People buy products and services.
What a ridiculously obvious statement!
Yet marketers, sales folks and even businesses forget that. And they begin rambling on about the product.
I hate to break it to you but…
No one care about the state-of-the-art features your robot avocado has (maybe if your avocado can take selfies, I’d be interested) or what crazy skills you have in cleaning rooftops.
The minute you start focusing on WHAT you’re selling instead of WHO you’re serving, your marketing campaign (or worse, your whole business) will go downhill.
That’s why understanding the customer avatar (aka Buyer Persona) is so important.
It’s the message that drives the sale.
Clarity drives conversions. Confusion kills sales.
A customer avatar impacts virtually aspects of your sales, marketing and advertising that involves your customer. That means…
- Content Marketing – What videos, blogs posts, podcasts, infographics would your customer avatar like to consume?
- Paid Traffic – Which platform should you be advertising on and how should your ad targeting be?
- Email Marketing – Which campaign will suit which customer segment?
- Social Media Marketing – How do you engage your ideal customers online?
- Search Marketing – What keywords is your customer avatar searching for online that you should optimize for?
- Copywriting – How should you angle your offers so that your avatar will take action?
- Product Development – What solutions does your customer need and is looking for?
I’ve heard it all too many times; “But everyone needs my product.”
If you target everyone, you target no one.
And just because you a focusing your attention on one customer avatar, doesn’t mean others will not be attracted to you.
I should also note that you may have more than one buyer persona. That’s perfectly OK! We can just develop more avatars.
The strategy here is to spend your resources getting the RIGHT kind of customers.
This is our quick and dirty way to determine who you should be targeting:
- You just really enjoy doing business with
- They give you the most money
- They give you the most referrals
Preferably, you want to get customers that meet all 3 criteria.
Let’s walk through this Customer Avatar Worksheet step by step.
There are 5 key components to the worksheet
- Goals and Values
- Challenges and Pain Points
- Sources of Information
- Objections and Roles
- Demographic Information
I want to begin with the most basic first.
Demographics is just scratching the surface
Back when I was in school, my marketing lecturers kept drilling into my head… demographics, demographics, demographics. Age, gender, education level, income level, marital status, geography etc.
So I thought that was the be-all and end-all. But later I found out that demographics isn’t enough.
There can be two 32-year-old married women living in Melbourne, earning $60,000 a year, with 2 children. They were both classmates in the same university and met their husbands in school.
One is very comfortable with her 9–5 job because she wants to come home as early as possible to spend time with her kids and her husband. She enjoys bringing her son to football practice and her daughter for hockey training. Her weekends are typically spent with the company of other parents.
The other travels in and out of state frequently because she’s desperate to get noticed by higher management as a woman who is capable of doing more even as a mother. She is hardly home and she leaves her kids to be independent because she feels like that’s the best way for them to grow.
Both women have pretty much the same demographics. But because their goals and ideologies are vastly different, you CANNOT market the same product in the same way.
So we have to go deeper into the psychographics.
Goals and Values
To understand a person’s motivations, you have to keep asking “Why”. Even for ourselves, we use what we call the “4 Why’s Deep” method.
Basically, we ask Why 4 times so we can get to the root, to figure out why they really do what they do and what they want – both for themselves and for the people around them.
Here are some questions that could help you:
- What keeps your avatar up at night?
- Who do they aspire to be? (if they are a business, who do they admire, or even fear?)
- What specific aim do they hope to achieve in the next 5, 10, 15 years?
- Which core values will they resonate with?
- What would their ideal day be like if they could be in this position?
Most importantly, tie that all together by telling people how your company can help them.
This section of the Worksheet helps you with:
- Product creation
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
Challenges and Pain Points
Your business exists because you solve a certain problem in your customer’s lives. If you don’t solve any problem, you might want to reconsider your business. But assuming you’ve got that figured out…
The next step is to address their fears and frustrations:
- What really annoys them?
- What are the definite deal killers?
- How do they feel because of these problems?
- What kind of life do they have to live because of this?
- What are the absolutely necessary features they look for in the product or service you offer?
This would help you frame:
- Ad copy
- Ad creative
- Sales copy on your site
- Email marketing
Having a message like this specifically calls your customer out. They feel the pinch and will go “OMG these guys totally get me!”
If you have trouble finding out his challenges, ask you sales team or whichever department that has direct contact with your customer. They’ll be able to tell you. Or better still, ask your customers directly! You want to make sure you’re talking about THEIR pain points, rather than your own.
Sources of Information
DigitalMarketer teaches us a “but no one else would” trick so you can zero in on super fans.
- [Avatar Name] reads [Book], but no one else would
- [Avatar Name] goes to [Conference], but no one else would
- [Avatar Name] is interested in [Website], but no one else would
The idea is to pinpoint exact activities and interests your buyer persona would be interested in, but no one else would. On ad platforms like Facebook, you can select those who are interested in them. This ensures you get the real fans.
If your avatar is into dogs, don’t assign Cesar Milan as the guru. Choose someone like Peter Caine. The average dog enthusiast might not know him, but only your avatar will.
Focusing on niche interests helps your ad targeting become more focused while you eliminate less-than-ideal customers. On the money scale, you’ll achieve a lower cost-per-lead (CPL) and cost-per-acquisition (CPA) – and see higher sales productivity.
Objections and Roles
Here are some questions you can ask:
- Are they the primary decision maker or do they need approval?
- What concerns do they have about your product?
- Is time, money or any other resources an issue?
- Why would they choose NOT to buy? Why would they choose your competitor?
Understanding this will help increase the success of your marketing campaign and speed up your sales cycle.
The Customer Avatar Worksheet for marketing
Thinking of your buyer personas as real people (which your customers are) allows you to craft marketing messages in a more human way.
Marketers too often end up using “corporate-speak” that incorporates a lot of buzzwords and terms that don’t really mean anything to the average customer.
You can avoid that trap when you’re crafting a message specifically for “Chef Cheryl”.
The Customer Avatar Worksheet for sales
Now that you know exactly what your prospect fears, you can easily create a list of possible objections they might raise. Train your sales team ahead of time to address those during their conversations.
Since you also know exactly what they want, use those points in your sales pitch to secure those appointments!
Create Multiple Avatars
As discussed earlier, some products can serve extremely different customer types. So it would be wise to make multiple customer avatars.
With this, you’ll realise you’re attracting a lot more leads who are your ideal customers. They pose fewer objections, they purchase more from you, they buy more frequently from you and they start promoting your brand even without you asking them to. That’s your end goal.