The Insider’s Guide to Customer Avatars

Include meaningful narrative to guide your players on their journey”

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You can’t hit a target you haven’t set– An ideal client avatar can help in focusing the mind on the target audience in sales”

What is a Customer Avatar?

A customer avatar, or persona, is a snapshot of the person you want to sell to.

It allows you to identify the specific characteristics of people who like to buy what you’re selling. It will give you a near-superhuman ability to communicate powerfully with the people who are most likely to become your customers.

Note: A Customer Avatar is also often called an Ideal Client Profile, or a Buyer Persona, Marketing persona, Customer persona, Target market. In this article I will use the term ‘Customer Avatar’ because it sounds much cooler.

Before we get into detailed description -Let’s understand what a customer avatar is and isn’t.

Here’s what a customer avatar is:

  • An essential part of your marketing strategy
  • A fictional character with wants, needs, and pain points
  • A detailed profile of a single individual depicting your target audience
  • A comprehensive outline based on research and data

Here’s what a customer avatar is not:

  • A “nice to have”
  • An amalgam of all your potential and/or existing customers
  • A short, vague description that lacks important details
  • A list of characteristics based on guesses or assumptions

In other words an avatar provides valuable insight into who your ideal customer is, what they want, where they spend their time, and how your offering can address their problem.

Your CUSTOMER AVATAR is the key to experiencing marketing and sales success.

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.

It’s a huge mistake.

And yet, I see it happen all the time.

A marketer or business owner gets so focused on WHAT they’re selling that they forget to think about WHO they’re selling it to.

This is the kiss of death for a marketing campaign, and sometimes even an entire business.

You could have the greatest product on earth, but if you’re trying to sell it to the wrong person — you’re never going to hit your sales numbers.

That’s why understanding your customer avatar (AKA buyer persona) is so important.

Before you can sell anything effectively, you need to understand…

  • WHO your ideal customer is
  • WHERE they’re hanging out online
  • WHAT their challenges are

But how do you actually do all that?

Well, so let me tell you from Where to Start, – When you are Defining an Avatar:

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Now that you have a basic understanding of what customer avatars are and why you need them, here are few easy steps to create them.

  1. Record Your Findings In An Avatar Spreadsheet their Demographic traits: List out your avatar’s demographic traits (e.g., age, sex, education level, income level, marital status, occupation, religion, and average family size). This area is typically easy to define. These questions are straight-forward. They’re all fact-based, and lots of them are yes-or-no. These questions aren’t intended to give you insight into your customer’s psyche. Instead, they’ll give you a snapshot view of them. What do they look like? What does their life look like? What do they do?
  2. Determine The Characteristics Of Your Avatar’s Psychographic traits: — Why are they making a purchase?

“If someone buys something, there’s a reason behind it.”

You never make a purchase on a whim, with no prior thought at all.

This is essentially what the psychographic information tells you; why is your customer behaving in this specific way?

These are a little more complicated and require a deeper understanding of your client avatar. They’re based on values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyle. Examples include: wanting a healthy lifestyle, valuing time with family, using Pinterest to do home DIY projects. These questions are more complex. They’re based on emotions and the impulses behind wants and needs. They get to the motivations of your customer. Why would they invest in whatever you’re selling? Because something is going on internally that makes your product — and the problems it solves — compelling to them.

3. Name your avatar: Naming your avatar humanizes the profile. If you are targeting both men and women, you’ll want to create a male and female name.

4. Put a face to their name: Find a picture online in stock photos that best represents what your avatar looks like visually.

5. Design a dossier: A dossier is a one-page collection of information about your avatar that includes its name, picture, information, and story.

6. Speaking of story: Write one about your customer avatar. Imagine you are your avatar and are journaling about the discovery of your product or 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 or hear about you? How did they feel once they purchased your product or service?

Customer Avatars Worksheet: What to Include

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Let’s walk through Customer Avatar Worksheet, step by step.

Generally there are 5 major components to a customer avatar:

  • Goals and Values: The best way to get started is to think about the goals and values that are important to your ideal customer.

-What are their goals? …..What are they trying to accomplish?…What are their values? What’s their “hill to die on”?

