Who is your ideal customer? Maybe a little fiction can help you wrap your head around the concept.
Just step back and think for a moment about your business and who you would like to walk in the door.
One way businesses learn more about their target audience is by creating a customer avatar.
It’s not a new idea. Marketers and entrepreneurs have been using this highly effective marketing technique to improve their understanding of customers for years.
Before we dig deep, it’s essential to understand what makes a great marketing campaign.
We believe a result-focused marketing strategy promotes and sells products to the right people, at the right time, and using the right platform.
If you take guesses at your ideal people or what platforms you should use to get your message across, you need to create a customer avatar because educated guesses or assumptions don’t always work in a competitive environment.
This blog post will cover:
What Is A Customer Avatar?
Generally speaking, an avatar is a fictional figure or personalized graphical illustration that represents a particular person. Just like those figures we see in video games.
However, a customer avatar is a different concept.
In marketing, we use an avatar to help understand our ideal customers or clients to easily find them. It’s an effort to define the best, most profitable prospects for your business.
Here is how Einstein Marketer defines a customer avatar:
“A detailed profile of your ideal customer. It doesn’t make assumptions or categorize people into groups. The avatar focuses on one person and outlines everything about them. It goes into much greater depth than a regular marketing persona, providing marketers with many more targeting tools.”
To be more precise, a customer avatar is a fictional person who has the same needs, pain points, and wants as the customer your want to serve. Unless you have a massive marketing budget, there’s no way you can serve everyone. This is where you need to narrow down your options.
This marketing tactic plays a crucial role in your business success, especially in hard times when people change their spending habits rapidly.
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs, coaches, influencers, and marketers don’t take the time to do it.
If you have already been running a business for a few years, you may have realized you already know your customer avatar or ideal customers.
People use different names to refer to their target audience, such as:
A buyer persona
It’s essential to understand that you may have more than one avatars when thinking of your ideal customers.
Depending on your business or brand’s nature, you could have multiple avatars - there’s no magic number.
Do you know everything about your target audience or customers?
You need to create a customer avatar if you find it difficult to accurately answer the following questions:
Who will you market your products or services to?
Who will buy your products and services?
Do you have buyers?
What type of content will you create?
Are you able to instantly target your ideal customers?
Do you know what to say in your videos, blogs, infographics, courses, products?
Where will you advertise your business or brand? On Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest?
Where is your ideal customer active?
How will you sell your products and services?
How will you speak to your customer?
When will you do it?
Why Is Knowing Your Customer Avatar Important?
Many businesses miss out on growth opportunities by not fully understanding who they want to sell. They don’t have a unified view of what their customers or clients are buying, saying, or doing on their websites and social media.
As a result, they embrace the “spray and pray” approach instead of better targeting and creating personalized brand messages and experiences.
You can effectively and masterfully sell anything if you understand these 3 major things:
Know who your ideal customer/audience is
Know where they are
Know what kind of challenges they face
Broad targeting is one of the major digital marketing mistakes which result in business trying to attract everyone and ending up attracting nobody.
When you speak everyone’s language, you’re bound to connect with less people. Besides, you spend way more than you should while trying to connect with your target market.
This is exactly why knowing your customers and client avatar is essential.
The better you know your customers, the more targeted and profitable campaigns you’ll be able to launch.
So, don’t waste your money and time selling to the wrong people.
When you find the right people, you can sell to them anytime.
It’s also important to evaluate the buyer lifecycle so you can serve them relevant content at each stage of their buyer’s journey. It will help you attract more high-value leads, visitors, and customers.
Before we dive into creating our customer avatars, let's take a look at a negative avatar and who we don't want as clients.
What Is A Negative Avatar?
A negative avatar presents people that you don’t want as customers.
Creating negative avatars is also a beneficial practice. Developing an understanding of who you don’t want to sell to can make it easier to narrow down your audience.
When creating a negative avatar, think of the customer who was a complete nightmare to work with.
The one that you couldn't wait to get rid of -- you know that real pain in the ass.
Write down all those things that lead to unsuccessful relationships with your clients.
The point here is not to identify the personality traits of a customer but to know the reasons why a particular person wasn’t a good fit for your products or services.
How To Create Your Customer Avatar
Let’s put it this way: you don’t really create a customer avatar. You discover it.
Now you know how critical a customer avatar could be to your marketing success, let’s get down to creating a customer avatar.
First of all, gather all the information and data that could help you know more about your ideal clients.
You might have previous data in the form of surveys, interviews, marketing campaign results, etc.
