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How to work out your customer avatar

Know Thy Customer

Who is your business is serving? In a previous post, we talked about the Marketers’ role as owing the entire CUSTOMER JOURNEY and before we know it, we want to dive right in and get traffic and leads, and sales. We start to run ads, create content, and get active on social platforms.

It is so easy to dive into these tactics very quickly WITHOUT knowing WHO WE ARE TALKING TO!

This is the mistake many businesses make. They start writing their content before knowing who their CUSTOMER AVATARS are. Before you start to shape your strategy, it is important to put some work into your customer avatar so that the whole organisation agrees with WHO you are talking to with your content and messages. The tool we use for this is the Customer Avatar Board.

The customer avatar board is a series of specific questions to help you to know your customer or customers as most businesses or brands serve more than just one type of customer. Ideally, we need a customer avatar for each TYPE of customer we serve.

Step 1: The very first step is to establish their DEMOGRAPHICS & INTERESTS. Think about your customer. What is their potential:

Marital status

What are their interests? For example, what books/blogs/magazines would they read? Or what brands/influencers do they follow? Or what type of events would they attend?

Step 2: What are the things that make your customer your customer? Here are some questions to answer:

What are some of their frustrations or fears?
What keeps them up at night?
What annoys and frustrates them?
What challenges do they face on a day-to-day basis?
Who or what is standing in their way?
What are some key systems in their work that fail?
What features do they regularly complain about in a product/service or your competitors?

If you can do the Customer Avatar exercise within your business as a team or group, you will come up with 3 to 7 real frustrations/elements that your ideal customer is experiencing.

Step 3: What are their WANTS and ASPIRATIONS?
This always reminds me of Tony Robbins (Awaken the Giant Within). Tony states that as humans we have two main motivators. “We move away from pain” and “We move towards pleasure”.

If fears and frustrations MOVE YOU AWAY from something, we can presume that goals and aspirations MOVE YOU TOWARDS something. For example, if someone is investing in a diet program they are moving away from the frustration of being overweight. Whereas, if someone wants to run a marathon, they have to train to move towards getting fit enough to complete the course. Ask this question:

“Is the customer buying to get away from something or are they trying to achieve something they want?”

Some questions to establish a customer’s wants and aspirations:

What do they want for themselves?
What do they want for people around them?
What do they aspire to be?
What are some goals (health, money, socialising) they may have set for themselves?
What is their status today and where would they like to be?
What are the values they would identify with?
What are their secret desires?
(If you can speak to them about what they truly want you can CAPTURE and HOLD their ATTENTION!)

Step 4: Lastly, let’s look at KEY PURCHASE DRIVERS. Here we think about key purchase drivers within the context of their wants, needs, and aspirations. This is where they are likely to either say yes or no to your product or service.

Thinking about your customer: What are some MUST HAVE FEATURES? What is their expectation of your product/service? For example, let’s take IKEA furniture, which is priced low BUT you must get the furniture off the shelf, queue up to pay for it then take it home and build it yourself. Expectations!

Other considerations are Price/Budget. Price is a function of value, but you need to understand your customer. If you are B2B, think about companies and what type of budgets are typical in that industry? If selling to a consumer, how much can they spend before having to talk to a spouse or partner? When you learn more about your customer it helps to understand and know how much they can spend.

The final aspect to consider is the deal killers or what are the questions or big objections they might have? Who/what additional stakeholders must be involved to close the deal?

In conclusion, if you use a CUSTOMER AVATAR BOARD you can create a handful of the above elements that would help you to determine who you are selling to and a deeper understanding of your customer journey. This in turn helps you to know with certainty what type of messages or content will appeal to them.

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