Customer avatars (also known as consumer profiles, target market profiles, ideal customer profiles, or client avatars) are often overlooked when planning a strategy for your business. While anyone from anywhere can be your customer, having an idea of your ideal customers’ more specific profiles is necessary. And of course, this goes beyond simply age and gender.
Factors such as their level of income, interests, motivations, purchasing habits, and even their pain points must be taken into account as well. While it’s nice to have everyone’s business, some niches have very distinct types of customers in their client list. Because of this, businesses need to plan their marketing strategies based on which customers they hope most to attract.
Having a specific strategy will generate better outcomes without feeling as if your marketing efforts are scattered without focus. This is where creating a customer avatar is most useful. And today, we’ll show you just how you can build a customer profile, identify different types of customer profiles, create your own customer profile database, and effectively utilize and integrate these tools into your business.
The Benefits of Creating a Customer Avatar
Creating a customer profile or avatar has its perks once you’ve narrowed down the types of customers who are most fitting for your business. Although for some business owners this may seem like a workshop exercise for some business owners, the efforts you make for customer avatar creation are valuable and will pay off in the end. Apart from keeping your marketing goals steady, here are some of the best advantages one can get from having their own custom customer avatar:
- Potential customers are given names, personalities, preferences, and habits, making them more human than simple bar graphs or pie charts printed on paper
- You’re made more aware of your customers’ needs, interests, pain points, desires, and buying habits
- You are able to empathize and build an emotional connection with your customers, bringing your level of customer appreciation to another level
- Your target is made less broad, making it easier for you to determine which people to sell to rather than target everyone in the market
- Knowing what your regular returning customers like will help identify what they would want to see from your social media marketing efforts, blogs, messages, and services
- A clear perspective on which customer to prioritize is established to decrease the risk of being confused with another
- Knowing what your customers like and expect can give you the opportunity to surprise them with better ideas and a marketing style that resonates with them
Tips on Creating Your Business’ Customer Avatar
When creating your business’ customer demographic profile, you not only have to rely on your imagination to figure out what your example of an ideal customer is. You have to do your research about your niche and your target market as well. The best part about creating your customer avatar is that you don’t necessarily have to do it before you start selling.
Businesses are trial and error and the same saying goes to the customers you attract. As an example, your business might begin as a budget-friendly shop that caters to students, but once you begin branching out, you may attract those who are outside of your target market such as working adults or retired homeowners. The market can be unpredictable at times and it matters that your business, as well as your strategies, can eventually adapt to any changes, slow or sudden. Business owners such as yourself need not have expert knowledge about economics and statistics.
However, there’s no need to rely solely on the news and the stock market when keeping on track of the market trends. Whether you possess a business degree or not, we can help you use tools that can easily gather and interpret the numbers and data for you such as the following:
While it’s not the easiest task for someone who isn’t very big on tech, relying on a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software can be the closest thing to having a professional marketer by your side.
A CRM can help you sort out the contacts and leads you have had the pleasure of interacting with. This type of software enables you to have a 360-degree view of all your customers (both potential and returning), making it easy for you to see who they are as people, what they prefer, and what they don’t, eventually helping you generate a unified profile of potential customers.
Reward / Incentive System for Information
Your existing audience, whether they pay for your services or not, is a very important aspect of your customer profiling goals. While some may think that asking survey questions that include opinions from others besides paying customers are not valuable. But they actually are. A dedicated business owner will see these people as an opportunity to become potential new paying customers. But it’s not enough that you ask them questions; it’s a nice gesture to give them a reward for their generous participation. This will not only motivate them to give truthful, well–thought–out answers but will help give your business a positive image as well.
Word of Mouth
By far, word of mouth is proven to be the oldest, yet the easiest and most effective way to get to know your customers. The fastest way to do this is to engage in conversations with your customers. Ask non-invasive questions about their purchase, how the staff’s customer service was, what they like about the products/services, which parts of the service they’re having trouble with, what improvements they think will be beneficial for the company, and other non-personal questions. When you understand their standpoint at the customer level, you’ll eventually understand which parts of your business need more improvement. This information will then help you create a brand or consumer profile that maps out the qualities of your regular customers.
