.
What’s even more challenging today is the rise of international competition, whether you want it or not. According to Sound Mag Australia, the millennial audience is online savvy and will turn to solutions offered to them by overseas providers when Australian companies fail to come up with the goods.
Finding your niche idea
So, how do you create a winning survey to help you sniff out niche ideas and better target niche audiences? Before constructing your questions, begin by asking yourself the following:
1. Does the sound industry have a problem that desperately needs a solution?
2. What are sound industry consumers most likely to spend money on?
3. Am I genuinely comfortable offering this niche product or service?
4. Is there enough demand for the product or service based on keyword difficulty and search volume?
Creating the survey questions
Once you have an idea that you want to test out, you need to put pen to paper to create the questions. While each survey is different to any other, basic principles apply. Avoid asking more than ten questions, keep them easy to respond to (multiple choice is an excellent format) and offer an incentive. You could run a prize draw or even offer a 10% discount on your services for a set period of time. The choice is yours, but the incentive will encourage more people to share their thoughts.
Filtering your target audience
You then need to decide whether you’re going to run the survey using existing customers or potential ones. Decide whether or not you want to narrow your demographic. Perhaps you see the product as being useful to music artists, to recording companies, or even to corporate businesses.
It might be a product you’re looking to launch across the globe, in a particular region, country, or city. You may even choose to run a series of separate surveys to different demographic groups and then analyse the response you get from each.
To sum up, considering the huge strides made in the sound industry over the past 60 years or so, it’s important to think ahead and anticipate the way in which products and services could begin to develop. It’s easy to slip behind the competition in this industry, whether it happens to be on your doorstep or thousands of miles away across the ocean. So, what are you waiting for? Start surveying!