A sat nav doesn’t fulfil its job unless there’s an end destination put in. Yes, the user can see which roads are coming up and if they have some local knowledge they can guess the best route. But time and resources can be wasted in the process of getting from A to B. Knowing exactly where you are headed means the system can calculate a clear route over the shortest distance or in the quickest time.
Keeping that analogy in mind when we think of target customers, the end destination is that detailed customer avatar or persona. The more insight and knowledge we have about who our ideal customer is and what drives them, the greater the detail you can feed into your marketing strategy. This will make your marketing much more effective.
Whether you think you have a customer avatar nailed or you’re still not entirely sure what one is, this blog walks you through how to create one (and why it’s so important!)
- Understanding what an avatar is (and isn’t)
Your customer avatar will be rich with detail and nuances about the person who buys or uses your product or service. It often becomes depicted as a semi-fictional person so that you can bring your avatar to life and help your team understand exactly who this person is.
It goes deeper than demographics like gender, age, family set up, education etc. What you’re unpicking is their psychographics such as their needs, wants, motivations, pain points, aspirations etc. Knowing this level of detail gives your marketing messaging a whole lot of clout. Your customer will feel as if you are talking to them 1-2-1 and you can demonstrate why your product or service is the only solution for them.
For many businesses, they will have more than one avatar. Their product or service may appeal to a variety of different audiences for different reasons. Each having their own avatar will mean that you can market to them with the right message in the right place (at the right time!)
You might also find that the buyer isn’t necessarily the same person as the user. You need an avatar for both!
- How do you research an avatar?
This might be the area where avatars or personas fall down. There is work involved in creating an avatar, and I understand that many business owners just want to get on with creating a marketing plan and bringing in sales. This is the groundwork. These are the foundations of your plan. They are worthy of your time to research well.
A good place to start is to write out all the assumptions you and your team already have about the target customer. You will have them, and they will subconsciously feed into your marketing. Get them out in the open and you can put them to the test!
You then want to look at your existing customer base. What data do you hold on them that you can use to inform your avatar? Note – if there’s demographics missing which would help here, think about the places you capture data and how to add this in.
After that, it’s about talking directly with your customers and prospects and building up that detailed persona. This might take the form of surveys or interviews. It does take time and effort, but it is well worth the investment.
- Designing an avatar
There are lots of free customer avatar templates out there if you want something pre-defined. To start simple, take an A4 page. On this page you’ll have a picture of this customer, the name of their avatar, and everything you know about them. Section it into the demographic and psychographic areas, and just keep adding the detail until everything you know about them is on that page.
Most importantly, don’t file your avatars away! Share them with your team and revisit them. Keep adding that detail. Keep testing what you know. Remember, it informs everything you do when it comes to marketing.
- Using an avatar
This is where the magic happens. Bring your personas into your marketing plan. If you’re running an email campaign, segment your data by persona and adjust the messaging accordingly. The same goes if you’re running ads on social media. Narrow down that targeting as much as you can and deliver a relevant message. Continuing with a one-size-fits all message will be a waste of your efforts.
- How an avatar impacts your ROI
Marketing is all about informing your target customer on their journey through the buyer cycle. It’s there to inform them and keep them interested until they reach the point where they are ready to buy. Your avatar makes it easy for you to deliver the right message at the right time. In doing so, you’ll see your conversion rates from enquiry to lead to sale improve.
Customer avatars with PP8 Marketing
The team at PP8 Marketing are well-versed in creating customer avatars for growing businesses. It can be daunting when starting from scratch but with our experience by your side, you can be assured your avatars will be everything you need them to be.
Talk to us today about your business. Contact us for a free 20 minute discovery call.