(Note: much of the content in this article is a summation of a Podcast on 11/8/17 from Masters of Scale)
Context of interview
On the November 8, 2017 episode of Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman, Reid interviews investor and PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel on a variety of issues revolving around the success of ambitious ideas and the philosophy behind engaging in competition or leaving it. If you’re familiar with Thiel, you know his ideas are often a little unorthodox. In this case, as Hoffman agrees, Thiel is very accurate. Everything he advises is well-founded in robust experience as well as intuitive.
Crossing the Chasm
Crossing the Chasm, a 1991 book by Geoffrey A. Moore, identifies five major audiences constituting a variety of target markets. According to Moore, understanding the nature of these groups is essential in figuring out how best to market a new product in each instance. Rather than going after the entire collective, Moore advocates for marketing to the audiences one at a time. As you succeed in one, you’ll carry momentum over into the next one. This aligns with the best practices of inbound marketing, as well: create various buyer personas so you can truly understand who you're selling to, and focus on that specific demographic.
Buyer personas are “semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer based on real data along with some select educated speculation about customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals.” Basically, a buyer persona is a sketch of your average consumer based on research you have done. Research can be collected through interviews, forms that have been filled out by customers on your website, surveys, and any other number of ways you can find information about your clientele.