A customer avatar is a detailed profile of your perfect customer. Also called a buyer’s persona, an avatar helps businesses understand their customers’ buying decisions.
Such demographic information as gender, age, education level, income and interests make up a customer avatar.
Once you’ve got one you can use it for your marketing strategy where the avatar becomes “the one to go to”. Hone your marketing message, so it appeals to a specific someone as posed to a generic.
An Avatar is:
- A fictional person who represents your ideal customer.
- They have a name, a picture, a personality and a life (education, job, family, friends, hobbies, strengths and weaknesses, aspirations, projects, failures and successes, fears, etc ..)
- A persona used to attract customers.
- Not supposed to be a real or specific person
- Made up of the characteristics (key attributes) of your perfect buyer
Why is a customer avatar needed?
Defining an avatar gives your “ideal” customer an identity and helps you better determine who you are marketing to. When you create an avatar, you need to think about the best way to provide them with information about your product, service, industry and to serve them.
Determining your product or service’s best audience will make it much easier for you to reach them online.
Truly understanding your target market will make it easier for you to create content that engages, educates, and entertains your potential customers. You can personalize your posts to positively impact your target market and get them to know more about your products and services.
Give Them What They Need
What keeps your target audience up at night? Spend time defining your differentiators and how you can help your customers. What product or service solves a problem of theirs or gets rid of a pain point? Be aware of what your competition is offering and how you can stand out.
How to create a customer avatar?
The good news is that you don’t need a degree in creative writing or even marketing to develop a strong persona profile. In fact, there’s a tried and true formula, including how to make a useful avatar creation spreadsheet.
We suggest you start by thinking about a customer you’ve done business with in the past, someone you loved doing business, and if you could fill your business with more of them, your business would be “perfect.”
Give this person a name. You can even grab a photo online if it helps you to capture the essence of who they are. This is for you to get you a representation to start “seeing” your customer in vivid detail.
Seeing them can help you build a dossier of who they are.
Describe their characteristics. You may want to use the Customer Avatar Characteristics template below.
Customer Avatar Characteristics Table
Let’s review the five components of the avatar characteristics:
Customer demographics are usually the starting point for creating a customer profile or avatar.
The goal is to bring your avatar to life, including their age, gender, income level, education, marital status / family, and where they live and work.
This information is always a good place to start, but it only scratches the very surface of the profile you need to create.
2. Goals and Values
This axis is about the dreams, aspirations or desired results of your ideal client. These are the things your customer avatar wants.
These are the things they strive to add to their lives.
What are the main goals of your avatar?What are they trying to achieve?
These things should relate to the product you are selling or the offer you are making.
Don’t be distracted by independent goals. For example, if they want to have 6 packs in 3 months, this is relevant for a weight loss plan but not for digital marketing training.
What results are they looking for in relation to your product or service?
What results are they looking for in relation to your product or service?
What would be the right outcome for your potential customers to engage with your business, products, and services?
How will this affect their life or their experiences of what they love to do?
Remember that most people, even if they want things, have values that hold them back.
So while you’re thinking about their goals, try going into their heads and thinking about what they value as well and how their values affect the things they want and the goals they set for themselves.
Please write down as many values as possible that matter to your ideal client.
3. Challenges and Pain Points
Ultimately, your customers are doing business with you because you are helping solve one of their problems.
This is true no matter what industry you are in or what product or service you are selling.
Create a list of challenges or issues faced by your customers and you will quickly discover ways to contact them.
What are their challenges or their frustrations?
What is preventing them from achieving them?
And what’s keeping your avatar from sleeping at night?
It is both in their daily life and also with a specific reference to your product or service.
Remember to only list the challenges or pain points that are relevant to your offer. For example, wanting to be able to work from anywhere would be relevant for online business opportunities, but not for weight loss goals.
So what are their pre-designed ideas in relation with your offer?
What are the negative connotations associated with your product or service?
What kind of bad experiences have they had in the past?
What are they thinking and feeling now?
4. Source of information
(a) Talk to people in this customer avatar group
As you begin to refine your avatar’s traits, you will be able to identify, contact, and speak with people who exhibit these same characteristics.
