How To Develop Your Perfect Customer Avatar
Is your marketing missing the mark? Maybe you’re not reaching the right customers, or it costing you more money than you want to acquire those customers? It could be because you have not identified your customer avatar. Think about it, how can you hit a target if you don’t know where or what the target is? It’s the same when it comes to your marketing. If you don’t know who you are targeting (your customer avatar), you won’t be able to develop the perfect message to reach out to them and that will probably mean you’ll spend more money than you need acquiring those people (or you’ll acquire the wrong kind of customers!).
Here’s a few of the main reason you need to develop your customers avatar ASAP.
1. Know where you should market. Determining your customer avatar will help you to know where you should spend your time (& money) marketing. For instance, if you’re target market is 55+ women, and you are focussing on Snapchat as your primary marketing channel, you’re probably not going to get much traction.
2. Reduce Your Acquisition Costs. Once you understand your customer avatar, you’ll find you’re advertising to be more effective because you know where to advertise and who to target for maximum reach.
3. More effective copy. By understanding your customer avatar you’ll be able to develop copy that really stands out and speaker to them directly including their pain points, challenges, goals, dreams and desires.
What’s A Customer Avatar
So, what exactly is a customer avatar? Think about it as a fictitious character that represents your ideal customer. It brings together facts & assumptions you’ve gathered from thinking about, researching or talking to your customers.
Again, developing a customer avatar (also called a Buyers Persona) is important so you can determine where you spend your marketing budget, how you develop your message and assist you in standing out in a crowded marketplace.
OK, so defining your customer avatar is important, but how do you do it? Sometimes you’ll already know details about your customer, other times you may need to talk to your customer or do some research or survey your current customers. However you collect your data, the important thing is to not base your findings just off your gut instinct. But actually gather evidence based on buying patterns or data.
The are two sides of your customer avatar: Demographic Information & psychographic information.
The easiest place to start with your customer avatar is determing their demographic details. How old are they, are you targeting men, women or both, where do they live, what do they do for a job? Demographic info will give your persona a look and feel which will help you when writing marketing or sales copy. It will also help when it comes to developing audiences for your social advertising.
Here’s a list of demographic information you should think about when developing your avatar:
- General: Age OR Age Range, Gender
- Home Life: Marital Status, Children, Location
- Work Details: Occupation, position, where they work, Income
Get Inside Your Customers Head
Demographics will only give you half the story when it comes to understanding your customer avatar. To fully understand your customer, you need to get into your customers head. Think about their daily life, their interests, what fears they face, how do they think, what annoys them and how can you solve that.
Here’s a list of questions you might want to ask to really start to understand the thought patterns of your customers:
- What challenges are they facing?
- Where do they acquire their information?
- What keeps them up at night?
- What do they value in life (health, family, etc.)
- What do they do in their spare time?
- What roadblocks stop them from solving their problems?
- What are their goals
Pulling it all together
Now that you’ve answered a whole heap of questions about your customer, it’s time to pull it all together into something useful that yourself, your team and anyone else who is working on your marketing can use. This is where a customer avatar profile can come in handy. Here’s how to build one:
1. Name your Avatar. Giving you avatar a name brings it to life and humanises all that data that you’ve collected.
2. Give your avatar a face. Choose an image for your avatar. You could grab a photo from google images or go to http://uifaces.com/ and choose a photo that represents your avatar. Again this humanises your avatar and helps you to relate to them as a person rather than just a bunch of stats.
3. Write a story about your avatar. Imagine your avatar is discovering your products/service for the first time. What are they thinking about before they buy? How are they feeling & why? Were they looking to solve a problem? How did they find out about you? And once they bought how are they feeling? Is their problem solved?
This doesn’t have to be long (maybe 1-2 paragraphs) but it will help you to get in their head and also makes it easy to explain your avatar to anyone else working with you.
4. Design a One-Page Cheatsheet. Pull all of the demographic info and data you’ve collected about your customer into a one page document that you can use when working on your marketing. You can distribute this to other people on your team, put it up in your office or give it to contractors and others who are working on your marketing.
Can I have Multiple Avatars?
So, you might be asking, can I have multiple avatars? The short answer is YES. Multiple avatars are perfectly fine, and can especially be useful if you have more than one product or service. The only caution to building multiple avatars is that it can be overwhelming to try and develop all these avatars at one time. So the best thing to do is to develop one at a time. Start with one of your products/services that bring you in the most profit and go from there.
So, if you haven’t already thought about your customer avatar, it’s time to do it now – before you spend any more time and effort on marketing. By spending the time to think about your customer avatar you’ll be in a much better position to reach the people that you want to reach with your marketing.
Over to you, let us know in the comments how you develop your customer avatar and what’s important for you to know in the process.