Mass Market

A post that I vehemently agree with was made on Godin's blog this week. "Mass Market" is a concept we've spoken about a lot here, so I guess that agreement is not shocking to anyone. But it's nice to see a talented writer talk about it, rather than me, your not-so-talented host. 
  •  When someone wants to know how big you can make (your audience, your market share, your volume), it might be worth pointing out that it's better to be important, to be in sync, to be the one that's hard to be replaced. And the only way to be important is to be relevant, focused and specific.
Horse racing's main edge in the marketplace has not come from television, or mass market appeal. In fact, television has supplied racing with very little reach, and mass market appeal for its product is virtually non existent outside Triple Crown days.

What has kept it afloat is the fact it has stayed 'relevant, focused and specific' - not because of a marketing plan - but mainly because of what it is.

It's not a game of chance. This is an edge that poker, horse racing, sports betting and now, Daily Fantasy Sports has. This has relevance with gamblers; and the market for such skill game pursuits approaches a half a trillion dollars each year.

It's niche. It takes a special person to bet each day, every day; to buy PP's, software, develop angles, compile trainer stats, FTS trip notes and angles, and to make their own pace figures. Racing will draw that person in, because that person enjoys that type of pursuit. With lower juice, a better value-product to wager on, that person and persons can bet a whole lot of money.

Horse racing, despite its many failings, will always have a place in the gambling world. When takeout went to 40% in Italy, and the country's racing product was virtually destroyed, those gamblers did not leave; they found another place to play. The world is connected in a mass way, but there will always be niche customers looking to conquer arguably the greatest gambling game ever invented.

When racing realizes its a niche sport, and caters to the mindset that wants to enjoy it, not to a mass market slot player, or casual fan, it will be much better off.


kyle said...

Because of the fact that racing is a niche pursuit I advocate what I call "exclusionary" marketing. It's basically a reverse-psychology move. I see out market as the hip, the geeky, the technically oriented and the rebellious. I usually find efforts to attract the young to the game as misguided and relatively fruitless, but if racing took this tack I think it could make inroads. And niche products can penetrate the mainstream. The example I always use is "Seinfeld." Racing will never be "American Idol," but it can be "Seinfeld."

Patrick said...

I think I might have not quite understood you there - are you implying that all of those that you listed are niche? Becuase Daily Fantasy Sports most certainly aren't. In fact there are even websites that do daily fantasy reviews, so I wouldn't really call it niche.
If you were referring only to horse racing, I still don't know whether this is the appropriate term. Don't forget that horse racing has a rich history, although it might not be as active nowadays!


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