How to Create a Customer Avatar
Why do I need a Customer Avatar?
Have you ever heard of a Customer Avatar? Another name for this is “customer persona.” A Customer Avatar is, in a nutshell, the real or imaginary person you choose as your primary marketing audience. When you create a well-crafted Customer Avatar, you ensure that your marketing is consistent and effective.
A Customer Avatar is more than a demographic or a set of interests. “My company targets women between the ages of 32 and 43 who are interested in shopping, fashion, and chihuahuas” is a great start. There are ways that kind of targeting may be useful. However, there are a LOT of women in that particular slice.
Another way to consider it: Imaging you’re in a room filled with people. There is a huge spill that is threatening to run into a pile of electrical wires. You can call out, “Can a woman between the ages of 32 and 43 who is interested in shopping, fashion, and chihuahuas and not getting electrocuted please grab that tablecloth and stop that spill?” Or, you can call out, “Hey! You with the red hair in a ponytail holding a chihuahua with a blue bow, can you please grab that tablecloth to stop that spill?” The more specific you are, the more effective you’re likely to be.
A great deal has been written about why to create a Customer Avatar. “Businesses Grow” has a blog post with a pretty comprehensive list if you’re not sold on this idea. But honestly, you should trust me. A Customer Avatar will save you time, money, and hassle, and it will help you with decision-making and reduce decision fatigue. Basically, it makes easier and more awesome for your business.
How do I choose just one?
The task of choosing just a single imaginary customer when you create a Customer Avatar can feel daunting. You might have more than one idea customer. Maybe you are a company that sells products directly to customers but also wholesale to stores. In that case, you will want at least two Customer Avatars. The goal here is to focus on your IDEAL customer in each category.
You probably have a pretty good idea of who that customer is. They’re the customer who is an easy sell. They come back more than once. They love your products or services and recommend them to friends. This customer can afford what you offer and don’t need to ask for a deal.
If you’re not sure, there are ways to find out. You can interview your favorite clients. Send a survey to a select sample of people you think are good customers. Look to your Google Analytics and your social analytics.
Look for the common features. Most of all, look to what makes these customers STAND OUT. Make a list of their key qualities. Consider the things they love. What problems do you solve for them? How do they find your services?
I think I know who my Customer Avatar is. Now what?
Start to sketch out the details. You can free-form the process, or there are numerous templates and worksheets you can use, like this one from Hubspot.
You’re going to create a biography. When you create your Customer Avatar, give them a name. Perhaps use a photo of a real customer or a Google image search (for internal use only — please don’t violate photo copyrights!). Where do they shop? What do they worry about? Do they work, and what is their household income?
You need to really get to know this imaginary person. What keeps them up at night? Imagine what books or magazines they read, where they travel, where they shop. Go deep, especially in ways that relate to your own products/services and marketing.
Now put it all together in an easy-to-share document, and USE IT.
How does this help my business?
For starters, you can send it to us, and we will use it when we are building your traffic funnel. Knowing who your best customer is ensures that the content we build for your audience is relevant and effective. What’s wonderful is that planning your content for a particular Customer Avatar doesn’t limit the audience.
Imagine you are an auto mechanic. Perhaps when you create your Customer Avatar, her name is Jenessa. She drives a Toyota Corolla, is married, and she has two teenagers. She commutes 15 minutes to work and works within walking distance of your shop, and she’s particularly focused on the safety of her car because her teenagers occasionally borrow it.
When you feature an article called “Auto Safety Maintenance Checklist” you have Jenessa in mind. However, her neighbors will likely benefit from it. The 80-year-old man who doesn’t commute to work at all may also enjoy it. You can reach a multitude of customers with this article. The magic is that knowing who Jenessa is allows you to tailor the content to attract the best customers to your business.
I’m a little overwhelmed. Can you help?
Of course we can! We are marketing professionals here at Escalate Social Marketing, and we are masterful overthinkers. We’re more than happy to take the work of understanding your customer off your plate and help you create a Customer Avatar. We offer a number of add-on services in addition to our Social Marketing services, and we can complete a custom audit of your business needs to determine the most effective and cost-conscious way to create your Customer Avatar. Contact us or schedule a free strategy call if you’d like to discuss this further.
Leave us a comment!
We love your blog comments. They make us incredibly happy. Please tell us what you’ve heard about Customer Avatars, or ask any questions you might have. Do you use one? What was your greatest challenge? Greatest benefit? We want to know!