Seeing your business through the lens of your customers – Creating a customer avatar

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Seeing your business through the lens of your customers – Creating a customer avatar 1

Most organizations fail to see themselves with their customers’ eyes.  Some go to great pains to do proper market research, but in the end, business just continues as usual.  Others think that having a solid revenue will justify they are on the right path.  Both of these methods can keep the fuel burning for some time, but in case of a new competitor or an economic crisis, it’s better to be in touch with your customers and know what they truly value in your organization’s products and services.

Successful businesses view themselves through the eyes of their target groups.  There is always a key message, which needs to get across to the particular audience.  There is always a well-defined audience that demands our products or services, and they choose us, instead of the competitors, because we add value to X, Y and Z points in their lives.

Demographics are nice to have (OK, often compulsory), but in many cases, they are still not adequately detailed to understand how our target audience lives.  A handy way to get into their shoes is by utilizing the Customer Avatar method that, in essence, makes you think of your customer group as a single person.

The first block of the Customer Avatar is the profile of that person. How does her life look like? How many kids does she have? Are they in school? Is she divorced? Does she work full time? What are her hobbies? Why does she choose those particular hobbies? What about her friends?

The second block of the Avatar is her problems: what is her life’s pain (OK, not in a deep Freudian sofa type of analytical way, but currently something(s) she wishes would go away)?  What does she hate in her every day? What takes up most of her time? Why does she have to choose certain things over others?

The third block of the Avatar will be your customer’s needs and desires.  These come partially from her problems in Block 2, but also partially from some things she really would like to have (and is not connected to her problem).  You want to influence her feelings instead of her rational mind.  If you can evoke feelings, people will resonate.

The fourth and final part is the part you have been waiting for so long (drums): your product or service!  Yes, your offer comes last, not first!   Highlight some tangible characteristics from your product or service that are really added value for your customer.  This will make the difference in your customer’s life and in your direct-response ad copy.

We will close this post by highlighting some of the most common marketing mistakes/myths people make.

Myth: Everyone needs me (my product or service). 

Reality: a specific niche segment will need you, and if you keep shooting at everyone, you will throw out a lot of valuable marketing budget.

Myth: My potential clients know what I do. 

Reality: you need to tell them why they are so bloody lucky to have you around.

Myth: Everyone thinks about the world the same way I do. 

Reality: think about the world as your customers do, and business will boom sooner than later.

…and finally, here are 12 questions to get your mind going about your avatar (compiled by Bill Pescosolido)

  • Where does my avatar hang out?
  • What websites do they go to?
  • What do they read?
  • What do they watch on tv?
  • What do they do in their free time?
  • What are their goals?
  • Who are their heroes?
  • Who are their enemies?
  • Who do they want to please?
  • Who are they responsible for?
  • Who might they let down or fail?
  • What keeps them up at night?

Get cracking with that customer avatar!

And don’t forget! Once you identified your customer avatar it’ll be easier to attract them with your services.

Feel free to contact us for more detail discussion if you need more help on your customer avatar.

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