Marketers often speak about talking directly to your customers. Yet how do you really do that? It’s not as if you have a customer sitting right in front of you that you can talk to.
One of the best ways to help craft a message is to create what’s called a customer avatar. A customer avatar is a mental model of what your typical customer looks like.
Unlike just talking to “your customers,” when you talk to an avatar you’ll be much more able to create a specific message. Your avatar, which might be named “Bob,” be 32 years old, single with a $40,000 income, is much easier to talk to than “your market.”
So how do you create and use a customer avatar?
==> Identify All Your Sub-Markets
Some markets only have one primary market. In that case, just use one avatar. For example, if you promote a weight loss product for women between the ages of 30 and 40, then that’s exactly what your avatar is.
On the other hand, some products or brands target a variety of sub-markets. For example, let’s say you’re managing the marketing campaign for a hotel. How do you write your copy and target your advertising?
You’d start by identifying all your sub-markets. You have traveling business executives. You have people on vacations. You have people attending conferences in large groups.
Though you might have other kinds of customers, let’s say these three groups make up the majority of your customer base. In this case, you’d create three different customer avatars.
==> Make Them Real
Each avatar needs to be a real person in your head that you can talk to. They need to have a name, a specific age, an income level, a family status, an occupation and any other relevant details you can think of.
For example, you might name your business executive “Melissa.” She’s an executive at Google who flies around the country scouting locations for new Google servers. She earns $120,000 a year. She has two kids. She’s 37 years old.
==> Using Your Avatars
Once you have your avatars set up, next time you’re writing copy or designing a marketing campaign, you can just bring up Melissa or any other avatar.
Ask yourself: Would this message resonate with Melissa? Would it resonate with Bob? If you’re crafting a message just for executives, you might just use Melissa. However, if you’re crafting a general message, you need to make sure that both the vacation crowd and the executives will respond.
Share your customer avatars with your co-workers, your boss, your partners and your peers. Use it as a tool throughout the office to better fine-tune your message and make sure you’re talking directly to your audience.