Customer Avatars: What Are They?

Identifying your ideal customer is key to marketing your products or services effectively. This will make it easier to identify and reach them. In addition, your messaging can be personalized so it will resonate with the people most likely to benefit from your products. It is here where the customer avatar comes into play…

This type of customer is frequently called a buyer persona or marketing persona. It represents the type of person who will buy your product or service. 

Many people have heard this phrase quite often, especially in the context of digital or social marketing. While the phrase may be familiar, what it actually means can be a bit confusing to some. If that’s your case, know you are not the only one. This piece of the marketing puzzle is difficult for many business owners.

Here’s what we need to clarify!

Customer avatars look like the following:

  • The key to a successful marketing campaign
  • An imaginary character who has wants, needs, and pain points
  • The profile of a single individual who is a representative of your target audience/consumer
  • Research and analysis compiled into a comprehensive outline
  • The ideal scenario: High spending, purchases that are repeated, and/or branding opportunities

  The following things are not a customer avatar:

  • An “optional” marketing strategy
  • A composite character of all your existing and potential clients.
  • An incomplete description that lacks essential information 
  • A list of characteristics that have be inferred or assumed 
  • An evaluation of just anyone and everyone who may be interested in purchasing from you

A well-crafted avatar can provide a great deal of insight into who your ideal customers are, what they want, and where they spend their time, not to mention how your offerings can address their problem. 

Developing your customer avatar (and using it effectively) can help you get better results from your marketing dollars. The plan helps you avoid sending the wrong message to the wrong people, being in the wrong place, and wasting your resources. Success in both marketing and sales is ultimately dependent on it. 

Who Needs a Customer Avatar?

This is a question we receive frequently. Let’s get straight to the point: every company, no matter their size or industry, must have a customer avatar. 

Each. And. Every. One. 

(You saw where we said both sales and marketing success is dependent on it, right?)

Companies with 100’s of employees should have avatars. Companies that have been in business for years should have customer avatars. Moreover, they need to regularly update these ideal client/customer profiles, since the elements (e.g., problems, desires, online spaces frequented) change over time.  

However, it is especially important for start-ups and small- and medium-sized businesses to have an avatar (or multiple avatars, depending on how much segmentation is required for your target market). It gives you the ability to make the most out of your marketing budget and better target your efforts for even better results. It’s a benefit that every owner of a business can appreciate.

Note: For-profit organizations aren’t the only ones using avatars. Churches and nonprofits will also find this tool useful. By taking the time to create donor avatars, those in these sectors can reap great benefits.

What a Customer Avatar Can Do for Your Business

If you want to consistently sell to the right people-the customers who will spend big, make repeat purchases, and tell others about your business-you’re going to need a customer avatar. A well developed customer avatar puts you in front of people who will have a high customer lifetime value (CLV). These are the types of customers you want to attract more of in order to  grow your business.

I’ll tell you a hard truth: although you may think you know who this is, you likely don’t.

Until the research is done it is impossible to know. Not knowing means you continue to pitch to anyone and everyone with blind hope someone will say yes and buy from you. This is often costly in time and revenue as well as overall extremely ineffective for long-term, sustainable growth.

The benefit of having an accurate, well-crafted avatar is that it allows you to be more specific with your marketing messages and will allow you to improve in 5 key areas.  

Email Marketing: 

When you know who you’re writing to, you can make email messages that get opened, clicked, and converted more effectively. 

Your subject lines, body copy, and even call to action buttons will be based on their specific needs. You can also segment your email list using it so that you can create customized marketing campaigns for each avatar.  

Product Development: 

Your organization can develop products or services that are relevant and better likely to be purchased by your ideal customer by knowing what they want. By doing that, you can determine the problems they face and the solutions they are looking for. 

Content Marketing: 

By developing your ideal customer avatar, you can create content that engages and has the highest impact on them. By using data and insights you can provide real value through different types of content, rather than guessing what they will consume.

Paid Advertising: 

Aside from indicating which platforms you should be advertising on, the avatar helps you identify which demographics to target and how to phrase your ads for maximum conversions. 

User Experience: 

Additionally, an avatar can be a helpful tool for crafting a better customer experience, making every interaction easier, more enjoyable, and more convenient for your customers. An avatar makes it possible for you to imagine yourself in their shoes and work out how they’d like to interact with you or make a purchase. 

The bottom line is this. Consistent sales require you to truly know your ideal customer. This is why you need a customer avatar.

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