This is part 9 of a 10 part series.

Don’t overlook niche audiences.

When I’m running a political campaign, who’s my audience? Voters. And whether you are working on advertising for Coca-Cola or the corner store, the question is the same:  who’s my audience? The next question is: what’s the best way to reach them?

At one time, the primary way was through broad-reach media, like network television or radio. That’s all changed. Now, we can break down audiences to target and reach them much more specifically and efficiently. That’s a HUGE improvement. So NOW the question really is: which audience segment(s) am I trying to reach? And here’s a suggestion:

There is safety in numbers, right? So, using polling data in a political campaign or getting demographic info for a national retail brand, the temptation is to go where the most numbers are. Makes sense? Here’s the thing— some group you might have NEVER considered could be the key to success.

So don’t just look at the numbers. Maybe you’ll find a group that can be more receptive to your message, or is more likely to take action (like vote, or try a new product). Besides the hard facts, use your gut. Soccer Moms? Millennials? Conservative grandmothers? Rural tweens?

If you like poring over data (like me), you’ll LOVE how targeted you can be. And unlike election seasons, when some people (and, boy, does this drive me nuts) won’t vote unless it’s a presidential year—most people are hungry and thirsty and ready to buy home improvements or jeans or something pretty much every day. So you can test and learn.

Look at the numbers but not ONLY the numbers. Keep your eyes open. Dig. But trust your intuition. And don’t drive yourself nuts trying to find brown-eyed, suburban, dual-income households with beagles. (Even though you can.)