Start with identifying the known characteristics of your customers.
If you’re creating a customer avatar for the first time, HubSpot’s Make My Persona Tool would be of great help.
⭐ Related Post: What is Personal Branding?
Five Steps To Create Your Customer Avatar
Step 1: Name Avatar
Start by giving your customer avatar a name; for example, Agency Allan, CEO Chris.
It will help make your avatar easy to reference and remember, allowing for cross-team consistency.
Let’s say you’re a business coach, offering courses and classes to help entrepreneurs and employees streamline their work.
If your product is business coaching training programs, you may be offering exams, badges, and certificates.
So, who will be your prospective customers?
They could be CEOs interested in training and business development certification. They could be a group of employees who want to sharpen their work management skills. Or, they could be executive managers who want to navigate through difficult times.
In this case, you’ll have three customer avatars. You can name CEOs interested in your product as “CEO Chris”.
Likewise, you can create more customer avatars.
Step 2: Identify Demographics
List every characteristic and trait your customers share. It will include psychographics and demographics.
Demographics help you identify your customers, while psychographics makes it easy for you to understand why they buy your products.
As demographics are concerned, you have to identify people based on their age, gender, income, kids, habits, hobbies, job status, location, religion, race, or anything relevant to your business.
On the other hand, psychographics will help you understand what your audience enjoys, values, and beliefs. Psychographics is where you get to have fun!
Get inside the head of your customers to refine your findings.
Demographic data is valuable for businesses and coaches to understand how to market to consumers and plan for emerging consumer demands.
Big data and artificial intelligence further expand the application of demographics in marketing and business strategy.
Here are some questions about your target audience that will give you a rough idea of how demographic works:
What’s their gender?
What’s their age?
What is their income?
Where are they located?
What’s their job title?
What’s their marital status?
How many children do they have?
Are they an animal lover? (This one may be weird. But, the more specific the better!)
- Are they an introvert?
Also make note of what social media platforms your customer avatar is active. Are they on Facebook? Instagram? LinkedIn?
⭐ Related Post: How Much Time Does The Average Person Spend On Social Media?
The more specific details you can learn about your target customer the more opportunities you have to talk to them.
It’s important to mention here that if you use multiple tools to build your avatar some of that data may not be relevant to your business.
To avoid this, create your own demographics to track.
Knowing how your avatar feels at a specific moment helps you meet them where they are and deliver content that guides them to the next level.
You can talk to your clients to get this information - there is nothing wrong with reaching out to them and asking questions.
A great way to learn information about your ideal audience is to create polls on Facebook or Instagram.
You can ask all kinds of questions to learn about people, where they are in their journey, and how you can help them.
Step 3: Identify Dreams And Goals
What is that one big dream that they've been trying to reach? This one question can tell you a lot about a person.
Take a minute and try and learn what their short-term and long-term goals are.
What are your ideal customers trying to achieve? Are they looking to increase business revenue? Are they trying to connect with influencers in a particular industry?
Ask yourself relevant questions like this to identify their goals.
Make a list of values and goals that are relevant to what you offer.
In other words, write down problems your business can solve. Ask for feedback from your existing customers.
Using forms, keyword research, or listening to your customers on social media is also an effective way to identify your target audience goals.
Pay attention to questions your potential customers are asking on different platforms.
You can go to social media and see what kind of questions or ideas people are sharing. A relevant conversation on Facebook, for example, will give you valuable information.
Step 4: Identify Challenges
What are their challenges? What are their pain points?
Now that you know the goals your customers want to achieve, it’s time to identify what kind of challenges or obstacles they’re facing in doing so.
Your support team is likely to listen and address customer concerns and questions.
While a majority of customers like to bring their issues to attention through support channels or social media, some of them don’t do so.
To create a perfect customer avatar, you must be aware of the challenges and pain points your audience is going through.
Of course, you only have to identify challenges that you provide solutions for.
So, take a proactive approach to know things that create frustration for your customers.
Does your ideal customer need marketing help? Are they having trouble creating great content? Are they finding it hard to manage time efficiently?
Instead of relying on your customers to express their troubles, ask them to speak up.
Here are four strategies to identify your customers’ pain points:
Create customer surveys and send them to your customers on a regular basis to collect feedback. Include questions that allow for open-ended responses.
Save and organize feedback, having it all in one logical order.
Pay attention to your customers’ confusion or questions. If one of your customers contact you to ask a question, it’s safe to assume that there are many others having the same question or concern.
