The most important person for your business is the customer: no customer, no business! Here’s the secret to understanding your customers even better.
If you’ve ever taken an introductory course in marketing, you know that the very first thing they teach you is how to identify your target market or target audience. What’s their gender? How old are they? What is their income? Where do they live?
You end up with a data set that is supposed to represent the people you are marketing to. But your business doesn’t market to data sets, it markets to people. Customer avatars, also known as buyer personas, go beyond a simple data set.
What is an avatar?
A customer avatar is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. They are based on market research, real data about customer demographics and online behaviour along with speculation about what motivates them.
The idea behind customer avatars is that they will allow you to personalise your marketing for different segments of your audience. You can tailor your messaging according to what you know about those different persona groups. As Shopify writes, “Knowing and understanding who buys, or will buy your products is imperative to help you maximise your advertising return-on-investment and content effectiveness.”
Not that kind of Avatar.
How do you make an avatar?
They way you construct your customer personas is by asking yourself a lot of tricky questions. Ideally you should also be using what you know about your current customer base to answer some of these questions. They can include the following:
- What is their demographic information?
- What is their job and level of seniority?
- What does a day in their life look like?
- What are their pain points?
- What are their goals?
- Where do they go for information?
- What experiences are they looking for when shopping for your products and services?
- What are their most common objections to your product or service?
- How do you identify the buyer persona?
You might want to ask different questions than the examples above, and you might also want to ask more questions. The more fleshed-out your buyer persona, the greater your understanding of your customers.
The self-fulfilling prophecy of customer avatars
Once you have your customer avatars created, it’s important that you don’t rest on your laurels. These avatars are not final, nor are they static. As you sell more and learn more about your customers, it is very important to keep coming back to your customer avatars, comparing them to your actual customers, and making changes.
You can see how customer avatars and buyer personas are more dynamic than simple target demographics. Customer avatars have a symbiotic relationship with your actual customers. The more data you gather from your customers, the more accurate your avatars become. They, in turn, inform your targeted marketing campaigns, which (hopefully) creates new customers.
It’s like the circle of life for digital marketing.
If you want to learn more about creating customer avatars, you can download our free ebook “Creating Buyer Personas to Help Your Website Sell”. The ebook also includes a helpful template for creating your first customer avatar so that you hit the ground running!