You’ve probably never heard of this podcast. And that’s just one way it’s successful.

You’ve probably never heard of the podcast I’ve been working and you probably have no interest in its content. And that’s just one way we know it’s successful.

Here’s another. This podcast that is targetted at a very narrowly defined niche audience, we’re talking about a couple hundred people maximum, made it into iTunes New and Noteworthy for Science and Medicine. It’s called Dermalogues, and you can see it right there, sharing space with someone my teenage daughter tells me is a very popular YouTuber.


Dermalogues is a podcast I am producing with the Canadian Dermatology Association. It has a laser-like focus on dermatology residents in Canada. The host Dr Kerri Purdy came up with the idea when she attended the annual dermatology conference. Listening to the fantastic roster of expert presenters, it occurred to her that residents, like her residents in Halifax, rarely get the opportunity to be exposed to the full spectrum of dermatological expertise that exists across Canada. If they’re in Halifax, they’re exposed to Nova Scotia experts. If they’re in Edmonton, then Edmonton experts. She wanted to change that.

So the program we designed begins and ends with that goal in mind. We solicited subject area interests from residents, asked what questions they wanted to be answered, we considered the tone that would appeal to them, how to craft a narrative flow that would interest them specifically. And we incorporated new production ideas, like a toll-free number to call in and ask questions which we play on the podcast. (It’s 1-877 Derm-log, very proud of that)

It’s been a fun project to work on. And I think it holds some valuable lessons for anyone trying to communicate in a crowded space. Really work hard to identify and then relieve a specific pain point of a narrowly defined audience. They will thank you for it.

Broadcasting is decent strategy if you have the marketing budget to support it. If your intended audience is ‘everyone’ then your marketing plan needs to be able to reach everyone. But if you narrow-cast, you are successful at satisfying the unique needs of your targetted audience, then they will do a lot of the marketing work for you.

Oh, which brings me to the best part of working with narrowly defined audiences. How do you know you’re successful? They reach out and thank you. I’ll take that over a spreadsheet any day.