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Do you know what’s a perfect combination in a business? You and your customer. In fact, if you are clear with who your product or service is serving, then you and your  customer avatar are regarded as a perfect combination.  

A match made in heaven? You bet! 

How can a perfect combination  happen? Identify your customer clearly  with a customer avatar. 

Let me share with you why you need to know how a customer avatar works, why it’s  important, and how you can start creating it for your business. 

What is a Customer Avatar? 

According to Virtual Solutions, a customer avatar is a detailed profile of a single  individual depicting your target audience. It’s an individual with a name, a picture and  specific demographic and other characteristics. 

A customer avatar is not a real specific person. Rather, a customer avatar is a  composite of different types of persons. They have the same likes, dislikes,  frustrations, and dreams, and most of all, problems or pain points. 

In short, a customer avatar is your ideal audience. He is the perfect person that will  buy your product or will subscribe to your service. 

Is Having a Clear Customer Avatar Important for  Your Business? 

The answer is Yes. The reason in five words: Not everyone is your customer

You cannot just target every single person to buy from you because it’s going to be  really, really crazy for you and for your business. Without your customer avatar, your marketing will be generic and ineffective. You  don’t want a generic message which can go to anyone, right? 

On the other hand, if you happen to have generic marketing, your marketing  messages are boring. It’s not going to have a real purpose, therefore very unclear. 

You confuse your readers whichever social media platform you’re in and your  business will not be fun. 

Having a clear and solid customer avatar matters on your marketing message and  where you’ll put those messages (media). Your customer avatar matters when you  create content or when you launch promotions or upsells. 

I got data from my current customer list. Could I use those as my customer  avatar instead? That’s a good point.  However, forming an individual avatar helps to keep your stats or current data from  becoming old. Using stats, such as a customer list, may tempt you to have a broader audience.  Remember: you’re singling out a person from your data. 

What about multiple avatars? If your business has many types of customers, multiple customer avatars are  perfectly okay. You see these on big brands in any industry. For instance, Jollibee caters to families and children. Huawei serves those who are  buying mobile phones and those who are selling computer hardware. 

In contrast, limit your customer avatar to one or two. 

Think about this: if you have more than one or two customer avatars, it’s difficult to  focus on marketing efforts towards all groups, unless you have a marketing  department.  

Each group has different sets of interests and problems. They also have different  reasons why they are buying the same product. 

The more you can target a well-refined customer avatar, the greater the success rate  you will experience. 

How to Create a Customer Avatar for Your Business

As there are a million ways to skin a cat, there are also a lot of search results for  creating a customer avatar. Digital Marketer made it simple that I always refer people  to their blog and template

The creation of customer avatar is done in two phases: demographics and  psychographics. 

The demographics include: 
• Full name 
• Age 
• Gender 
• Location 
• Job Title 
• Education Level 
• Their go-to books, movies, or shows 
• The people they look up to 

The psychographics include: 
• Their goals and values 
• Their challenges 
• Their pain points 
• Their objections 
• Their role in the buying decision 

Here’s where you can research about your customer avatar: 
• Google (search results and suggest) 
• Amazon (check out their book titles and the products that they are buying) • Quora 
• Reddit 
• Forums 
• If you have — and it’s the best one — interview your current customers. 

My Customer Avatar Creation Journey 

One of my first encounters on creating a customer avatar was when I created a  content marketing plan for baby goods stores in Sydney, Australia as a course project. 

After spending two weeks on the customer avatar phase, I found out that there are  six types of customer avatars for people who would possibly buy baby products  (from diapers to clothes to cribs)! 

These are: 
• The first-time moms 
• The moms with baby number 2 and beyond 
• Parents who buy baby products together 
• Dads 
• Grandparents 
• Parent’s friends 

Out of the six potential customer avatars, there are two types that are raising  concerns, providing feedback, even complaining about product service or  experience: the first-time moms and the moms with baby number 2 or 3. 

With these results, I created the content marketing plan focusing on marketing on the mentioned customer avatars. 

The second customer avatar experience happened when I was in-charge of  managing the Facebook Pages of three different shopping malls. 

Prior to the research, I told myself, “Nah, all these shopping malls have the same owner. They are serving the same set of customer avatars.” 

I was wrong. In fact, each shopping mall served different types of customer avatars:

Shopping Mall 1 

  • Serves a school student who loves entertainment  
  • The student goes to the mall during weekends because it’s the customer  avatar’s fun time from school.  
  • He is excited for the mini-shows of current superstars in that country. The  mall has events almost every weekend. 
  • The mall’s Facebook Page also had contest promos — most of the time  free tickets — to see the star’s show. 

Shopping Mall 2 

  • Caters to the digital enthusiast who loves gaming gadgets and technology
  • Since there are more digital stores in this shopping mall, this is a haven for  their customer avatar. 
  • Their ideal customer loves events, so the mall annually hosts the  biggest cosplay event, as well as gaming events.  
  • The mall’s Facebook Page’s contest promo giveaways are guess what,  digital gadgets. 

Shopping Mall 3 

  • Wants to draw in the 9-to-5 manager/executive.  
  • Their ideal customer loves to dine out or relax during lunch or after work.  Since the mall is known for their food and beverages, the customer avatar  would have better food choices.  
  • The mall is a representation of the reward for their customer avatar’s hard  work. Hard work means “I deserve the best food and relaxation.”  
  • The mall’s Facebook Page doesn’t do promotions most of the time.  Rather, the mall promotes their stress-free activities such as pets day,  picnics, and aerobic sessions. 

The number one temptation of creating a customer avatar: Never assume. And  I committed it on that project. From then on, I stopped my biases and focused on  deep-dive research. 

Your business should revolve around your customer. Therefore, it’s best to invest  your time in getting to know them deeply, unless you want them to chase a possible  better match.

Credits to Marketing in Asia, where this article was first published.