I hate buyer personas. There, I said it.
Why do I hate them? Because technical marketers cling to them like life rafts in stormy seas.
They base everything on QA Maggie or CISO Jonathan, and then wonder why their content marketing campaigns don’t work.
The real issue with buyer personas is that they’re usually based solely on demographics. That’s not to say that demographics aren’t out of place in a buyer persona. I just think they’re just the foundation of a good Know Your Audience (KYA) strategy.
Why demographics are only a starting point
For B2B tech marketers, demographics will only tell you part of the story. Your audience has multiple people, meaning the ones you’re talking to today might not be the ones actually purchasing your product. Or using it.
So, knowing you’re dealing with mid-sized companies in your chosen industry is good. But diving deeper into things might not be worth it. Do you really need to know about the QA analysts making $85K/yr on a team of 5 people or less are probably going to be the ones using your product? Or that their VP is a GenZ-er who rose through the ranks quickly to now lead an entire department?
You need to know that there’s a possibility a GenZ-er might be in your target audience, but it might not matter how fast they got to that VP chair or whether they attend 3–5 events per year.
Psychographics take you to the next level
The next step in KYA is adding in psychographics. Psychographics are “market research or statistics classifying population groups according to psychological variables (such as attitudes, values, or fears)”, according to M-W.
It’s the next step in analyzing your audience because it tells you a lot more about the things people care about and are interested in.