I subscribe to many blogs and news feeds, one I read this week was great...the link is at the bottom so when you're finished reading please check it out.
To summarize the numurous and humurous completions of the sentence...it does not lead to success to advertise without a well defined target market.
So for our small to medium size businesses that do not have the budget to conduct studies, we're here to help. Before we spill the beans (which are not special beans, in fact most of my beans will sound fairly obvious) we need to ask ourselves why. why bother defining our target market? Isn't our target market the people buying our stuff? It's a waste of time to document and keep track of who are customers are...what benefit is there to it? HOW would we even begin to define our "target market"?
The answer to all of that is...you want to study, track, document and analyze who your current customers are. Once you begin to build a basic profile of them you can draw additional correlations and conclusions by you comparing national data and local data (both where available).
At this point you've built a profile and figured out who your current customers are...now ponder if the customers you HAVE are the customers you WANT. Are their average checks as high as you'd like them? Are their visits as frequent as you'd like? Are they the customers you originally set out to serve?
Next...if these are the customers your current advertising are bringing in do you want more of them or would you like to attract a slightly different group of customers? If the latter is true, how do you pull those other types of customers in?
Obviously that last question is totally loaded...the answer is that it depends. If you're desired target market is 55+ then you need to reach them through more traditional media like newspaper and radio...but if your desired target market is 18-35 year old males, then you'll need to tap into social media, sports and other things that young men gravitate to.
Series to be continued...