A few days back when a startup founder reached out to me asking for a solution on why his products weren’t performing well, I asked him a few questions about his business.
He seemed to know well about his product, his go-to-market strategy, and things of the sort. But when I asked him about who he was targeting, his response to all the questions was a vague response on the lines of “millennials who have a good purchasing power.”
It got me thinking about how many brands start out without a clear understanding of WHO you want to sell your offering and WHAT results THEY can expect. Understanding your buyers and what ticks them is critical to communicate the value of your product in the right way, market your product better, and so much more…
And in this article, I wanted to discuss everything about customer avatar and how you can get started with building one for your own brand.
This Article Contains:
(Click on links to jump to a particular section of the page)
- What is a Customer Avatar or Buyer’s Persona?
- Why does your business need a customer avatar?
- How to define your customer avatar?
- Go back to the basics and start your research
- Fill out the following columns
- Accumulate all information and create a buyer’s persona; repeat the process, if they are multiple avatars
- How Does Customer Avatar Affect Business Success?
So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
What Is A Customer Avatar Or Buyer’s Persona?
A customer avatar forms the base of all the marketing strategies your business would do to find your ideal clients.
To create a visionary customer persona, you need to imagine your dream clients and make them look real to you.
These have to be detailed, including what your ideal client looks like, where they work, their personal life, and other information.
Like the one here:
While this covers all the generic information you must know about your ideal buyer, it also dives deeper into understanding her goals, challenges, values and everything that lets you see the person in and out.
Just like Neil Patel quotes, “A marketing persona is a fictional person that fits centrally into one of your target audiences because they share the most common characteristics of your customers.”
Why Does Your Business Need A Customer Avatar?
Building a customer avatar will let you reach the perfect customer who will buy your premium offers, repeat sales, and refer tons of people with similar interests.
That’s a win and win situation, isn’t it?
However, if you are still on the fence and looking for means to justify whether or not you require a customer avatar, we have jotted a few points:
1. To Find Your ‘Business Soulmate’
Having a customer avatar helps you find buyers who are fit for your offering.
Just ask yourself the following questions and understand if you really know your ideal buyer.
- Who do you keep in mind while marketing your products?
- Do you have buyers that respect your work?
- Are you able to target your ideal clients?
- Where are your ideal customers currently?
- Do they know your existence?
- Do all your buyers have anything in common?
- Are you sure they are your perfect customers?
In case, you are unable to accurately respond to most of the questions, that means this is the right time to start building your marketing persona.
2. To Build A Brand
We have all show-offed our Starbucks cups, right?
From the very start, Starbucks knew their ideal buyer. They wanted to target premium clients who were high earners and high spenders.
People who wanted a premium boutique coffee experience.
The company made all user-centric decisions that complemented its ideal customer avatar. They started the takeaway culture, which benefited professionals who took their shot of coffee as they went to work.
These customer-inclusive strategies have made Starbucks a premium brand; even people of the lower-income groups have started to consume its beverages.
All these happened because both parties were correlated; one needed a luxurious coffee experience, and the other provided it.
3. To Sell Premium Offers
At one point, we can agree that brands with generic offerings and minimum pricing tend to have a wide variety of customers. They might not feel the need of building an ideal customer avatar.
But, what about the premium offers?
These products or services will require extra effort, and you have to find people that can pay you big money.
Building a customer avatar lets you solve this problem in a snap.
You can start by creating a loose wireframe of people that purchase from your brand.
For instance, with a women’s clothing brand, you can justify the age and demographic of your purchaser.
The next step is to create “The Value Ladder.”
It is a technique from the book “Dot Com Secrets”, written by Russel Brown.
A value ladder is a lineup of offers that increase in price and value that meet people where they are on their journey to become a customer — from initial awareness to their final decision to buy your premium offerings. It’s an effective way for you to build trust and maximize the lifetime value of each customer.
Here, you jot down your offering in increasing order, and as you move forward, the pool of customers narrows down.
Now, these are the people who qualify to be your ideal client. They are the ones who will buy your premium offers and bring in more revenue.
How To Define Your Customer Avatar?
Defining your first customer avatar is challenging. It takes a lot of time and patience to build an ideal buyer’s persona.
Plus, your ideal buyer requires extensive research and is based on accurate data, not on intuition.
It might seem like a tedious task but can turn out to be a life-changing experience for your business.
We have broken down this procedure into three steps to help you grasp crucial information and define a way to create your customer avatar.
1. Go Back To The Basics And Start Your Research
A ton of research goes through before visualising your buyer’s persona. You can either opt for external or internal market research or do a balance of both.
First, if you think your current customers represent an ideal customer avatar, taking help from them is a fruitful option. Request them to fill up a questionnaire or participate in surveys that can give you an insight into their views about your brand.
Then, take the information and piece them together to get a perfect buyer’s persona.
A basic customer template would look like this-
If you don’t have an audience, start by doing external market research. It will give an extensive view of the current market trends and provide you with ample research material to create your customer avatar.
You can collect crucial data from third-party agencies and do surveys to reach your target audience.
Consolidating this research will show you certain trends useful for carving the wireframe of your buyer’s persona.
2. Fill Out The Following Columns
Let’s move forward into the next phase of building your customer avatar.
Fill out these four important columns to help you understand your ideal customer in and out.
- Demographic information
Define the demographic location of your perfect customer. The broader your reach is, the more people you are targeting.
For the sake of creating an ideal buyer’s persona, let’s say you are looking for a male between 25-45 yrs residing in the US.
You can give your buyer a name and a face to make it sound real.
Now that we know our target audience, we can go deeper and add factual information about them, something that everyone in contact with the buyer would know.
