Customer Avatar: How to identify your ideal customer
Updated: Oct 31, 2022
I am sure that most of you can relate to the experience that finding sales or customers can be so hard and there are times you may have a client but you find them too difficult to manage and they eat up a lot of your time and energy and it is no longer profitable for you to keep them.
Sounds familiar, right?
This familiar situation can be avoided if businesses and business owners take the time to think about and get to know their ideal customers. In business, it is critical that you know who your ideal customer is. This will allow you to build a picture of them and then do more marketing, advertising and sales effort in the direction that will deliver more profit and growth.
To quote Neil Patel, a respected digital marketing guru in the US, “ Crystallizing your ideal customer and their unique pain points is critical to defining an effective strategy for selling.”
Having a clear persona of who your ideal customers are and their unique pain points will help you to plan out your marketing and sales strategies. You will be able to reach out to customers who will actually enjoy what your business offers and at the same time you will enjoy serving them.
So how do we do this?
We start by creating a Customer Avatar. It is also sometimes referred to as marketing persona, customer profile or buyer persona. It is a detailed profile of your ideal customer. It brings together the key characteristics of your ideal customers. It is an incredible tool that makes it easier for business owners to visualise their ideal customers and adapt your marketing messages to them accordingly, e.g. there is no point advertising cat food to dog owners or advertising female shoes to males. You want your limited budget, time and resources to be focused towards those that are most likely to buy from you and convert into customers.
So why do you need a Customer Avatar?
First, this will help you understand who your ideal customers are and help you weed out customers that are less than ideal. This will assist you from marketing and advertising to people unlikely to buy from you..
Second, by focusing on reaching out to your ideal customers, your business will grow faster with less effort and be more profitable.
Lastly, it makes designing marketing and sales strategies/messages easy and effective as you base it on data instead of assumptions. You will be able to align your strategies based on the customer avatar that you have developed.
We suggest that you do your Customer Avatar in two ways. You can start with what you already have, which is your existing customers. Look into your Google Analytics and separate your audience information into demographics and interests. You may want to select a demographic group to build your customer avatar. Move on to another demographic until eventually, you create a different customer avatar for each of your major demographics.
Through this process, it will help you identify who your ideal customers are and evaluate which customers you would like to maintain or let go.
As for your potential customers, we recommend that you do this process by completing a Customer Avatar Worksheet. A Customer Avatar Worksheet looks like this. It contains a detailed profile of a fictional customer, who you would like to become your ideal customer.
It includes information about age, gender, marital status, location, occupation, job title, annual income, level of education, personal characteristics, goals, needs, hobbies and interests, challenges and pain points and sources of information.
It is getting a picture of who they are, what they do, their interests, behaviours and where you can connect with them.
It is also important to identify where your Customer Avatar is in the Customer Value Journey as well as his or her buying role, whether he or she is a decision-maker or an influencer.
Let’s go through it one by one to understand why we need to include such information.
Age is significant since there are items or services that are intended for a specific age group but are not necessarily purchased by that group, such as children's products.
Gender. Even if your product is aimed at either sex or one specific gender, we want to ask who actually makes the purchasing decisions? There are plenty of men’s products where the decision-maker on what to purchase is the wife. Taking that into account, this will guide you in creating your marketing messages to the right customer.
Location. Even if your product is targeted at a specific gender or sex, we want to know who makes the purchasing decisions. There are several men's products for which the wife makes the purchasing decision. Taking that into account, you can use this to help you create marketing messages for the right buyer.
Occupation. Understanding what your customers do can help inform your marketing. You must identify the individual who will engage with your firm, not necessarily the Managing Director or owner.
Income. The size of your client companies and their turnover will be part of your customer avatar. As for B2C customers, how much money someone has will obviously influence their buying habits.
Education. You can interact with someone more efficiently if you understand their intellect. What is their method of information processing? Do they want to make a purchasing decision based on facts and models? Or will they perceive your product or service as unavailable to them as a result of these?
Interests. It enables you to communicate with your customers in their own language, utilising references that will ring true with them. Consider their interests and leisure activities, as well as what they enjoy watching on TV, eating, and listening to - everything that can bring you closer to them.
Motivations. What motivates your target consumer to get out of bed each day? Understanding what motivates them, as well as their values and objectives, can enable you to better connect your offering with their desires.
Challenges & Pain Points These can range from major 'problems,' such as financial difficulties, to seemingly little challenges, such as finding time to buy. Regardless of the size of the problem, they should be very essential to you since they allow you to give a solution, whether it's affordable products, the ease of online shopping, or any other element that influences purchasing decisions.
Goals. You should try to clarify your consumers' aims in detail, taking into account all of the factors above. Cost, quality, resale value, functionality, adaptability, convenience, location, customer service, aftercare, and brand awareness are all factors that might be considered. You must understand what motivates people to do business with you.
Needs. Every successful business, whether it sells directly to customers or to other firms, revolves around knowing and understanding customer needs. You can utilise this knowledge to persuade future and existing consumers that buying from you is in their best interests.
An important point to mention is that you should do a Customer Avatar worksheet for every product or service your business sells. Some of these products and services will have more than one Avatar. Doing this exercise is an investment in time to ensure you know your ideal customers, what is important to them and that you are developing the correct messaging to increase your chances that they become your customers.
By having a customer avatar, your marketing efforts are more likely to succeed in virtually every aspect of your marketing and sales process or the customer journey they go on from getting to know that your business exists to converting into a happy customer.
Here is how your customer avatar will help you make business decisions.
Paid Advertising – Where should you spend your dollars and what targeting options should you utilise?
Copywriting – In what way should offers be described to attract and convert your avatar?
Email marketing – Which avatar should receive one type of email marketing campaign versus another? This will allow you to segment your recipients to ensure they receive messaging, promotions and offers of interest to them.
Content marketing – What lead magnets, blog posts, videos, podcasts, etc. should be created to compel your avatar to buy? Knowing who your avatar allows you to develop the right options.
Social media marketing – Which platforms are most relevant to have a presence and be active on? Are your avatars on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tik Tok
With a detailed customer avatar, you can now target your marketing a lot more efficiently. Instead of talking to ‘anyone’ you can start addressing ‘someone’. You’ll be able to talk to them in a language they understand, using platforms that they frequent, and address the specific challenges or pain points they have.
As Ryan Deiss, CEO and Founder of Digital Marketer once said, “Stop defining your business by the products that you sell and start defining it by the people that you serve.”