FarmersOnly.com, A Case Study in Niche Marketing

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FarmersOnlyOne evening I was watching television with a friend when a commercial came on that I was convinced was a joke or a parody. It was a commercial for a dating website—nothing too unusual there; after all, commercials for Match.com and eHarmony are on television all the time. However, this commercial made me sit up and take notice. This dating website targeted a specific sector of the population—no, this wasn’t a commercial for Christian Mingle (the dating website for those of the Christian faith) or Our Time (the dating site for those over 55). This commercial was targeting an even smaller niche: farmers.

FarmersOnly was founded in 2005 by Jerry Miller. According to a Business Insider Article, before creating this website, Mr. Miller was an ad agency owner in Ohio. He came up with the concept for the website after seeing a friend, who was a divorced rancher, struggle within the dating world. He created the website to give others in the same position a chance to meet like minded individuals. After all, as useful as websites like Match.com may be, there are thousands of people registered, most of whom may not be interested in the farming lifestyle.

Mr. Miller felt that those who shared the same beliefs and lifestyle would appreciate a place they could meet others and dip their toes in the world of online dating in a way that wouldn’t be overwhelming. On the technical side, Jerry Miller kept in mind that many people who live in rural areas may not have high speed internet, so he created his website to be simple and easy to load—even on a dial up connection.

The commercials for FarmersOnly may be a bit humorous to those of us who are not interested in the farming or ranching lifestyle. However, the website provides a valuable service, and it now has hundreds of thousands of farmers, ranchers and animal lovers from all around the world registered for the $15.95 per month service. The website is frequently advertised on cable TV in my suburban area, and likely has an even bigger impact on rural television.

As a marketing copywriter, it can be confusing to decide how to approach a blog, article or website. Do you want to take a broad approach or a niche approach? While every project is different, the success of FarmersOnly should prove that even the seemingly smallest niche can be just the market you are looking to target. While the market may not have supported another large, generic dating website, FarmersOnly has been extremely successful. So, if you are thinking about the best way to make an impact, sometimes it makes sense to think small. Making a big impact in a small market may help you achieve more success than making a small impact in a big market.

Tracy S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.

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