  • Sources of Information: This section of the Customer Avatar Worksheet is critical to determining the “WHERE” of your customer avatar.

-Where do they hang out (both online and in person)?….What materials do they read?…What gurus do they follow?

This information can help you determine the best places to advertise online to your avatar.

  • Demographic Information: Applying demographic information can really help bring your customer avatar to life. It will give your persona a look and feel that helps you talk to them more persuasively.

Of course, this section includes all the usual facts — like the person’s age, gender, marital status, income, job title, and so on.

  • Challenges and Pain Points: Next, think about the problems, challenges, and pain points in your customer avatar’s life.

-What challenges do they need to overcome?… What pain points are they experiencing?

This information can help you in several ways.

For one thing, it can help spur ideas for new products or services that can help solve your avatar’s problems.

It can also help you write copy and ad creative that speaks to their pain points, compelling them to take action.

  • Objections and Roles: Finally, think about the reasons why your customer avatar might choose NOT to buy your product or service. These are called “OBJECTIONS” and they must be addressed in your marketing.

You’ll also need to determine your avatar’s role in the purchasing process.

-Are they the primary decision maker? …Are they a decision influencer?

If your avatar is NOT the primary decision maker, you’ll need to come up with a strategy to appeal to whoever that person is.

Knowing…

  • Who your ideal customer is
  • What they want
  • Where they spend their time
  • How your offering can address their problem

…makes all the difference in the world when it comes to focusing your marketing efforts.

Your ideal customer’s decision-making process is paramount to the success of your marketing and sales campaigns.

The Customer Avatar Completion Checklist

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Channel your inner buyer. (Visualize them or draw a sketch of how they look if that helps.) Make sure you have hit all the steps to check your avatar worksheet against the checklist here:

  • Up to three avatars of customers you WANT have been identified.
  • The Customer Avatar Worksheet has been completed in full.
  • The avatar has a name.
  • Goals relevant to your product or service have been identified.
  • Sources of information that only your avatar would care about have been identified.
  • You have identified the pain points or challenges that your avatar faces that your product will help solve.
  • You understand the avatar’s role in purchasing your product and their objections to your product.
  • You have identified the personal information that defines exactly who your avatar is.
  • There is a plan for updating the avatar if changes are needed.

How do you collect this information?

  (Information sources: Where are your customers?)

What is important to remember is that creating a Customer Avatar is not a one time process. It gets refined and better as more and more information is received.

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Think of a customer you already have who is the perfect example of this customer avatar. Pull the details from what you know about that person.

Looking at the demographics tells you who your customers are, the psychographics tells you why they make purchases, and information sources show you where they are.

Basically, you need to conduct research to figure out the key information sources that your customers depend on. This is often achieved using detailed web analytics software to track their online path.

But, there’s nothing wrong with using a questionnaire or survey form to find this out.

If you’re stuck on how to fill out this sheet, Google is a great source to learn more about your customer avatar and ensure your worksheet is fully fleshed out.

The more you can figure out in your avatar, the better you will understand WHY your ideal client wants your product or service, how to reach them, how to make them happy, how to get them to buy, what headlines will catch their attention and how to turn them into raving fans / brand ambassadors for you.

My Customer Avatar Example:

Let me help you with an example of a Customer Avatar before I end this article.

The first step in how to build an ideal customer profile is to learn everything you can about your best clients. To know my customer avatar, I did some research/survey, on people who are actively looking for buying leads/prospects for their organization.

Survey worksheet: (Note : Appreciate if you can spare sometime to fill out the below listed form)

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSciiAJpOIQPdI30AuqcVBYC_QopHDy-RHjHjIzKBEdKuLaQ_w/viewform?usp=sf_link

Action & Findings:

  • Collected all the required data’s, looked for common threads among most successful customers.
  • Tried to identify any recurring patterns or characteristics shared by all the prospects and used the same to draw a rough sketch of Ideal Client Profile(ICP)/ customer Avatar
  • Analyzed how to reach and sell to all the ICP, which in turn means more accurate forecasting, more closed-won deals, and more predictable sales.
  • Figured out whom to target first with marketing and sales efforts.

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The above survey, hopefully, would have helped you to understand and create your Customer Avatar.

