- Buyer Persona
- Marketing Persona
- Customer Avatar
- Target Market
These are the phrases that are used interchangeably to describe the fictional, generalized representations of the persona that is most likely to buy from you.
It is critically important to the success of your marketing, sales, product development, and delivery of services that you have a deep understanding of who your customer avatar is. You've likely heard the phrase, "You can't hit a target you haven't set." This applies beautifully to the importance of having a clearly defined customer avatar.
Having a deep understanding of a clearly defined customer avatar will help you:
- Determine what social platforms they are spending their time on so you know where your business should be present and active.
- Be more effective in your advertising. Your marketing dollars will be well spent when you know where to advertise and who to target to maximize your exposure.
- Better connect with your avatar with your copy because you will have an understanding of their pains, pleasures, desires, and wants.
- Deliver and develop better products/services because you are able to anticipate your markets’ needs, behaviors, and concerns.
Check out this podcast where we talk how to define your perfect customer.
Creating your avatar
So, having a clearly defined customer avatar is important; the question is, "How do I create one?" The good news is, that creating a customer avatar is not difficult to create if you ask the right questions.
"What are the right questions?" you ask. You are in for some tremendous value because I have created a complete template to help you create your own customer avatar. This template makes it easy to compile all of your information, knowledge, experience, and research into one beautiful and presentable format.
Download your customer avatar template now and begin the journey of successful marketing, sales, product development, and delivery of services that will knock the socks off your perfect customers.
Now, you could download the template I have created and begin filling it out right away, but the most effective customer avatars are created with information based on market research as well as information that you gather from your current customer base. I would suggest that you take the time you need to gather the most accurate information you can to develop your avatar. Use surveys to capture feedback from your existing customers. Ask Your Target Market is also a great solution to survey a larger audience base. Adding a Custom Audience Pixel to your website is also a great way to track and learn more about people who have visited your website. Interviews are also a great way to capture valuable information. Interviews can allow you to dive deeper into the answers that are given by asking "why?" Asking "why" allows you to uncover the behaviors that drive them.
By now you might be thinking, "What if I have more than one avatar?" Having multiple avatars is perfectly fine. In fact, most businesses will have more than one ideal customer, especially if they offer more than one product/service. The best way to define your avatars is to tackle them one at a time. I would suggest that you start with the market that brings the most profit to your business (good idea, right?). Through this process, you may even find yourself realizing that your business is too broad and that you tighten up your product/service offering so that you can really develop your niche and position yourself to deliver your best to that market.
Creating a negative avatar can be as beneficial as creating your customer avatar. A negative avatar is a generalized representation of the persona that you don't want as a customer. Having an understanding of who you don't want to serve as a customer can sometimes make it easier to know who you do want to serve as a customer. If you decide that you'd like to start here I would suggest that you think of that one customer that was a total nightmare for you to work with and document all of the things that made the relationship unsuccessful. The key here is to focus not on personal characteristics of why the individual was not easy to work with, but rather on the reasons why they didn't make a good fit for your product or service (such as pricing was too much, the probability of increased churn, or that they were not properly equipped to be successful long-term).
Start defining your avatar
- List out your avatars demographic traits: Examples of demographic traits are age, sex, education level, income level, marital status, occupation, religion, and average family size. This area of defining your customer avatar is typically easy to define.
- Psychographic traits: Psychographic traits are a little more complicated and require a deeper understanding of your Avatar. Psychographic traits are based on values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyle. Examples of Psychographic traits are: wants a healthy lifestyle, values time with family, doesn't have much time, uses Pinterest to do home DIY projects.
- Name your avatar: Naming your avatar humanizes the profile. If you are targeting both men and women you will want to create both a male and female name.
- Put a face to their name: Find a picture online in stock photos that best represents what your avatar looks like visually.
- Design a dossier: A dossier is a one-page collection of information about your avatar that includes the name, picture, information, and story about your avatar.
- Write a story about your customer avatar: Image you are your avatar and you are journaling about the discovery of your product/service. What were they thinking before they bought your product? How were they feeling? Why were they feeling that way? What were they looking for? What were they hoping to solve or accomplish? How did they find you/hear about you? How did they feel once they purchased your product/service?
At the most basic level, developing a customer avatar will help you become more effective in your messaging which will help you to cut through the noise in marketing today. Using your customer avatar in combination with a solid Lifecycle Marketing Strategy is a surefire way to explode your business growth. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin creating your customer avatar:
- Create a negative avatar first to gain clarity about whom you know you don't want to serve as a customer and who doesn't make a good fit.
- Give your customer avatar a name, face, and a personal story to bring him/her to life. Be as specific as possible, the more details you have the more you and your perfect customer will connect.
- Tackle one customer avatar at a time.
- Create your avatar based on market research and customer feedback rather than your own opinion and perception.
Misty Kortes is a passionate entrepreneur and business owner who has empowered many small businesses to succeed when it comes to marketing their business. With her formal education in Marketing, over two decades of speaking and training, and more importantly her real-life, in-the-trenches business experience, Misty knew she had to share her insider secrets to success with other small business owners. Compelled by a strong desire to share her expert experience and knowledge, Misty created “Your Marketing Coach” a marketing firm that empowers entrepreneurs to succeed in marketing and accomplish their dreams.