Marketers are talking about the Long Tail. What does it do with your Internet business?
The Long Tail
Mega stores carry only "hit products" which generate lots of sales and ignore hard-to-find products. The Long Tail is about selling all sorts of hard-to-find products. Even though the sales of each hard-to-find product is nominal, the combined sales of a lot of hard-to-find products would be as many as the sales of the hit products. The yellow part of the graph , at wikipedia.org, is the Long Tail. (Notice that the yellow area is as large as the green.) "Number of sales" is used for the vertical axis, but "profit" would be more useful.
The Long Tail vs. The Niche
Because the Long Tail talks about the selling niche (hard-to-find) products, many people confuse the Long Tail with niche marketing. Niche marketing is selling selected niche products to steal customers who are looking for hard-to-find products, from mega stores. Besides, the Long Tail is to increase the total number of sales by adding up a bunch of tiny sales of hard-to-find products.
Know Your Products
For businesses trying to tap into the market by using niche marketing, it's going to be a threat when mega stores use the Long Tail, because people can buy niche products there. Big names have big capital, so they can get every niche product they can find. However, they cannot get expertise and experience on niche products overnight, so that means the expertise and experience are the biggest weapons for niche marketers. Make sure you know your products better than anybody else.
© August, 2008