I have been working too hard lately. And it’s showing.

No, no… not with regards to the money that I make. But my belly size. Perhaps it’s because of the ridiculous amounts of chocolates I got from Kodai Kanal. I should be doing something about this situation…

But do you know who else needs to lose weight? Buyer Personas.

The current Buyer personas are slightly overweight. Okay, fine. They are massively overweight.


The traditional buyer personas are full of useless details

Details that we would never use. Whenever an entrepreneur or a marketer creates a persona document, they are expected to fill it with loads of information, ranging from their age to their pets. You are also expected to know if your audience likes ‘Friends’ more than ‘Seinfeld’.

We go on piling so much data that the document becomes fat… and, more importantly, overwhelming and useless. As marketers and entrepreneurs, we want to know our audience deeply, but these over-weight persona documents are just distractions.


How can buyer personas lose weight?

The solution is simple – Focus on the most relevant details of the audience. Any piece of information about your audience that is not connected to your business (or the category of your business) needs to be removed.

What do we retain, then?

Let’s talk about 3 important things we should consider while creating a buyer persona to understand our audience.


Understanding the Roger’s Curve

One of the more famous curves in human history is ‘Roger’s Curve.’ Roger’s curve categorizes your audience based on their willingness to adopt new ideas and products.

In a random set of 100 people, there would be approximately 16% of innovators and early adopters. These guys and girls are keen to try new things in your category.

Remember your friend who always wants to try out the new Chinese restaurant that was recently launched? Yeah, he is an Early Adopter in the ‘Restaurant’ category.

And then there are 68% of people in the ‘early majority’ and ‘late majority’ categories. These people want only proven things, and they do not like to be on the cutting edge. Unlike your friend who wants to try the Chinese restaurant, these guys don’t want to take risks. (In that category, of course)


And then there are laggards

People reluctantly adopt new ideas or products because they have no other choice. I remember my parents downloading the Uber app with hesitation after almost everyone around them had started using Uber.


Different audiences need different Marketing

Businesses need to be mindful of these differences. Ignoring them is harmful. A business targeting innovators and early adopters should have a marketing approach from a business targeting the early majority.

(Here’s a pro tip – When you are just getting started, you should probably focus on early innovators.)


Understanding audience Psychography

While most buyer personas focus on demographics, they don’t discuss psychographics. While demographics are based on hard data, data we can touch and feel, psychographics are abstract.

In simple terms, Psychographics are the underlying belief of your audience.

For example, if you target entrepreneurs in your city, the demographic details would be their age and the size of the company they own or run.

But do they want to sell their business? Do they believe in growth at all costs? Or do they want to grow slowly? These are psychographic beliefs… and I can’t tell you how important it is for your Marketing.

Understanding Psychographic beliefs ensures that your marketing speaks to your audience.


Lean Demographics

We can combine the insights we got above with the demographic insights. As I mentioned, demographics comprise of hard data we can touch. However, we won’t be picking up all the demographics.

We would be superimposing the above insights with lean, highly relevant demographics.

For example, for your business, knowing the age and gender of your audience is essential. So keep that. But other details such as –

1. Whether your target audience has a dog

2. Whether they voted for Biden or Trump

3. Whether they have a garden or not

could be irrelevant to your business. Perhaps for some other businesses, they could be important. But not for yours.

So scrap that.

Discern between the relevant demographics from the ones we borrow from marketing templates we find on Google.


To summarize

Traditional Buyer Personas are overweight and filled with details that confuse and overwhelm us. Instead of gathering meaningless information, we can focus on what’s relevant. A good way to start is to understand where your audience lies on Roger’s curve, the audience psychographics, and the audience demographics. Only then can the personas lose weight.

Speaking of which, I should really be going for that run now.