“Smallest Viable Audience”: The N2 Advantage

Photo by Jason Hook


“The media and our culture push us to build something for everyone, to sand off the edges and to invest in infrastructure toward scale. But it turns out that quality, magic and satisfaction can lie in the other direction. Not because we can’t get bigger, but because we’d rather be better.”


These are the wise words of marketing guru Seth Godin, as shared in his blog post, “The smallest viable audience.” And all of us here at The N2 Company wholeheartedly agree. In fact, over the last 20 years we’ve built our business on creating top-quality media that is hyper-relevant to very small and specific audiences – be it a particular neighborhood, a small community, the new homeowners who recently moved to town, or the few hundred top-producing real estate agents in a market.


We don’t create a single magazine with the intention of getting it into the hands of everyone with a pulse. Our products are powerful means of marketing for the thousands of local businesses we partner with because advertisers understand they are paying to get their ads in the mailboxes of their ideal clients – not just anyone.

And they understand that their marketing dollars are used wisely because, unlike mass direct mail strategies that require shelling out to reach a large audience when the vast majority of it will be tossed in the trash and ignored, N2 magazines are looked out for and highly sought after by our readers – again, our clients’ ideal customers they know they want to reach above all else. 

Readers of N2 magazines often hold onto every issue delivered to them, like the homeowner above who receives a monthly Stroll publication for and about her specific neighborhood.

Why are N2 magazines so highly read? Each issue is uniquely catered to the “smallest viable audience” – the select group of people for whom the content within the publication is created for and about. 

Seth Godin goes on to share in his blog post, “When you strip away the alternative mantra of ‘you can pick anyone, and we’re anyone,’ then you have to lean into the obligation of being the sort of provider that people would miss if you were gone.” 

The stories and photos we share in our award-winning magazines cannot be found anywhere else. They are all about, and even largely contributed by, the readers themselves. This is hyper-relevance and the key to why our readers and advertisers would miss us if we didn’t exist.

The part of Seth’s blog that resonates with us most is when he explains that “specificity is the way” and “sets the standard for producing work that people connect to and are changed by.” Connection has always been the word we’ve used to describe what we do. We connect a specific group of community members together through hyper-relevant and hyper-personal storytelling, and connect great businesses with these ideal clients through the power of niche print media and digital marketing.

Seth ends his post with the question, “What could be better?” 

If you ask us, the answer is nothing.