4 Things You Didn't Know About Your Ideal Customer Avatar | For Product-Based Business
Have you ever considered who your ideal customer really is for your product-based business? Do you know what a difference it can make to your profits, business growth rate and overall pace of progress when you get this right?
When you really understand who your ideal customer is, and not just at a superficial level - all of a sudden the marketing of your product-based business, the messaging and the brand stories you share will be so much more successful. They will resonate more deeply and start converting more sales.
So let's explore customer avatars and how you can use them to help grow your product-based business.
What is a customer avatar?
Ideal Customer Personas are also known as Customer Avatars. These are fictional customer descriptions that are based on your ideal customers type and demographic - the ideal customer you want to do business with.
We can use customer personas to help us imagine our ideal customer's wants and needs. Once we have a clear customer avatar, we can use it as a reference guide when making key business growth decisions - for example, we can ask - "what would our ideal customer really want from this new service?".
The aim here is to describe your ideal audience type and capture their unique characteristics. To really get under their skin and understand what makes them tick!
When you are creating your customer avatar, you should be describing their gender (if relevant), age, likes and dislikes, behaviour, lifestyle, motivations, and challenges. In a B2B context, buyer personas often represent the corporate retail buyers / heads of procurement and senior decision making roles for your ideal target company.
Why targeting your ideal customer is important
We use customer avatars to help us imagine our customer, how they would react to our products and services and how we should talk to them in our marketing messages.
It also allows you and your team to focus on getting customers you actually want. This could be a customer with the right budget, appreciation of your service, or one that will find a demand and need for your product or service.
We also have to think of our own business values, and if our ideal customer matches and desires these values. Whether that be looking for sustainable products and an interest in Eco, perhaps wanting to only buy from socially responsible companies who give back or customers who demand a high focus on "right first time" delivery.
We don’t want to attract just anyone to use our services or products; we want to attract customers that will fit in with our business values, who understand our wider mission in our products and services and who are keen to be part of and share in our brand universe.
4 Steps to help you uncover things you didn't know about your Ideal Customer Avatar
Step 1. Identify Basic Demographics. Start by writing down and describing who your ideal customer really is. When creating your customer avatar, you should always be specific rather than vague - like you are painting a picture of a real life individual. For example, what is their exact age, rather than age range?
If you already have an "ideal" customer that you actually know in real life, even better! Use them for inspiration.
- What is their gender?
- Where do they live?
- How old are they?
- Have they got children?
- Are they married?
- What type of education do they have?
- What is their profession?
- What is their income level?
Step 2. Capture their hopes, dreams and desires.
Let's go one level deeper...
- What do they do in their free time? Any hobbies?
- What do they really like/ totally dislike?
- Which social medias channels do they hang out on?
- What TV programs do they watch / Magazines do they read?
- What writers, speaks, authors, teachers or experts do they follow?
- What brands do they already follow?
- What are their guilty pleasures?
- Where do they already shop?
And then next level!
- What are their Core Life Beliefs?
- What do they dream about / aspire to?
- Who do they Idolise?
- What hopes do they have for the future?
- What is keeping them up at night? What do they worry about?
- What challenges do they face daily?
- What do they secretly fear may be true about their life right now?
Step 3. Identify the Paint points
Let's get underneath their pain points - the ones that will trigger them to buy...
- What is their biggest frustration / problem?
- What are they struggling with right now?
- What things have they already tried, to fix this problem?
- In an ideal world, what do they really want as the solution? What's the OMG, I can’t believe that exists dream solution that they’d pay almost anything for?
- What are you doing as a business to help them fix their problem?
- How do your products really address their needs?
- How do they feel at the exact time they are about to buy?
- What story are they telling themselves?
- How do your products make them feel once used?
Step 4. Reaching your ideal customer
Think about how you could actually reach your ideal customer
- What action could you take to ensure that your ideal customer can see and experience your products?
- Where is your ideal customer right now, today? Where are they hanging out? Can you go there with your product ?
How to use your customer persona to grow your business
1. Boost your marketing impact: When you really understand your customer persona, your marketing will be much more successful as it will speak directly to them. When you start using the exact same words in your adverts and in your social media that your ideal customer actually uses themselves to describe the challenge they have, or the pain they are experiencing, it brings your brand closer to them. You show you deeply understand them as individuals. You become the brand they have to buy from because "you get them".
2. Prioritized effort onto the right Social channels: Once you have a clear idea of your customer persona, you can be targeting your marketing efforts and messages only on the platforms that you KNOW they use. You stop guessing and hoping that someone is listening... you KNOW your ideal customer is listening, because you know this is where they are spending time.
3. Launch products your customers care about (and want to buy!): You will become far more conscious of your ideal customer’s likes, dislikes and hobbies. You will know if they are juggling the demands of a family, with very little "me time" or if they prioritise healthy lifestyle and wellness. This means the products you develop as you expand your range, can work towards supporting your customer in their chosen lifestyle. Plus you will be creating marketing content and product launches that will show that you understand the customer.
Yes, you are thinking I am crazy, but I mean it! I promise you it works... By the time you have truly identified your ideal customer, you've put yourself in their shoes, you know what a typical day looks like for them.. you would spot them if they were walking down the street, that's how specific you've got... so next - give them a name!
One corporate retail client I had several years ago, did this superbly - they named their fictional, ideal customer persona Katie - and this avatar was 16 and interested in fashion. They went as far as to re-create "Katies" bedroom in their HQ offices, complete with fluffy slippers, boyband poster and latest fashion accessories on her dressing table.
And why did they bother? Every single time that team went to launch a new product line, create a fresh marketing campaign or work on developing the brand - they would put themselves physically in that space and ask "what would Katie think of this"?
Brilliant. Truly customer first.
I've had other clients who have sourced stock images from the internet of a person who best represented / looked like their ideal customer avatar and then got cardboard cut-outs made of their "ideal customer", so their customer could physically be in the office with them!
It works! It changes your mindset and focuses you on who you are really serving.
You can do this too. You can make your ideal customer real.
Make It Happen In Your Business
If you haven't already, you should put aside some time to create a customer avatar for your product-based business. By having a customer avatar for your unique product business, you can deliver more direct marketing messages, which are more likely to attract and succeed, leading to an increase in sales conversions.
- Allocate an hour in the diary to get clear on who your Ideal Customer really is.
- Write down everything that comes to mind when describing this fictional person - work through the questions above to help you brainstorm what really matters to them.
- Use your customer avatar! Make them real in your business. There is no point spending time creating a customer avatar and getting to understand who they are, if you don't USE this information. It's all about implementation! So next time you are making a decision in your business, grab your customer avatar document (or cardboard cut out!) and ask the question " what would my ideal customer think of this?....".
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