Once you’ve seen the reports and the numbers associated with your niche and target market, only then can you create a clear customer profile. With it, you won’t simply be trying to address the needs of every person in your business’ area, but specifically reaching those from whom your business can benefit from and vice versa. Once you’ve collected enough data to generate a clear customer profile analysis, you’re now ready to take on the task of filling out a customer avatar template / checklist.
Customer Avatar Checklist
After the lengthy yet beneficial process of gathering customer profile data, it’s now time to merge some of those profiles into individual hypothetical customers who have a name, age, family, personality, interests, personal struggles, and most importantly, a purchasing behavior.
The method of customer profiling and segmentation can be a tricky one at first. Why? Because no two people are alike. Six people of similar age might live in the same city, have the same number of children, yet they are unlikely to have the same budgets and purchasing behaviors. Two among these six people may opt for premium options, while the other four might be okay with the standard options.
So, then, what could be the most common denominator you could look for? Their income and occupation, of course. You may then begin to understand that although these people have apparent similarities, they have very clear differences as well. And having the knowledge of these differences will help you map out a clear picture of what type of customers you regularly serve. To help you with customer profiling and segmentation better, here’s a list of the questions you need to determine for a specified customer avatar:
Knowing your target market’s age bracket is just as important as knowing all the other points on this list, which creates a realistic example of a customer demographic profile. Knowing their age gives you a better idea of what they might like, dislike, and repurchase. While not everyone is the same, preferences and budgets can sometimes depend on a person’s age.
Even if your business is selling food, utility, or anything that doesn’t attract a specific gender, you will want to know who makes the decisions when it comes to footing the bill.
You don’t want your business to miss out on people who are very exacting in their buying habits. While some people are okay with simply knowing what something is and what it’s for, some people will want to be presented with facts that support a product’s effectivity, longevity, and other factors when it comes to performance. This is where the question of education comes in. Do your customers want extra information? Or does your business seem off the table for them due to providing too little information about itself and its products?
Everything from your customers’ favorite pastime to their must-have comfort food matters. Knowing what they already like and profiling the customer as such will help you tap into their emotions, creating an emotional connection between your brand and them.
Motivation can be anything from family to a lifelong dream they’ve been working toward for years. Understand what your customers want on a personal level. Do they want to gain enough experience to land a specific job? Are they eager to finish their studies to land the perfect career? Have they been saving up for a new car? Once you’ve understood what their personal dreams are, you can then motivate them to do that very same thing, knowing you’re supporting their aspirations as well.
What are your customers struggling with? Is it a financial problem? A logistical struggle? Whatever is holding your customers back from reaching you, knowing these points will help you make the road easier for them in the long run. Long lines? Offer self check-out or make your products and services available online. Is your store too far or not available in their area of the country? Offer nationwide shipment or partner with a company that can handle the logistics for you. After all, only a business can resolve its customers problems.
Occupations not only range in compensation, but in stress levels as well. Are your usual customers the types who work in a stressful environment therefore are always looking for services and products to help them unwind? Do they live very comfortable lives that allows them to take a vacation more than once a year? Businesses are created to help people, and this point will definitely help you come up with an outright solution for them.
Budget / Income
This point heavily influences the products and services they can afford as well as their pain points and challenges. Considering this aspect will help you plan out better pricing.
When a customer and a salesperson have a close relationship, the business benefits greatly from it without fail. Why? Because the salesperson already knows what this customer wants before they even develop the need for it. Knowing what products and services specific customers are likely to lean toward makes it easier for businesses to successfully plan their next moves.
Preferred Marketing Channels
Do your customers like shopping for your items via a third party website? Do they engage more with your company on social media rather than in your physical stores? Business owners must always care about their customer’s preferences rather than those that benefit the company. Knowing the opposite of what their clients dislike may even give them that opportunity to improve those areas for the better. If your customers seem to avoid engaging with your business online, try to determine what it is they dislike, or what they prefer when they are doing business face to face.