First, it was Austin Powers and his pinky finger. Before that, it was the amount you needed to have saved to retire. What is it with the number 1 million?

The fabulously talented Ashton Kutcher recently made it even more famous with the magical number of followers on his Twitter account. He accomplished this with the help of his friend Larry King, and he achieved it.

Websites crave it. In fact, websites that need advertising dollars live or die by 1 million unique visitors.

These days, everyone is fighting for it — the magical 1 million.

What happened to the days when Mr. Bob, the local grocery store owner, personally thanked Mr. Ted for his business, and that ONE customer was important? Now, we come bundled. In packs of 1 million. Oh, and we’re separated by age, gender, interests, jobs, ZIP code, city, state and more.

Welcome to Niche Marketing 101, Internet style.

For the advertiser trying to figure out where to spend his or her hard-earned dollars, it can be a nightmare to try to figure out!

But one thing is for certain: You need to figure it out, or you are missing tremendous opportunities and you are not connecting with the younger generation of future purchasers.

There are so many media formats, so many niche websites and the fact of the matter is, the up and coming consumers are online.

My kids, for example, think print is a novelty. But one of my son’s videos on his YouTube account has more than 120,000 views. These days, a dog dancing or cat snoring on video can mean big money if your video goes viral and reaches high viewership.

So, let’s say you want to advertise online. We recommend a multimedia approach to your marketing.

You are probably familiar with the traditional advertising opportunities in print, radio and TV. Let’s just say you want to place an ad on the website, though.

Do you have a product that is local? Is it something that can be sold over the Internet? Look at the sections on the website — does anything match up by interest with your business?

For example, a mom selling jewelry probably doesn’t want to place an online ad on a fishing gear website. Then again, she might, if she has fishing jewelry or something applicable.

More niche marketing — did you know that websites can figure out what area code you are from and gear the ads specifically to you? Perfect match.

There are all types of ways to pay for Internet advertising. You will find a wide variety of ways to pay, from per click to per a number of clicks and more. Don’t be scared. Try it!

Still, my favorite way of advertising is the good old “word-of-mouth” campaign. We think the trick is finding someone who loves your business like you do.

Will they promote you on Facebook for free? Give you a shout on Twitter? Send your YouTube video out to their friends?

That is the modern version of Mr. Bob and Mr. Ted from way back when.

You’ll also find a craze out there to gear everything to women — the purchasers.

You’ll reach women in droves online. You reach almost all women these days online. You reach them in pockets on women’s social sites and online in various communities. In fact, a flurry of women CEOs of Internet companies is popping up everywhere!

Do you know why? Being online anytime, anyplace, anywhere — at your convenience — is why. Women have it figured out! It is a place that allows us to juggle a kazillion things and one more — the virtual marketplace! It’s the virtual mall, farm and grocery store. We send each other flowers, shoes and more.

It is a place where we don’t have to leave home, our kids can make all the noise they want and chaos can go on around us. The only time any of us get nervous is when we have to do our hair and makeup for Skype.

But women are on these sites. Meet the women who are connecting to other women.

And let me clue you in. One million customers don’t matter — all it takes is ONE, because she’ll tell and pass it on, and soon enough 1 million will know about it, one way or another.

Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino is founder and chief executive officer of www. bestever, a Falmouth-based multimedia company that provides lifestyle content.