Trying to be all things to all people is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to attracting and keeping customers. Choosing a target market is tough. It means eliminating entire groups of people from your messages. But without focus, you risk a bland, diluted message that means nothing to anyone.
When I don't have market stats to work with, I rely on the good ol' 80/20 rule. 80% of your potential target market probably won't buy from you -- unless you've got an unlimited budget to actually be all things to all people. Since that's not usually the case, let's figure out the 20% who are most likely to buy. This might be a demographic like freelance workers. Or it might be a state of mind, like Apple computer fanatics. This should be a group that actually needs or wants what you have to offer... and since your competitors are probably trying to be all things to all people as well, this small group doesn't feel particularly cared for.
One of the top players in the building automation software sector picked a small vertical market -- healthcare -- and created a completely customized offering for this vertical. Now any hospital in any country in the world either has this company's software or has this company on its bid list. They own this market because they had the guts to pick a small group, understand its needs, and develop a terrific answer to their problems.
Let's say your business could appeal to anyone purchasing products online. Great. Just don't throw a bunch of marketing spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks. Pick a small but promising group that's manageable. Get to know them. Develop programs for them. The more personal you get, the more they'll love you. Even if you're starting out with a narrow audience -- say small business owners -- there's room to get even more targeted. Start with a small test program with a subset of your prospective customer base and see what works. Chances are, it will turn into a self-funded program that will allow to move on to the next sub-group. And the next. And the next. It's like eating an elephant one bite at a time.