We’re talking about people again this week, and about avatars, but when you hear the word ‘avatar’, what do you see?
You’d be forgiven for thinking of giant blue creatures running about the forests of the future in loin cloths…
Great film, by the way.
You’d also be let off if your mind jumped to the creation of a little character that you use to represent yourself on social media…
Which glasses should you choose?
Either way, we’re not talking about those types of avatars today…
Instead, we want to take a closer look at something we refer to, as the ‘customer avatar’.
Let’s start by asking you a question…
‘Who are you looking to sell to?’
If the answer that shoots to your lips is something like…’anyone’, or even, ‘everyone’, you may just need our help.
There are literally billions of people in the world. As good as your products and services may be, you’re going to need to think a little more seriously about marketing to anyone and everyone.
It just doesn’t work.
This is why we advocate spending a good period of time on trying to define your unique ‘customer avatar’.
So, how does one go about doing this?
It’s a three-stage process:
Research. Refine. React.
The research you carry out needs to be pertinent to your industry, practical in terms of how long it takes and how much it costs, and purposeful so you’re not wasting your time.
Sending out surveys to people who may or may not care, would be an example of not being purposeful.
Looking at who accountants in London work with, when you’re based in Lossiemouth – again, not purposeful.
A print company looking to a nursery business for customer profiles – not exactly pertinent to your industry, is it?
“Ah, but what about the parents of the children at the nursery, maybe they would want to use our printing services”, I hear you say.
Maybe, but that would be a case of serendipity. They are not your customer avatar.
A small business owner though, possibly a start-up, someone looking to distribute leaflets and design brochures?
You’re getting closer.
We haven’t looked at the practical side of all this yet. We don’t encourage espionage, at least not in the flesh…
…but having a look at your competitors is a good starting point.
Browse their offers online, and try to get a picture of who they’re looking to target.
This way, you can either piggy back on their successes, or look to identify a gap in the market.
Who isn’t being targeted?
Be careful though, there may well be very good reasons as to why certain demographics aren’t targeted for certain products and services.
We’re not saying that the gaps don’t exist, we’re simply saying that they’re getting harder to find.
As always, you don’t know what you don’t know, and so we’ll say it again – Do your research.
Once you’ve got a good idea of who you’re looking to market to, it’s time to refine your customer avatar.
Think of it as one big game of ‘Guess Who?’
You can knock down the ones who are less likely to take you up on your deals.
Cynically, you can probably knock down those who won’t be able to afford what you’re selling, too.
Who’s left then?
Have they got ginger hair, glasses and a goatee?
That may be a little too specific, but hopefully, you’re starting to understand the process.
Let’s have a look at a fictional example…
Company A’s customer avatar could well be defined as:
Predominantly male, 20 – 40 years old, a young professional earning 30k – 50k, with limited responsibilities and plenty of disposable income.
This is great, but without the next part of the ‘Refine’ stage, it’s just as useless as that last remaining card on ‘Guess Who?’
The next part is less tangible, but arguably more important, as it takes into consideration the thoughts, feelings, opinions and aspirations of your customer avatar.
What do they value most? Time? Money? Status? Relationships? A combination of all of those?
It is important to understand what motivates them, as different goals drive different people to part with their cash in different ways.
If they’re not buying what you’re selling, don’t waste your time on trying to convince them.
We’re not saying that marketing is pointless, of course we’re not, but it is so much more effective when you market in the right place, at the right time, to the right people.
That’s what 2080e can help with. We can make a difference.
What problems does your avatar have that you can solve? Maybe it’s a problem they didn’t know they had, until you showed them.
How can your products or services help them get the house they’re dreaming of? The relationship? The job?
Unless you know that this is what they’re looking for, you’re searching around in the dark, so refining your customer avatar is vital.
So, that’s research and refine that we’ve looked at, we now need to be able to react.
We need to be ready to react to a whole host of things in the world of business, as the coronavirus crisis has taught us in the harshest possible way.
Changes in the world of your customer avatar, however big or small they seem to be, will undoubtedly make a difference to the imprint of your unique target type.
And so, you have to react to that.
Will they have less money in their pockets?
Will they still be a target of yours? Maybe, maybe not, but you still have to react to the changes.
This may seem like something that focuses on you, and what you’re offering, as in tweaks to your services or products. Diversification.
Of course, it is, but it isn’t just that, because without anyone to sell to, there would be no selling to be done at all.
To be successful we can’t stick to what we have and what we’re good at to get us through, we have to think bigger and more specifically than this.
Instead of thinking about ‘what’ we have and ‘what’ we’re good at, it’s a case of ‘who’ wants what we have, and ‘who’ needs help with those things we’re good at.
Less of the ‘what’ and more of the ‘who’.
That’s what creating your customer avatar is all about, in 2080e’s words.
For help and advice regarding your customer avatar, our team are available to help you tackle the process of researching, refining and reacting.
Trust us, it’s a lot more useful than playing a game of ‘Guess Who?’