It happens all the time. I'll ask a small business who their ideal customer is and they say "we want to reach everyone." The problem with marketing to everyone is, when your message and marketing it so watered down and generic to appeal to everyone without truly focusing on your ideal or core audience, you connect and appeal to no one. Everyone who is unique, including your business and your audience.
"Focus on the core problem your business solves and put out lots of content and enthusiasm and ideas about how to solve that problem."
Who Is Your Target Market?
Knowing your ideal customer is the basis of any marketing plan. You've got to know who your ideal customer is, where you can find them, what their top questions about your niche or business are, what other kinds of things/purchases do they make and what kind if information engages them.
If you're already selling, take a look at your existing customers. Who are they? What do they like about your company's products? Try to recall any positive feedback you've gotten from them. Naturally, if your business resonates with these individuals, it will resonate with others like them. What kind of customers would you like more of and what types of customers do you not want to serve? This goes beyond their core demographics like location, age, household income and includes things like what other hobbies do they have, what other products do they use, what are their pain points, hopes, and aspirations?
Defining your target market may take a bit more work if you don't already have customers. Look at companies that offer similar products to yours. Who is buying from them? Who could benefit from your products? How are you different from your competitor and how would your clientele be different?
What Makes Your Products Unique?
There are likely to be other companies selling goods or services similar to yours. So, what makes yours different? What is your unique selling proposition (USP)? Why would someone buy from you and not another company?
If the unique qualities of your product or service don't come to mind immediately, do some soul searching and look for the strengths. If, in the end, you find that your product, unfortunately, resembles basically everything else on the market, how can you change it to make it unique? If you are not unique, you will be selling based on price alone with is a losing battle. What makes you special? What makes you unique?
What Do You Want Your Marketing to Achieve?
Every business takes for granted that it needs to market, but why? The 'why' is critical. You need to identify your marketing goals because this should guide all of your efforts and help you choose which tactics are most appropriate. Do you want to increase web traffic? Branding? Increase visitors to your location? How will you determine if a marketing campaign is successful? Too many businesses spend money on advertising and then after a month or two determine "it didn't work" yet they have specific no goals for the campaign.
Once you know who your target market is, what's unique about your product or service, and what you want to get out of your marketing efforts, you're ready to get started with your marketing plan.