Hi Dave, I think this is the crux of the issue for most startups. Maybe that’s why Peter Theil in his book Zero to One advises new businesses to dominate a niche e.g. PayPal started with EBay sellers.
We spent some time recently creating personas so we can target our marketing and messaging better.
Even with personas done the bigger challenge for us is actually finding those people in the real world who are either ready to buy or at least willing to learn more.
Understanding how people learn about, select and buy your product/service is critical. AKA understanding your buyers' journey.
Product people (myself included) tend to spend too much time on product development and not enough time on understanding how people will discover and buy it.
Most products don’t sell themselves.
(Thanks for sharing your story. A good chance to reflect on my own experience.)