A budget that reaches a mass audience is beyond the reach of many brands, especially when marketing budgets are squeezed. Reaching a niche audience can be a helpful approach, says Amber Chenevert, managing director, strategy & insights at VMLY&R, who outlines five key considerations.

Do you have the budget to meaningfully connect with everybody to meet your business objectives? Likely no.

Your brand can’t be and shouldn’t be everything to everyone. Mass brand marketing has a role in building broad awareness. Niche marketing allows for more intimate conversations with important subgroups  that could represent the future of your business.

In Kristina Monllos’ piece for Digiday here, and in a spirited discussion with Mark Pollard on his “Sweathead” podcast here, we discuss the challenges and opportunities of niche marketing. Is getting so niche making it harder for marketers to connect to more consumers? Is it worth the effort? Is it the right use of dollars? According to Harvard Business Review, niche marketing is channeling all marketing efforts toward one well-defined segment of the population. With advancements in technology and commerce, meeting customers where they are is more budget-friendly than ever before.

While an EVERYBODY target seems like you’re setting your brand up for the best opportunity for financial success, there’s no practical way to be all things to EVERYBODY. So let’s get smart about getting niche to benefit your business in a few practical steps:

1. Define the face value business challenge.

Just the facts, please. What are your near-term and long-term sales goals? Does focus on an opportunity segment mean that you’ll be able to increase awareness and overall market share? Or can a niche audience represent an opportunity for brand evolution for a brand in need of a refresh? New Balance evolved from a Dad tennis shoe reputation to include the Gen Z rallying cry, “We Got Now”. Push yourself to simplify your statement using a format that identifies the gap between the current state of the business and the desired state of the business. For more ideas about crafting challenge or problem statements, read these tips from Entrepreneur. Having a clear point of view on the marketplace starts with a clear vision for the future of your brand.

2. Define the audience that will BEST help you solve the face value business challenge.

Given your business challenge and your timeline, who is the BEST audience to help you solve that problem? According to Forbes, the first step to finding your niche is good old-fashioned segmentation. Then, based on the business challenge and your timeline, determine which of those segments is the right target audience. Timeline is important. Some audiences may seem lucrative on the surface but may demand more time and investment before the brand sees the benefit. Airlines like Delta are great at mastering behavioral segmentation by signals like purchase price, experience, loyalty to help match business need to the appropriate marketing activation.

3. Redefine the business challenge in a way that centers the audience.

From the perspective of the audience, what would they say is getting in the way of you meeting your brand’s business goals? According to Forrester, human-centered design is the premier route to understanding your business challenges through the eyes of your customers. Customer journey mapping helps you identify gaps and friction in the customer experience that may have gone undiscovered otherwise. These gaps may exist online, offline or both.

4. Focus on connecting with your niche audience based on what matters to them in culture and what is relevant to your brand.

What are your brand values? What does your brand stand for? What is your brand against? What is the value alignment between your brand and your customer? For Wendy’s, a VMLY&R client, fresh, never frozen beef is a central value. The brand prioritizes quality over cutting corners. We helped Wendy’s defend this value in video games and social media. In video games, Wendy destroys freezers. On social media, Wendy’s is always ready for some fresh beef with competitors and friends alike. This kind of clear vision is grounding, helping target Gen Z while still being meaningful more broadly.

5. Consider how this focus gives you the halo effect you need, which could be relevant to more audiences.

Whole Foods is a great example of brand with a niche segment focus with broad appeal. It is one of the first stores to capitalize on the need for natural, organic food, but it put the products in a traditional grocery store format. Health food enthusiasts are a niche group. While natural and organic food is not necessarily accessible to everyone, the brand has been able to attract a broader audience. Whole Foods can serve a specific purpose (e.g., full shop, just snacks), while staying true to the brand. See your precise audience as your core and amplify shared values across other segments to get the most out of your marketing efforts.