07 Nov How to Create Your Ideal Customer Avatar | TEMPLATE
Creating your ideal customer avatar is laying the foundation for lasting, scalable marketing success. You may think that the secret in big companies’ successes is the amount of money they have to throw at marketing. Sure, the money helps. But the secret sauce is a lot simpler than that:
Large companies know exactly where their marketing budget will be most effective.
They know this by thoroughly understanding their ideal customers. The methods big businesses use to get to know their customers are available to businesses of all sizes and it doesn’t have to cost millions. In fact, by the time you finish reading this free article, you will be well on your way to creating your first ideal customer avatar.
Like any good marketing, successfully getting to know your ideal customer and building an avatar based on their characteristics requires a step-by-step process. While it may not seem shiny and glamorous, this is one process we urge you not to rush. Sit with it, marinate in it, and give it the attention it deserves because you are now laying the foundation of all your marketing efforts.
To make sure you’re ready for each new step, we’re include “READINESS CHECK ✅” inserts, starting with:
READINESS CHECK ✅ If you’re thinking that your business can serve anyone and therefore doesn’t require an ideal customer avatar, play devil’s advocate with yourself and try to disprove that theory. Ask:
- Who can my business definitely not help?
- Is my product or service appropriate for kids under the age of ___? If so, am I actually selling to the kids or their parents?
- Is my product or service appropriate for people who currently cannot afford my product or service? Do I want to work extra hard to get those people as my customers?
- What kind of people do I or my company not want to work with?
As you’ve answered these questions, you’ve probably realized that even if your product or service can help the masses, it is not for everyone.
Narrow down your niche.
Narrowing down your focus may seem limiting, but it’s actually expanding your ability to get customers who will love and promote your product or service for you. Practically, it expands your budget to be put towards efforts that will produce high ROIs.
Creating your ideal customer avatar goes beyond knowing their age, location and gender. To really understand how to reach them, you must dig deeper into their daily habits, psyche, and even emotional IQ.
Often, when companies think of their customers, they think of a cardboard cutout – a one-dimensional being who has only one or two reasons why they would or wouldn’t buy a product. Studies show that companies typically consider those reasons to be price and quality.
However, neuromarketing – and life in general – proves that there are many factors to our purchasing behavior. This is why it’s crucial to create multi-dimensional avatars of our ideal customers, employing neuroscience to get to the bottom of what would make your customer buy.
Let’s get to building.
To help you build out your ideal customer avatar, we are sharing our template which you can easily edit in our favorite design editor, Canva. It is already pre-filled with information so that you can get a feel for what the end result should look like. But keep in mind that this is the final product that can be shared with your team – there should be much more thought, notes and discussion before this template is finalized.
Questions you should ponder on.
When creating your ideal customer avatar, think on the following questions in the order that they are listed below.
- Does my business serve both genders?
- Does my business attract both genders equally? Is it more attractive to women or men?
- Does my business have provisions or attraction for non-binary (no gender affiliation)?
?TIP: If your business serves both genders and/or non-binary in any capacity, this will require 2 – 3 ideal client avatars to be created. Start with the gender that is more dominant in your business, if it has one.
- Which age group(s) are my customers in?
?TIP: If your business equally serves a wide age range of customers, consider separating them into life stage groups. This will be helpful when identifying their pain points. For example, pain points for the age group of 18 – 24 college students are likely to be different from 28 – 35 who may be starting their families. You should start your first avatar with the most dominant age group. If you have been in business for at least a year, you can look through your customer base to determine this. If your business is new, consider the age group you feel most confident in buying your product.
- Where do they live?
?TIP: If your business has been around for at least a year, look at the zip codes (not cities or towns) where your best customers have come from. When filtering your “best” customers, consider the amount spent, their buying frequency and how easy or reasonable they are to do business with. You want to pick zip codes instead of cities because this will allow you to narrow down your targeting and stretch your budget that much further.
- What are their pain points?
?TIP: Don’t confuse this with “Which pain points can my product or service help solve?” This question frames the answer from your business’ perspective rather than first identifying the pain points of your ideal customer avatar that may or may not have anything to do with your product. Initially, consider the pain points for your most dominant age group.
