customer avatar

What is a customer avatar? And why you must have one.

Your customer avatar should be the foundation of your marketing. It will provide you with all the information you need in order to target, engage and convert more of your ideal customers.

So what is a customer avatar?

A customer avatar is a distilled embodiment or profile of your ideal customer. It’s a synthesis of all the personality traits and characteristics of what would be your ideal customer, but expressed as a single individual.

Your avatar can be based on an existing customer who you are familiar with, or a combination of a few customers, or simply created based on a specific persona you want to target.  The key point is that your avatar has to be a specific individual, with a specific age and gender, interests, challenges and desires.

To make your avatar more real, you should give them a name and find a picture to represent them. The more real you can make your avatar, the easier it will be for you to build a real profile, character and personality for them.

Your avatar may be quite simple to start with, but as you develop your messages and connect with your target audience, the more you will learn about them and the more detail and depth you can add to your avatar. A good starting point when developing your avatar is to check out the article here about the 16 simple customer avatar questions.

Your avatar is a real person

The temptation for business owners and marketers is to think of their target audience in terms of a certain demographic group, based simply on an age range, gender and location.

Whilst this data might roughly tell you who they are, it doesn’t give any clue as to what they are interested in, what their real needs are, or why they will buy from you.

In order to understand these aspects or dimensions of your ideal customer, you need to think in terms of a specific person and personality, rather than a generalised demographic group.

Making this decision to distill your target demographic down from a broad group of people, down to an individual person may at first seem strange, but it’s only by creating this ideal customer persona or avatar, that you can really start to identify with their needs and desired result they are looking for.

That said, most businesses will probably create a number of different ideal customer avatars, aligned to different products or services they offer.

With this understanding of your avatar, you can then start to develop messages which can more clearly and powerfully connect their needs and desires, with your products or services.

Creating powerful messages that connect

This connection between a clearly defined customer avatar and focused product or service messages, is the foundation of effective marketing messaging, often referred to as ‘message to market match’.

This is where your marketing messages are clearly aligned to an identified market need. When done correctly this will drive attraction, engagement and conversion of a prospect into a customer.

Creating your avatar

There are some great tools, techniques and templates to guide you in the process of creating your ideal customer avatar.

As a starting point you should use the 4 dimensions of the customer avatar, which are as follow:
1. Demographics
2. Characteristics
3. Fears & Objections
4. Results and Outcomes

You can read more about the 4 dimensions of the customer avatar on my blog.

5 quick tips to creating your customer avatar

Here’s 5 quick tips on creating your avatar:

1. Give them a name
Not just a name, but a specific age. Even a birthday. By giving your avatar a name it becomes a short cut to you communicating your ideal customer personal to colleagues or suppliers and partners.

2. Have a photo of them
Print out of photo of them and stick in on your wall or keep it to hand when you’re creating new messages, promotions or emails. Remember you’re looking to build that engagement and connection so the more clearly you can visualize your ideal customer the better you can communicate with them.

3. Get personal.
Build a story around them. Talk about their habits; likes and dislikes, challenges and frustrations, family and friends.

4. Be creative
Try to stretch your imagination to build extra depth into your avatar. Think about then in their everyday lives and what your product or service would need to do or offer them in order to gain their attention.

5. Test
Once you have an avatar, then test it. Use your avatar to run a simple “Like” campaign on Facebook or to boost Facebook posts to custom audiences. You can use Facebook’s demographic targeting to test age, gender, location, interests, challenges and much more. So you can test and measure customer engagement.

By creating a customer avatar, you can begin to really understand your potential customers and consequently focus your marketing effort and budget where it will have the greatest impact.

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