Do you know your customer avatars?
Whether you’re B2B, B2C, B2G – or any other acronym that defines who you help, the very purpose of your business is to serve human beings to make their life easier, better, or more fulfilled. Any business – no matter what they do – needs to communicate with their customers in some way, and this means that every business should know who their customers are in order to be able to deliver messages effectively.
To help pinpoint typical customer profiles, it’s advisable to create customer profiles – or avatars – to create a well-rounded identity for each customer group. You may be an activewear brand with a female target market of 20-35, but consider how different these women will be. You might have a 20 year old uni student who is obsessed with Instagram and hosting a popular YouTube channel, and a 35 year old mum of two toddlers trying to run a busy household while holding down a part time office job. You’re going to market to them very differently, right?
Let’s get into the nitty gritty and start exploring customer avatars. If you don’t have these yet, it’s time to get your role play on!
What is a customer avatar?
In simple terms, your customer avatar is who you believe would be the ideal customer for your business. This avatar’s persona should consist of the characteristics you believe makes the customer want to buy from your business.
Rather than thinking of your avatar as a large group of varying personalities, avatars are treated as one sole persona. This is so you can speak to your ideal customer personally, rather than collectively. When I name my avatars, I name them so they are easily remembered using alliteration (when every word starts with the same letter or sound). Depending on your own unique avatars, you might want to play with ideas of Tradie Travis, Corporate Candice, Doctor Douglas, Grandma Gladys and Apprentice Adam.
Creating an avatar allows you to connect with your customers
You should be engaging with your audience as if you were talking to a friend. This is impossible to do in a personable manner if you are communicating as though you are speaking to a mass audience.
Too often, I see businesses starting correspondence with “Good morning everyone,” or adding “you are all terrific” – this doesn’t allow the end reader to feel like they are being spoken to directly. This kind of message is so broad, it can distance the business from the very customers they are trying to connect with. When you sit back and realise you are speaking to one person only, your language changes, your content can change, and your tone changes.
Forget what you do, and focus on who you serve
It can be easy to get caught up in what your business’s products do and what services you provide, without considering whom you are producing these goods and services for.
This is a dangerous trap to fall in to. The more you focus on yourself, the more you forget about your customers’ own needs and desires.
Having an avatar brings you back to thinking about the customers you are serving and how best to create strong customer satisfaction. Through this understanding, you are able to send them targeted messages that truly connect with them.
Make your avatar as realistic as possible
When you started your business, you probably considered your ‘target market’. As in the example above, it could be gender, age, location and maybe even some interests – i.e female, 20-35, Australia, loves working out.
But as you’ve seen in the above example, a 20 year old customer and a 35 year old customer will have very different needs and wants from their interaction with the active wear brand. So having an avatar goes beyond a simple market evaluation and gives you a better understanding of your customer.
Rather than understanding your audience’s basic demographics – such as age and gender – by thinking of them as a real individual, you can understand what their true interests are, where their pain points lie, and what their fears might be.
Once you truly understand their personality, you are able to provide them a solution to the challenges they are facing and help them to overcome any fears they might have. You are able to communicate these solutions in a tailored way so that the customer engages with you. The end result? You increase your sales!
Running your business with this approach – thinking of the customer before you consider your product or service, guarantees you are providing a product or service your customer needs.
Thinking about your customer avatar
If you’re new to the avatar process, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Fortunately, the answer is often lying right in front of you, as the best avatars can be based on existing customers.
Think about a customer you know well and why you love them. Why do you feel they connect with your product? What benefits are they getting out of your services? By thinking about these points, you can start noting down this customer’s demographic and personality, such as their gender, age, interests, desires and any challenges they are facing.
The key to creating a true avatar is by making them feel as real as possible. The more realistic the customer profile is, the more likely you are to form a deep connection with them and nail your communications.
Don’t worry if your avatar seems quite basic to begin with – as you market more and gain more customers that are like them, you will be able to further develop your avatars, and tailor your communications accordingly.
Every business needs an avatar
Every single business, no matter how big or small, should take the time to develop an avatar so that you make your marketing messages more specific.
If you try and connect with everybody, your message becomes so diluted that you end up failing to establish a relationship with anybody!
By considering your avatar in everything you produce for your business, you will create a clear business brand that will be recognised immediately by your customers.
Having avatars will assist in writing engaging marketing emails, enabling you to generate more leads and conversions. An avatar can also help with the development of new products because you will thoroughly understand what it is your customer wants and needs.
An avatar can also improve your content marketing because it’ll make your communications more engaging, while with any paid advertising you will be able to effectively target the right demographic and wording to connect with the people who will want to buy from you.
Finally, an avatar will ensure you create a seamless user experience, because the interactions you have with your customers will be exactly what they are looking for.
It’s almost impossible to sell without an avatar
Selling to an unknown market is like throwing ideas at a wall in the hope something will stick – perhaps you might be lucky, but in most instances it won’t work.
By developing avatars, you are creating a superglue in which you know whenever you send your customer to your website, or into your store, they will stick around. Why? Because you know exactly what it is they want and you succeed in delivering it to them.
Have you developed a customer avatar for your business? Don’t worry if you haven’t, as in our next blog we will cover how to do this in depth! This will be the foundation for all your future marketing – you don’t want to miss it!