What's The Point of Creating A Customer Avatar?
Why do marketing people tell you to create a profile of who you are targeting, also known as an 'avatar' or 'persona'? Here's three reasons why it's important and how it will help you get more of the right customers through your marketing.
Defining your customer helps you get clarity on who you work with now AND who you want to work with in future; as well as who you DON'T want to attract. As a very wise Business Advisor once told me; "your clients grow with you"; so the type of client you worked with in the beginning is generally not the type of client you'll be working with in 2, 3 or 4 years time. As such, when you think carefully about your 'ideal client', you're also thinking about where you see your business heading in the future.
Earning more for what you're worth is about creating results for your customers, and you can't do that if you're not working with the right people, especially in service based businesses where the 'product' is less tangible and the answer to 'did it work' is much more ambiguous. You can't help people who won't help themselves, so getting clear on who's right for you is not only about marketing, but it's a little about sanity, and a lot about your reputation too!
You learn about their needs and pain points from THEIR perspective rather than looking at it from the perspective of your solution. They don't care what your solution is, they care what you solution can do for them. There's a big difference between marketing 'drill bits' (product/feature) and marketing 'a hole' (benefit/result); just like there's a difference between selling a Harley Davidson Motorbike (product) versus selling 'Freedom' (benefit/result). What most people are looking for is the 'hole' and the 'freedom'.
When you put yourself in your clients' shoes, you can identify what triggers them to purchase because right before they reach out and contact you, something happened. Maybe it was something bad, or something good, or something that just was. In most cases, the trigger is a 'final straw'. Whatever your prospective client has been 'putting up with' up to that point MUST change for them going forward. So now, they are seeking solutions. If you can understand their 'final straw', the trigger that makes them seek out a solution; then you can find ways to make sure you are right there when it happens.
Search exists because of content, not the other way around (although it can feel that way sometimes these days). Therefore, content is what people seek. Content that provides the answers and solutions they seek.
Ok, so you've done some customer avatars, now what?
You've done the most important part of your marketing strategy! That's right. Getting to know your customer is part of your marketing strategy. A marketing strategy is not the same as a marketing 'plan'. The plan tells you what messages you will put where and when. A strategy tells you how you will compel your prospective customers to engage with your business and why they will buy from you. There's no way to know that for sure until you understand your customers triggers, needs and pain points.
What goes into a Marketing Strategy?
I'll expand on this in another article, but start with objectives, what you want your marketing to achieve for your business. Then create your customer avatars to uncover your prospects true motivations, needs and behaviours. Then, you can work on the channels and the messages to complete your marketing strategy.
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