Consider organizing a discussion group, clearly defined and corresponding to all characteristics of your avatar. This is very important to avoid being distracted by bad prospects.
If you already have a business, identify which of your clients are your ideal client and ask them if they are willing to give you a few minutes of theirs.
Prepare a detailed questionnaire explaining why they are doing business with you.
It will help if you visit forums and communities.
Also remember to contact your competitors’ customers, if you know some of them. They will have valuable information for you to refine your avatar profile.
(b) Use your personal experience
In some cases, your customer avatar is you, now or in a previous period of your life. Fill in what you know from personal experience. Keep in mind that this is your interpretation and may not necessarily be true. So, don’t rely solely on your gut to complete this spreadsheet. It would help if you validated your ideas and assumptions by checking with other people who fit the profile.
(c) Doing a google search
As you are looking for what your ideal customer enjoys, you can research it using Google. Try performing searches using your customer avatar as a keyword.
Here are a few search terms to get you started:
“Top (or best) books for [your customer avatar]
“Top (or best) conferences for [your customer avatar]”
“Top (or best) blogs for [your customer avatar]”
“Top (or best) groups for [your customer avatar]”
“Top (or best) social media for [your customer avatar] “
5. Objections & role in the purchase process
Objections are a natural part of the consumer buying process. They are how prospects communicate their status in the buying process. They come in forms of challenges, opportunities, problems, and requests for more information cry to better understand stalls and value shortcomings.
An objection is simply a person’s way of requesting additional information before making a new and more informed decision.
To effectively deal with objections, learn what type of buyer you are dealing with. Learn as much about the customer as possible.
Why wouldn’t your ideal customer buy from you?
What are some possible objections this customer avatar would have to whatever you’re selling
You need to understand what the hot buttons are for your customer avatar so you can address their objections in your marketing.
If you know the key objections already, list them here. If not, do some customer and competitor research to figure out what they are.
(b) Avatar’s role in the purchase decision
In some cases, your customer avatar isn’t the person making the buying decision or approving the purchase. If that’s the case, you need to know it before you start writing sales copy.
For instance, in medium and big companies, most of the employees in the purchasing department are the ones making the purchase. It’s their boss who’s making the purchase. In this case, you’ll need to market to the professional, but we need to get them to lobby within their organization so the decision-maker is willing to accept your offer.
Option: 16 key questions to answer to build your customer avatar
On top of the above table, in order to help you further for digging deeper in building your avatar profile, we’ve created a free downloadable Customer Avatar Marketing Worksheet. It guides you on making your customer avatar in 4 steps and 16 key questions you need to answer to build your customer avatar.
Update your avatar
This doesn’t have to be a one-time activity. The more you learn about your ideal customer, the more you can add to your customer avatar profile. That’s the beauty of it. It’s an iterative work. This allows you to discover more of who they are, as you know them on deeper levels. The more you’ll refine your offer to them.
If you have multiple targets, you’ll define multiple avatars based on the targets groups you market to.
A negative avatar is the profile of a person that you don’t want as a customer. This is also important to know what profiles you are not serving.
If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you might have nightmare clients you are trying to avoid. These are the customers who eat away at your time
Note, this isn’t about looking at personal characteristics, as you did above. Rather, this is about finding common reasons why they don’t match what you have to offer. Can you find what makes a person not a good fit for you, based on specific characteristics?
Maybe it’s their objection to high prices. Or their probability of walking away and not being loyal to your brand. Of possibly the long term success rate of becoming a customer.
This is about collecting the right information to make your marketing methods even narrower. And more profitable.
Building an audience from your customer avatar
Once you’ve got a detailed description of your ideal customer profile, you can then use it to create a video script where you’ll be talking to your avatar, exposing them your solution to their problem. With this video, create a campaign in Google Ads. This will enable you to quickly and easily test out your audience size and test your message engagement.
The essential thing to remember with customer avatars is that they need to be based on an individual personality and profile. So you should start by giving them a name and specific age and build out their characteristics and behaviours from this simple starting point using the questions above.
If you need a case study, drop me a message, and I’ll be happy to give a fully detailed customer avatar example.