- What are their goals and motivations?
- What are their fears?
?TIP: Be sure to answer these questions in the order that they are listed because their goals and motivations may give you better insight into their fears. On a neural level, we have two main yet conflicting fears: not achieving something and achieving it. Therefore, when you identify one’s goals and motivations, you also get insight into their fears and possibly their emotional intelligence.
- What are their hobbies?
- What brands do they use?
- What does their day look like?
?TIP: These questions will help you create the multi-dimensional avatar that your ideal customer is represented by. They will also help you get major insight into where and when to market to your ideal customers, as well as why they buy.
READINESS CHECK ✅ Answering the preliminary questions above requires some research. If the word alone sounds daunting to you, we are here to help. Schedule a quick consultation with us here. Our consultations are free from sales pitches, so you can rest assured the 20 minutes will be all about us helping you.
But if you’re like us and “research” to you sounds like Christmas morning, here’s how you can get the information you need for both the previous step and the next one:
- Find 5 – 7 people who fit the gender, age and location criteria of your ideal customer. Ideally, they would have also expressed interest or have previously bought a product or service like Out of these 5 – 7 people, only one or two should be your actual customers.
- Create a list of unbiased, neuro-based questions to ask during your interviews. We highly recommend that this is completed by a third-party neuromarketing provider like SocialCow. It is nearly impossible to be unbiased when you’re working in the business and this is crucial in order to get clear data.
- Conduct recorded face-to-face or video call interviews so that you can monitor their facial expressions and later review them as well. Seeing your interview subjects will also give you an idea of any trends in appearance that they may share.
A day in the life of your ideal avatar.
Now that we have the main layers of our foundation, it’s time to aggregate the data and write out the day in the life of your ideal customer avatar. You can see a sample on our Ideal Customer Avatar Template.
Include the routines, brands, pains and goals into the day, making it as detailed as possible. When done, it should sound like a real person’s day – which is exactly what your customer is!
Finally, add a face and name to your avatar. This should not be a face of your actual customer or interview subject. You can find lots of photography on Unsplash.
How your ideal customer avatar’s day gives your marketing a clear direction.
- Our routines say a lot about who we are. On the marketing side, they can help us identify opportunities to speak to our customers and also get insight into their state of mind. For instance, if through your interviews you discover that most or all of your subjects wake up early, that is an important trend to further peel. You may uncover that those interviewees also have the same pain of regularly feeling tired by the time it’s 2 PM. Your product or service could possibly help relieve that pain. Identifying their routines also helps you better understand where you should advertise. Are they using Pandora over Spotify? Are they routinely listening to Tony Robbins on YouTube?
- You may or may not be surprised that the difference between shoppers at Target and those at Walmart is a highly discussed subject! We can appreciate both for their own unique reasons, but as marketers, we found this shopper’s blog to be blatantly honest regarding her own experience. If we are just as brutally honest with our own preference of brands, or lack thereof, we can see why our self-image can be attached to the brands we use. Understanding which brands your ideal customer uses can help you gain insight into how they see themselves and also what attracts them to that brand. You can further dive into the other brands’ marketing efforts and see what trends appear. What color schemes are they implementing? What tone are they using? What causes do they care about? What story are they telling?
- Daily goals, pains and hobbies. Understanding that someone likes to play basketball versus understanding that they play basketball every Sunday is quite a difference. Writing out your avatar’s day gives you a more detailed view into how their big goals are translated every day. It’s one thing to have a goal and a whole other to stay up until midnight every day accomplishing it. There are different pains that come along the way with these variances.
By fully, thoroughly understanding your ideal customer, you are able to insert your product or service as something that is not only preferable but a downright need that makes sense.
Once you create your first avatar, you can move onto creating another one or two. But don’t go crazy creating more than that until you carry out at least 6 months of marketing towards each one.
Need help creating your ideal customer avatar? We help both national and local businesses refine their marketing strategy and implement effective, neuro-based campaigns. Schedule a free consultation here.