Before you start marketing a product or service, you need to identify and understand who your ideal customer. What do they value? Where are they spending their time? What are their challenges or problems? The answer to these questions will help build your customer avatar and as a result, have a huge impact on the quality and effectiveness of your marketing strategy.
Customer Avatar | How Critical Is It For Marketing?
How An Avatar Helps
Anytime there is a direct interaction with a customer, understanding the avatar is critical. Here’s how the customer avatar can help your digital marketing strategies:
- Content Marketing – What videos, lead magnets, blog posts, podcasts, infographics, etc. you should build to attract and convert your avatar
- Paid Traffic – The types of targeting options to use and platforms you should buy your traffic from
- Product Creation – What solutions your avatar is looking for
- Copywriting – How you should describe the offers in your email marketing and sales letters to make your avatar want to buy
- Email Marketing – Which email marketing campaign your avatar should receive
- Social Media – What kinds of things to share with your audience to promote engagement with your brand
- Customer Service – How to speak and service your customers
- Design Choices – Larger fonts for older audiences, more inspiring images for female-focused audiences, etc.
And pretty much everything else
When you better understand the person who is buying your product or service, you can fine-tune your marketing and sales process with a message that resonates and propels your customer to the desired call to action.
What to Include in Customer Avatars
Customer avatars consist of five distinct elements. In some situations, you’ll have to survey or speak with customers directly to flesh out your customer avatar. In other cases, you’ll already have a good grasp of who your ideal customer is. Either way, the most important thing is FORWARD PROGRESS. If you’re uncertain or lacking data on your avatar – don’t wait. It’s ok to make educated guesses when creating your first draft. Just make it a habit to circle back with newly collected research to further evolve your customer avatar. We suggest giving yourself a calendar reminder to update the customer avatar on a quarterly to six-month basis.
Let’s take a look at the five components of creating a customer avatar.
It may seem odd to start with the negatives, but trust us, it’s the best way to pull off the most compelling solutions and cast a wide net of possibilities. Start by listing out the problems of your ideal customer in relation to the solutions that your product or service is providing.
For example, if your product is a weight loss supplement, and your ideal clients are women ages 35 to 45 struggling with weight gain, your problems may be the following:
- Diet and exercise doesn’t seem to make an impact on weight loss
- Intermittent dieting followed by junk-food-filled cheat days are making it hard to lose weight
- Too Busy! No time or energy to exercise
- Suffering from a thyroid imbalance making it impossible to lose weight
- Part-time dieter. A fad diet here and there, with no real lifestyle changes for prolonged results
- List out all the possible problems. You can always go back and remove them if you discover that they don’t fit the avatar after all.
2. Values and Goals
Next, list the values and goals of your ideal customer and the corresponding products and services you provide. This will guide:
- Product Creation
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
What does the customer value, and what are they hoping to achieve?
Let’s say Customer Joe listed “improve overall health” as one of his goals. With that information, you could create an email specific to this avatar that promotes your supplement that does exactly what he wants with the subject line: “Wanting A Healthier 2018?” Customer Joe will be very inclined to read on.
3. Information Sources
Knowing ‘where’ your customer avatar is getting their information will determine where you advertise and the different options you have to reach them. These can range from magazines, blogs, books, social media, conferences…you get the idea. But how do you make sure you’re not inadvertently drawing in the wrong crowd within each specific “where”?
Go niche. Find magazines, blogs, books, conferences etc. that your avatar would know or be excited about, but others wouldn’t.
Let’s say you’re in the amateur basketball products market. You wouldn’t assign Michael Jordan as a guru because EVERYONE is familiar with who Michael Jordan is (whether they are a basketball fan or not). It’d be better to choose a more niche player, that only specific basketball lovers would know like Kawhi Leonard (small forward for the San Antonio Spurs). Point is: unless you know the game, you won’t know the player. In doing so, you promote exclusivity and better target your ideal customer – basketball players.
Knowing your avatar’s demographic information will help bring your customers to life and give you greater insight on how to reach them. Would you stylistically write the same way to a 15-year-old girl living in Beverly Hills California as you would to a 60-year-old man in Twin Falls Idaho? If your answer is no (and it should be no!), then you probably wouldn’t want to write sales copy, email, or content the same way either.
The same goes for targeting options in platforms like Google or Facebook. You can better target your avatar when you know information like their age, gender, and location because you’ll know what makes them tick.
Find out your demographics based on some pointed keywords that are specific to your product or service. We use Facebook insights, a free and awesome tool, to help us figure this out. It certainly helps that they have over 1 billion users that we can gain insight from.
5. Solutions & Objections
Let’s go back to Customer Joe and his improved health goal. One of his listed challenges is the lack of time to properly prepare a meal. In your marketing message, provide answers to his challenge. For example, your sales copy should include something like…
“Do you find it difficult to eat a balanced meal because you’re stuck in the office 12 hours a day? Get your daily dose of vitamins with Feel Good Supplements.”
Customer Joe will respond to copy like that because it addresses one of his specific challenges. However, you’ll also need to consider why Customer Joe would not purchase. These “objections” need to be tackled in your marketing. If you know that Customer Joe is 42, not active and has tried multiple solutions with limited results, you may offer a ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’ to address that objection. Or, if Customer Joe is 27 and his average income is quite low, you might offer a discount or free shipping for his first purchase. Understanding why your avatar may say “no” will help your sales campaigns and convince them to say “yes”.
Pro Tip: Create Multiple Avatars
Start with one avatar, but as you get more experienced, you’ll be able to create multiple avatars that are reflective of your different buyers. Understanding the different segments within your market will allow you to target them in distinct ways.
Creating an avatar is a necessity, and for us, we start here first for any new marketing campaigns, ads, or… just about anything, really. End of the day, it’s about the customer. If you make this avatar part of every one of your processes, it will ensure continuity and you’ll never lose sight of the end goal.
Do you need help figuring out your customer avatar? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll gladly take a look!