In any business, the customer is at the center of all concerns. It is therefore essential to know it well. The mistake is to tell yourself that your customer is “everyone”. It would be like saying that your product or service is not for anyone.
While it is entirely possible to have several customer segments, the idea is to focus only on a well-defined segment, especially if you are still at the start-up stage of your business.
Defining your ideal prospect is a particularly important point for your company because it can make a real difference in your turnover.
It’s actually a key element of your marketing, whether you do digital marketing or not because creating your avatar that represents your ideal customer allows you to define WHO your target is, understand who they are, to communicate effectively with it.
When you start an activity or launch a new product or service, you must first ask yourself the question: Who is my service for or who is my product for? Who is my target?
Because not having a customer avatar means saying “I target everyone” but “everyone” is equal to “Nobody”.
If you know WHO you are targeting, then you can communicate effectively!
The question that arises is then: how to define your ideal customer, in other words, your customer avatar? I give you some answers in this article, but before answering them, let’s first see what exactly a customer avatar is.
What is a Customer Avatar?
An avatar is a detailed portrait of a person who is imaginary but very close to reality. The customer avatar is a term that simply refers to your ideal customer, i.e. your target audience.
The ideal customer is none other than the customer for whom your offer brings the most value and who also allows your company to receive a lot of value in exchange.
It is therefore the customer that you can best help and who recognizes the value of your offer by agreeing to pay the price you impose without negotiating.
In another context, the Customer Avatar symbolizes the ideal customer, your target. This is a representative card of a customer segment that you want to target for your marketing.
Taking the time to create a customer avatar is very important because it can have a huge impact on your business, it will allow you to create good communication around your products for this customer segment.
Your avatar will influence on:
- In your content marketing, what type of content should you create for this type of prospect?
- The creation of your products, and what your target really needs.
- The copywriting of your sales pages, your landing pages, titles, texts of your publications, etc…
- Your paid traffic, which advertising platform should you use, what type of advertising, and what type of targeting.
- Email marketing. Ideally, create different emails according to your avatars.
You can of course create several customer avatars for the same product/service.
Customer Avatar Categories
In general, a good customer avatar should consist of 5 categories:
Demographic: how old is your avatar? Is it a woman or a man? What is her marital status? Where is he from? How much does he earn monthly? What are his political preferences? What is his profession?
Goals and Values: This category allows you to determine the goals your avatar is trying to achieve as well as the values it holds most dear.
Sources: this category consists of determining which sources (newspapers, blogs, magazines, etc.) your avatar consults for information and which will therefore interest you.
Challenges and Problems: This category identifies obstacles that prevent your avatar from achieving its goals and objectives.
Objections: why would your avatar refuse to buy your product or service?
How to Define a Customer Avatar?
There are several ways to define a customer avatar, but the simplest and most effective is certainly to put yourself in the customer’s shoes to understand him well.
Put yourself in the shoes of potential customers. With this in mind, try to answer the following questions:
- What obstacles does the customer encounter? What are the possible obstacles? Are they fears or frustrations?
- What are the different levers and the results that the client expects?
It will not be easy to be able to find the right answers and to have all the keys to understanding at first sight. It will then be necessary for you to push your research further and to help you with certain tools like the “empathy map”.
- What does the customer see: in what environment does he live? Who are his friends? What are the offers to which he is exposed?
- What does he hear: what do his friends, entourage and hierarchical superiors say to him? Who are the people who really influence him? Which media does he trust?
- What does he think and feel: what is really important to him? What are his major concerns? What are his concerns and aspirations?
- What does he say and what does he do: what is his behavior towards others? How does he act in public? What does he say to others?
- What are his fears: what is he afraid of? What are his biggest frustrations? What is the obstacle between him and what he wants to accomplish?
- What does he hope for: what are his wishes? What are his wants and needs? What determines its success? What are the solutions that enable him to achieve his objectives?
How to Create a Perfect Customer Avatar
1. Face Reality
In some cases, even completing an empathy map is not enough to have a good understanding of your ideal customer. And for good reason, it does not allow you to have all the answers to your questions.
To remedy this, you will have to compare your point of view with other sources. You will thus be able to have the guarantee that the image you have made of your ideal customer corresponds to the reality of the market.
To do this, you have several solutions that do not involve carrying out expensive market research. Among other things, you can use surveys or statistics that have already been compiled in the context of subsequent studies.
You can also take help from search engines – mainly Google – and their various features. For example, you can use Google Trends to keep up to date with current news as well as current main trends on the internet. You can also visit reference sites such as Ipsos or Edenred to find interesting data and reliable surveys.
2. Collect Additional Information
If the empathy map and the data from existing sources are still not enough to establish a faithful image of your avatar, it will be essential to collect other information. You will then have to ask your own questions to get the answers you really need.
Some tools today can help you establish relevant questionnaires and surveys. Among the most popular and easiest to use are Google Forms. Easy to use, these are 100% free when you have a Gmail account. So all you have to do is create one if you don’t have one yet.
In addition, you can also test your project idea on social networks. Create a Facebook or LinkedIn group, for example, and ask a few people from your community to complete your survey.
To engage the most people, let them know in advance how many questions or how long it will take to complete the survey. To avoid discouraging participants, opt for clear and concise questions.
3. Test The Ground to Refine the Customer Avatar
If online approaches are a valuable help for the creation of your customer avatar, they do not dispense with sharing, exchanging, and face-to-face meetings between human beings. For in-depth knowledge and understanding of your ideal client, it is strongly recommended to meet your prospects directly.
Mobilize the personnel of your business to do individual interviews and/or to observe your prospects in the situation. You can also use the human resources at your disposal to organize “focus groups”.
In any case, going to meet your prospects will allow you to test your offer in a real situation and at the same time to have their immediate reactions, which will allow you to take all the necessary measures to improve it.
4. Take Inspiration From What Already Exists
If you are starting your business project and you do not yet know exactly which audience to target, take inspiration from businesses that are already evolving in your industry.
It is not a question of copying stupidly but of doing “benchmarking”, that is to say observing the performance of other businesses, in particular your main competitors and those which dominate the market. By benchmarking, you will be able to position yourself clearly in relation to your potential partners but also and above all in relation to your competitors.
Do not hesitate to do competitive intelligence and see what other businesses are doing. What type of audience is their target? What do their websites look like? What channels do they use to communicate with their target audiences?
After the observation phase, all you have to do is add your personal touch to create your own style. And this, in order to set you apart from the competition.
Know that today, there are different kinds of software online that allow you to obtain useful competitive data such as keywords or positioning on search engines.
For a special reason, you may also develop a customer avatar. If you want to start marketing on Facebook, for instance, you might create a customer avatar of your ideal online profile. You should think about the person’s age, aspirations, and hobbies, but you should also think about other things. These might include things like the total time a person spends on social media and whose accounts they prefer.
However, there are additional ways that developing a customer avatar may benefit and profit your business. Knowing what your audience wants, for example, might help you make critical improvements in product development.
However, it also enables you to distinguish between constructive client feedback and unhelpful customer complaints.
At the end of the day, creating customer avatars improves the user experience. If you create for and advertise to your ideal client, you’ll be more likely to improve in ways that benefit both your company and your target market. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.