You can check the following questions to get a glimpse.
o What’s their gender?
o How old are they?
o What is their marital status?
o If yes, how many children do they have?
o Where do they live?
o What’s their occupations?
o How much do they earn?
o What is their level of education?
You can piece the answers together and get a demographic representation of your ideal buyer.
It should look something like this-
These are all the basic information about your customer avatar that will help you visualise their environment and how they function as a person.
- Sources of information
Identifying some major sources of information of your target consumer solves most of the marketing chaos. You get to know the content your buyers consume and the sources they trust.
These are The World’s Top 50 sites, and most of us interact with them on a daily basis.
You have to do the hard work and identify which online sites your ideal buyer consumes.
As marketers, you can use this information for advertisement marketing and build a solid social presence in front of your target audience.
Our channels of information define the way we think and look at a situation. Business owners have to mend their ways into grabbing that attention and winning the trust of consumers in a way they find interesting.
- Goals & Aspiration
The goals & aspirations of your target audience reflect what they want to achieve and how your offerings could give it a push. The information would help you create products or services that gels well with their future course of action.
For instance, buying a house, creating multiple sources of income or just getting a promotion.
Taking note of values that seem relevant to your product or service is used for building your customer avatar.
You can refer to the following example-
HebergementWebs have done a great job in defining this customer avatar.
You can see how dedicated and intricate the goals column is made. It seems like the brand was having a two-way conversation while creating this customer avatar.
This information will help the brand design the next product in line or create a marketing strategy that matches the goals and aspirations of the target audience.
- Challenges or pain points
Now that you know the goals and values of your buyer, the next step would be to define the challenges they are facing to achieve them.
It is one of the significant decisions you have to make as a business owner. If your offering doesn’t solve a problem, then it might get lost amongst the zillion products already available in the market.
You have to manipulate their challenges into powerful motivators and present them with a solution. Make your product the hero and communicate it in a form that looks real and relatable.
Identifying customer objections helps you prepare answers to all the noes you might hear from your target audience.
That’s what Subway did a few years ago.
Subway is a fast-food restaurant like McDonald’s or KFC. The company identified the objection that most people feel while visiting a fast-food restaurant- the fear of getting fat.
Once, the company found a guy named Jared, who weighed over four hundred pounds. He used to eat nothing but Subway twice.
After a few years, the boy lost a lot of weight and was in shape again.
Advertising this story on every billboard allowed Subway to break through this objection and increase their sales tremendously.
From the year 2000 (when the advertisement first aired) to 2015, Subway had successfully tripled its revenue from USD 4.7B to USD 12.7B.
Likewise, many such questions will repeatedly ruin your chances of making a sale if not answered logically.
While preparing your battle cards, make sure you have included questions that overcome their objections and provide them with a valid solution.
3. Accumulate all information and create a buyer’s persona; repeat the process, if they are multiple avatars
This is the last and final stage of creating your first customer avatar.
You just have to map the researched material into the right places and build a solid buyer’s persona.
There are chances that you might end with 2-3 personalities in accordance with multiple offerings.
An ideal customer avatar will help your marketing team carve a spot-on plan that helps your brand reach its prospective purchaser.
How Does Customer Avatar Affect Business Success?
A customer avatar is the building block of establishing a successful business.
When you know who to talk to, your chances of communicating with the wrong person reduces. You will find prospects that respect your offering and want to be your customer.
Various reasons accentuate the correlation between customer avatar and your business success. Some of them are-
1. Establishes You As An Expert
There are zillions of businesses operating worldwide.
With technology at its peak, businesses can’t just reach out to anyone and expect a sale. You have to narrow your reach and find people who share a similar ideology as your ideal buyer.
This way, your communication will be tailored to address the circumstance of your prospective customer.
Building a strong brand will automatically enhance your reach and promote you as an expert.
2. Saves Both Money And Time
When you narrow down your target audience, you save some extra bucks to fund other marking strategies. Time is money in business. You cannot waste it without having an estimated return in your hand.
Statistically, in research conducted by MarTech, it was found that 99% of marketers feel that having an ideal customer profile is either important or very important to get good marketing results.
Having an on-point customer avatar gives you ample opportunity to target specific groups and enhance customer attraction to the brand.
Customer avatar can help you better your-
- Email marketing
Sending emails is the finest way to connect with your prospect. Idealising an appropriate customer avatar will help you pour the right words with on-point CTA that boost conversions.
- Content marketing
If you know your target audience well, you can start creating content that solves their problem and establishes your brand as an expert. Instead of targeting everyone, provide real value to people that could become your prospective buyer.
- Paid advertising
Paid advertisement is the easiest way to reach your target audience. You can use the demographic features to narrow the reach and integrate relevant words that complement their objectives, values, and objections.
3. Builds A User-centric Approach
Incorporating a user-centric approach is vital for business success. If you try to connect with every next person without knowing their challenges, it would only increase your per-interaction cost with no approximated return.
When a customer finds your brand relatable they are most likely to come back and invest in higher offers.
Check out this statistic-
Retained customers generate much more revenue than new buyers.
Every business pays a customer onboarding cost while signing up new clients. So, it isn’t fruitful to waste your time and money on people that don’t compliment your offering.
Your customer avatar defines your business interaction with the audience. It allows you to effectively visualize your ideal customer, including its demographic dimensions, information sources, values, challenges, and goals.
While the task may seem challenging, it’s not so. Just use the tips we’ve suggested in the article to come up with your specific avatar. You can then use this information to market the right people and tailor your offerings accordingly.
If you still need help finding the right, schedule your free consultation, and I’ll help you create the perfect ideal customer profile to help you reach out to your prospects and get more conversions.