Allow your customers to provide feedback on your website. They’re likely to share the exact information you’re looking for. Feedback widgets, for example, make it easy and quick for your customers to speak their minds.
This is how you can attach certain challenges and pain points to your ideal client profile.
Interviewing your customers is also a good way to prepare a list of challenges your business can address.
This entire process of identifying customers’ challenges will help you generate great ideas for new products or services that solve your avatar’s issues.
Besides, it will help you craft the right message that speaks directly to your customers’ pain points and drive them to take action.
Going Deeper -- The Why Question
When you ask your customers a question, make sure to follow up with a “why” question to dive deeper into their needs and wants.
Don’t be afraid to ask the “why” questions.
Doing this helps you get to know your ideal audience and customers on a deeper level -- your relationship is no longer superficial.
When you follow up with why after someone answers a question, it creates the opportunity for you to learn more about their personality, best or worst qualities, and values which plays a huge role when learning how to talk to your buyer personas.
And once you get your messaging right it move things along the pipeline and will help you figure out how your products can solve a specific problem.
Think of reasons why your customer avatar will or will not choose to buy your products or services.
As you build your client avatars, think of what they need from you.
Imagine you and your avatar are working together to discover more about your product or service.
Here are some questions to think of:
What were your customers thinking before signing up for your services or buying your products?
What were they looking for?
Did you meet or are you currently meeting their expectations?
How did they hear about you?
How did they feel once they purchased your products?
Why were they feeling that way? Should they feel different?
Thinking this way will guide you to come up with better solutions down the line.
Step 5: How Can You Help?
Once you have created your customer avatar, it is time to see how you can help them.
How can your products or services solve any of their frustrations? How can you help them reach a goal? Can you give them something they want and enjoy?
Really nothing is wrong here if you have the right offer, messaging, and timing in place.
How Can Customer Avatars Be Used In Marketing?
This is a pivotal point in almost every business.
Understanding how to reach and talk to your target customers online is something that many businesses, coaches and influencers struggle with.
Once you have your customer avatars in place, you can put them to work.
Your avatars function like the lens for your marketing material.
From a marketing perspective, customer avatars are created to launch more focused and well-targeted campaigns.
The more specific you are, the better.
When you craft messaging for your brand, you will be able to analyze whether or not it’s geared towards your avatars’ needs and goals or fears. You can answer questions your customer avatar has by writing about those topics.
You are likely to have multiple avatars even if you have a specific niche.
It’s not advisable to have just one avatar called “CEO Chris”.
You may have avatars for entrepreneurs struggling to grow their coaching business or for business coaches nearing retirement.
There can be several possibilities.
Your marketing efforts must be targeted towards each of their needs. Again, the more specific you are at identifying your customer avatars, the more targeted your content will be.
When creating your content geared towards your newly-defined avatar, treat your customer or client as the hero of their journey.
Your job would be of a guide who helps them achieve their goals through blogs, website content, or other marketing campaigns.
Show them that you’re always there to help them succeed.
Use the #R3MAT Method to market to your customer avatar easily
If you don’t know about #R3MAT, let me give you a brief introduction.
The #R3MAT method is about showing the right message to the right people at the right time.
Here is what #R3MAT stands for:
- M - Messaging (how you speak to your customers)
- A - Audience (who you speak to)
- T - Timing (when you engage with them)
Don’t forget to set the right expectations when implementing #R3MAT.
If you have clearly defined to whom you want to sell your products or services, it becomes easy to apply the #R3MAT method.
All you have to do is understand how to speak to them in a tone they understand, like, or admire.
When it comes to personalized marketing, #R3MAT can further enhance your efforts to serve your ideal customers. We all know how important it is to deliver personalized messaging to stand out.
People are bombarded with ads and intrusive content.
That’s why they hate to see marketing material in their mailbox or on social media.
However, when you focus on creating personalized content that speaks directly to your customer avatars, your marketing content turns into likable, valuable solutions.
Another benefit of knowing your customer avatar is the ease of choosing the right platform to promote your message and which ad targeting options you should use.
Take a look at the following example where Gary explains the #R3MAT Method and its application in creating Facebook ads:
And once you find your perfect audience you can go find more people just like them every single day. Just imagine if you could get 100 to 1,000 new ideal clients a day.
It’s hard to cut through the noise in today’s complicated marketing landscape.
Developing a customer or client avatar is the best way to become more efficient in your messaging.
Using customer avatars in combination with #R3MAT method is a surefire way to accelerate your business growth.
Don’t create avatars based on assumptions and opinions; instead, use market research and customer data.