Sample Email Template to your ideal customer avatar and tell them how you are going to help them go from their current state to desired state.

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Pro tip: Segment your respondents according to their scores for email marketing. Divide them into categories. To successfully speak to individual customers, you must start by understanding what it’s like to be them and what it’s like to walk in their shoes. Attack on their pain point directly. When you deliver the information to your audience, it needs to be PERSONALIZED. The reader and receiver of the information need to feel like it is a ONE-ON-ONE CONVERSATION, rather than Mass Pitch.

A quick note: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. There’s always something that can go wrong or an industry change can occur that can negatively affect the success of your best channel. While its highly recommend to take advantage of your best channel, always be testing at least two other big channel opportunities. But first…Start with Finding Your Best Audience….

Most importantly, to successfully speak to individual customers, you must start by understanding what it’s like to be them and what it’s like to walk in their shoes.

Subject Line: Boost engagement and conversions with your Customer Avatars.

Hi {{name}},

When’s the last time you finished everything on your daily to-do list? and achieved to gather the details of all your Customer avatars on time before your competitors approached them.

If you’re like most busy executives, you’re constantly struggling to stay on top of everything — let alone be the effective leader you need to be.

With most of us and our customers following social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19 and working from home, it has become very difficult for businesses to continue using legacy processes to hunt, establish right contact details of their desired customers.

We’re glad that you have shown your interest in the above Survey form and shared your company objectives and pain points. I realized you might be facing some of the more commonly experienced challenges met by businesses during the initial stages of shaping their company foundation, namely: running out of time to data entry, inadequate tools for ongoing sales team training, lack of “enough” qualified leads from marketing, marketing not “listening” to what sales says they need and so forth.

Nothing to worry, we here help busy executives free up time for higher priorities.

We offer the easiest way to find direct contact numbers of professionals, I would like to share how amazing it is and you’ll experience an overall “out-of-the-box” ease of operation.

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Second, it comes with an 100% accuracy commitment.

Say that again?

Yes, if you find any invalid contacts, you can simply report invalid contacts and get your credit refunded back.

Giving you 100% accuracy commitment.

Crazy right?

All the pricing plans are mentioned here. If you sign up today you can avail exciting discount offers for lifetime.

Don’t tell me later that I didn’t warn you about this amazing offer.

I believe our holistic approach of lead generation is well-suited to your business and will help you prioritize tasks to maximize its efficiency and almost triple your monthly sales closure rate.

If it’s convenient for you, let’s schedule a discovery call on this or another week to discuss your specific issues, challenges, we routinely do it with all our existing customers to understand their niche in details.

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Clearly Identify What Pain You’re Solving

A successful company solves its customers’ big pain points. Every business has some necessary process that is painful by taking up too much time or costing too much money.

Your business must be either…

  1. saving your customers time
  2. saving your customers money
  3. or making your customers new money

If you can create a company that does all three, then you’re well on your way to growing your company if you can deliver the right message to the right audience.

Takeaways

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  • A customer avatar can be described as a ‘sketch’ of a fictional customer which represents the character of your ideal targets. Once you are clear on whom you are marketing and selling to, you are much better placed to communicate effectively with that audience in a way that appeals to them and addresses their specific interests, needs and concerns. .
  • It is a fundamental element of your marketing strategy. It creates a foundation for targeting and allows everyone in your business to understand exactly who you’re striving to attract.
  • At the most basic level, developing a customer avatar will help you become more effective in your messaging and cut through the noise in today’s marketing landscape.
  • An avatar is a fictitious character that represents your ideal customer
  • You may have more than one avatar
  • Be specific about the story of your avatar, the more details the better
  • Use your avatar to brainstorm marketing avenues
  • Write a story as your ideal avatar, a brainstorming exercise that may provide key insights.

That was a lot, i know, but i am sure it would have added some value to your knowledge.

I hope, now you have clarity on how to build your Customer Avatar and how to communicate with them effectively.

This article has been documented from the learning of the Digital Marketing Internship by Digital Deepak.

Don’t forget to share this article if you liked it, and leave a comment and share your feedback; it’s what keeps me improving.

Looking forward to your comments and review on it.

Thank You for reading this article.

Thanks and Regards,

Neha Sahay

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