November 17, 2017
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
The Mount recently heard from local business leaders on the benefits of niche marketing. From left to right: Moira Tolan, professor of Business and graduate program coordinator; Rick Zolzer, vice president of the Hudson Valley Renegades; and Thomas Huvane, senior vice president of wealth management at UBS Financial Services, Inc.
A pair of local business leaders revealed the secrets of personalized advertising on Wednesday, November 15 at a Mount Saint Mary College panel talk.
“Knowing Your Customers: Understanding Market Demands” was presented by the Mount’s School of Business and featured Thomas Huvane, senior vice president of wealth management at UBS Financial Services, Inc. and Rick Zolzer, vice president of the Hudson Valley Renegades and radio announcer on the station WRWD. Moira Tolan, Mount professor of Business and graduate program coordinator, moderated the talk.
The businessmen shared how their advertising tactics, and marketing strategies in general, have shifted from mass marketing to niche marketing in recent years.
Huvane explained mass marketing using the example of television ads that run during the Super Bowl. These types of advertisements are beneficial since they reach a wide audience, but an advertiser has no control over who sees them, potentially wasting ad money on those who are not interested in the product or service.
On the other hand, marketing to niche markets, specifically targeted demographic groups who would be interested in the product or service offered, has become much easier and is more beneficial for the advertiser.
“As using technology gets less complicated, marketing gets more personal,” noted Huvane.
Focusing on a niche market has been successful for the Hudson Valley Renegades as well.
“We don’t sell baseball, we sell family entertainment,” said Zolzer of the minor league baseball team’s advertising strategy. As a result, they’ve chosen to gear their advertising towards predominantly female-heavy audiences, who generally make decisions regarding family entertainment. He credits this marketing tactic as one of the reasons the league sells 99 percent of its tickets each year.
The Mount’s School of Business has hosted several informational panels thanks to a generous sponsorship by Mount benefactors Jack and Susan Pretak. From left to right: Tracey Niemotko, professor of Accounting and chair of the School of Business; Moira Tolan, professor of Business and graduate program coordinator; Rick Zolzer, vice president of the Hudson Valley Renegades; Thomas Huvane, senior vice president of wealth management at UBS Financial Services, Inc.; and Susan and Jack Pretak.
UBS Financial also markets to women as its niche market, Huvane explained. This shift occurred as a result of learning that while 85 percent of women say they handle their household’s finances, only 20 percent felt prepared enough to make those decisions. The businessman realized that there was a lot of untapped marketing potential for his financial services with this demographic.
In order to find out how to reach them, Huvane made himself an expert in the niche market by conducting focus groups, attending female entrepreneurial and networking events, and conducting studies to find out how to market to women.
Huvane also pointed out that the principles he used to learn about his niche market could translate to any demographic. He encouraged the students to spend time researching their target market in order to make the best use of advertising dollars.
The panelists concluded with advice to students entering the workforce. “Prepare yourself to be well-rounded,” Zolzer said. “Good doesn’t cut it. You need to be able to work in multiple avenues – selling, writing, communication, social media – everything.”
Huvane echoed Zolzer’s advice.
No matter what one is doing, “you have to understand marketing,” the senior vice president advised. “Learn how to solve really important problems, and learn how to convey to people that you have the solution to those problems.”
The panel was made possible by a sponsorship from Jack and Susan Pretak to the Mount’s School of Business.