Demographics Hypotheses

The goal of defining customer demographics is to create a picture of potential customer groups in order to both build a product or service that meets their needs as well as market that solution effectively.

By adding context and color to a demographic groups and their behavior, customer demographics help marketers better understand what may motivate them.

The greater clarity around a target demographic, the more focused and effective your innovation and marketing efforts will be.

Everyone is in the business of customer satisfaction in some way. The most important activity of any start-up is to hypothesize which demographics may be intererested in their solution, then validate these assumptions.

Demographic Purchasing Behaviour

It is essential to understand the buying behaviour and habits of target customer demographics in order to build and market goods and services effectively. Targeting customer bases with high potential for early uptake can be key to winning early revenues and defining feature sets.

The product adoption lifecycle is a model that describes the adoption or acceptance of a new product or innovation, according to the demographic and psychological characteristics of defined adopter groups. The process of adoption over time is typically illustrated as a classical normal distribution or "bell curve". The model indicates that the first group of people to use a new product is called innovators, followed by "early adopters". Next come the early majority, majority and late majority, and the last group to eventually adopt a product are called "Laggards". Laggards may only use a cloud service when it is the only remaining method of performing a required task.

Typical Product Adoption Curve

Product Adoption Curve

Hover over each term for a definition:
  • Innovator – Innovators are the first individuals to adopt an innovation. Innovators are willing to take risks, youngest in age, have the highest social class, have great financial lucidity, very social and have closest contact to scientific sources and interaction with other innovators. Risk tolerance has them adopting technologies which may ultimately fail.
  • Early Adopter – An individual or business who uses a new product or technology before others. They have the highest degree of opinion leadership among the other adopter categories. Early adopters are typically younger in age, have a higher social status, have more financial lucidity, advanced education, and are more socially forward than late adopters. More discrete in adoption choices than innovators.
  • Early Majority - The first sizable segment of a population to adopt an innovative technology. Early Majority tend to be slower in the adoption process, have above average social status, contact with early adopters, and seldom hold positions of opinion leadership in a system.
  • Late Majority - Adopt a new product only after seeing that the majority of the population already has successfully adopted it. Typically older, less affluent and less educated than the early segments in the technology adoption lifecycle.
  • Laggard - An individual or company resistant to adopting a technology. Unlike some of the previous categories, individuals in this category show little to no opinion leadership. Laggards tend to be advanced in age, focused on “traditions”, likely to have lowest social status, lowest financial fluidity, and in contact with only family and close friends

    Customer Pains and Gains

    From considering the tasks a solution must provide, it is possible to determine the underlying motivations behind these tasks. Understanding the “why’s” of what the user expects from the solutions usually fall into two categories. how a user may try to relieve pains involved in the task, how a user unlocks gains from a solution Pains are usually the easiest to list. What gets in the way of  person’s jobs? Gains are not simply the opposite of pains. Instead, gains are the hidden ambitions people have, their goals in life, things that make them happy.