The worst marketing is bland, meaningless and boring which is why you need to develop one or more customer avatars or customer personas to represent your typical customers.
The more personal your marketing message, the more your prospective customer believes that it has been written directly to them, the more powerful and persuasive the message will be.
But that gives you a problem.
Your customers can come in all shapes and sizes but, if we take my business as an example, the more I write to any business - from a solopreneur through to the owner of a 500 employee business, the more my message becomes blurred.
The issues and problems are not the same and, even if they are, the big business has so many more resources and options available but size and numbers of employees add their own complexities.
Creating A Customer Avatar or Customer Persona
A customer avatar or customer persona is a profile of a specific customer you have in mind:
- who the customer is
- where he or she lives or works
- how he or she lives - what is done, what are the hobbies
- what they want
- the particular problem that you can fix
- the hopes, dreams, fears and pain of the customer
- How you can connect best with this customer
Build up a personality - perhaps based on a real ideal model customer or a combination of customers - and get to know the person deeply.
Instead of trying to communicate to a mass customer base, you create customer avatars or customer personas and communicate directly to them, as if you were sitting in a bar, talking to them one to one.
Here are a couple of videos that go further into developing a customer avatar. While both are from an Internet marketing perspective, the idea works just as well for offline marketing. The second video is long at 21 minutes but it is very good.
How Far Should You Go In Building Customer Avatars?
Three factors determine what you should be doing:
- How different your customer personas are. If you develop personas or avatars for potential customers who are very different, but their needs and emotional triggers are very similar, you do less than you would if the needs and triggers are very different.
- How much time and resources you have available. Personas and avatars are developed conceptually but it is important to verify your assumptions through some kind of customer research or feedback.
- You ability to effectively market and supply the different customers. For example, direct mail which can be targeted on demographics is a great way to send a clear message to each age group when a general website will struggle unless you can funnel people through to the right message.