Defining Your Online Customer Avatar

by | Digital Advertising, Target Marketing

Defining Your Online Customer Avatar

Who is your perfect customer?

In the online world, a customer avatar is defined as a detailed profile of who your ideal customer is. It’s a way to dig deep, and outline every detail of one perfect customer for your business. It goes much deeper than defining a person with marketing demographics in mind. This spends time diving into the tiny details that make a person do what they do.

Defining your online customer avatar is crucial in helping you learn all about your ideal customer. The more you understand who they are, the more customers you’ll attract.

Is defining your online customer avatar really that important, especially if you’ve been using traditional marketing for years?

Short answer: Yes!

Because unless you have an unlimited marketing budget, it’s crucial you know who you are targeting with every digital marketing strategy you use. Defining a customer avatar allows you to focus on the right demographic, and use your marketing dollars carefully to maximize results. Defining your customer avatar allows you to:

  • Determine what social media platforms they are most attracted to
  • Use your marketing dollars effectively
  • Write clearer copy to speak directly to those who want to do business with you
  • Develop more meaningful products and services that your customers truly want

What if I have multiple avatars?

Many business owners have more than one customer avatar, and that’s okay. The problem comes when your customer avatars start increasing in number, and you find yourself with several dozen ideal customer profiles.

There is no way to manage several dozen customer bases with an online marketing strategy. If you end up with this many, it’s a way of telling you that you may not be defining your target groups as succinctly as possible. And by not focusing, more than likely, you’re wasting your marketing dollars.

By building a more precise profile of each group you choose to market, you’ll start to see clearer characteristics of who they are. This deepens your relationship, the way you target them, and how you do business with them.

Defining your customer avatar

A customer avatar starts by defining one ideal customer. We suggest you start by thinking about a customer you’ve done business with in the past, someone you loved doing business, and if you could fill your business with more of them, your business would be “perfect.”

Give this person a name. You can even grab a photo online if it helps you to capture the essence of who they are. This is for you, to give you a representation to start “seeing” your customer in vivid detail. We suggest visiting a stock image site, or visit an avatar builder program like Face Your Manga and start building your own.

Seeing them can help you build a dossier of who they are. List their demographics and characteristics.

  • Who are they?
  • What do they look like?
  • Where do they live?
  • What interests do they have?
  • What jobs do they perform?
  • What hobbies do they enjoy?
  • What stores do they shop at?
  • What foods do they eat?
  • What are they passionate about?

Dig deep. Write their story as you imagine what their world looks like. The deeper you go, the better. This doesn’t have to be a one-time activity. The more you learn about your ideal customer, the more you can add to your customer avatar profile. That’s the beauty of it. This allows you to discover more of who they are as you get to know them on deeper levels.

This is also where you can define multiple avatars. If you have three or four, create the different profiles. And keep them handy as you further define them.

Negative avatars can be important too

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you might have nightmare clients you are trying to avoid. These are the customers who eat away at your time,

Note, this isn’t about looking at personal characteristics, as you did above. Rather, this is about finding common reasons why they don’t match what you have to offer. Can you find what makes a person not a good fit for you, based on specific characteristics?

Maybe it’s their objection to high prices. Or their probability of walking away and not being loyal to your brand. Of possibly the long term success rate of becoming a customer.

This is about collecting the right information to make your marketing methods even narrower. And more profitable.

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Easy ways to gather customer avatar information

Remember, gathering customer avatar data is an ongoing process. It’s best to create a profile sheet, either hard copy or digital, something you can add to and refer to again and again.

The best place to start is by defining a customer you already have, one you’ve enjoyed working with from the start. But there are other ways to build up your customer avatar profiles too.

Pull from personal experience

This is a great place to start. Fill in your customer avatar profile based on what you know to be true. Realize that this is your interpretation, and might not necessarily be true. But as you narrow things out and come up with specific characteristics, it also gives you ways to go out and do more research. It gives you a starting point for further defining your audience.

Talk to people who meet the customer avatar characteristics

As you start narrowing down the traits of your avatar, you’ll be able to reach out and speak with others who meet those same characteristics. Consider having a focus group. Or ask other customers you know if you can have five minutes of their time. Come up with a detailed questionnaire about why they do business with you. It’s a great place to start, a great place to learn more about what your customers want.

Do Google searches

As you find out what your ideal customer enjoys, you can research it using Google. Google puts a wealth of information right at your fingertips. Try performing searches using your customer avatar as a keyword. A few searches can lead you to a wealth of information.

“Best ‘customer avatar’ blogs”

“Best ‘customer avatar’ conferences”

“Best ‘customer avatar’ associations”

Define challenges and pain points

Ultimately, your customers do business with you because you help solve a problem. This is true no matter what industry you’re in, or what product or service you are selling. Create a list of the challenges or pain points your customers are having, and you’ll quickly see ways to reach out to them.

As your business changes, be sure to update your customer avatar periodically as well. This will help you keep your marketing current, understand where your customers are going, and find the best ways to reach out and communicate with them.

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