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The Customer Avatar: an intimate view into your prospects and customers.

Dave Schad

Risdall’s team works closely with our clients to help define customer segments and to understand customers’ needs. Customer Avatars are one of the tools that we have found effective and use frequently. Here are some common questions you may ask when considering if a Customer Avatar is the right tool for you.

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What is a Customer Avatar?

A Customer Avatar is your blueprint for understanding your customer. The Customer Avatar is a snapshot of a person in time. At this point in time, it defines:

  • What is your ideal customer struggling with?
  • What are their goals and aspirations?
  • Who are they?
  • What influences their decisions?
  • Where are they now and what is the next step for them?
  • What are their jobs like?
  • What are they excited about
  • What can your product/service do that transforms their lives (to a more desirable future state)?

How to approach creating Customer Avatars?

Our work in marketing is based on human interactions. It is not about a business selling to a business or even a business selling to consumers. It is about human-to-human interactions. What is the problem your buyer needs to solve and how can you, the seller, help to solve that problem? Person-to-person. It is understanding who the people are that you are serving so that you can deliver a valued product/service that transforms them to their desired state. When you ask questions about who you are serving and consider the answer from their perspective, it can open up a whole new world of how you interact with your prospects and customers.

All good relationships are built on mutual trust, over time. A Customer Avatar gives you insight in how to build that relationship and how to help your customer get to where they aspire to be. Customer Avatars help you build a long-term relationship with your customers by continuing to evolve your products to support their needs/wants so that your customer becomes your best advocate.

How does a Customer Avatar compare to a Persona?

A rose by any other name is still a rose? Not necessarily.

You may have personas, audience definitions, targets, etc. that you use to understand your customers. Each of these have their own use. We have found that targets and audience definitions are generally groups of people, while personas take it to the next level by focusing on demographics and psychographics. The Customer Avatar goes even deeper and helps you to understand your customer’s world – the stressors, the opportunities, the vision for the future. It can be applied across a business as well. Our clients have used Customer Avatars to evolve their sales training, to develop new products, and to target prospects in their Customer Value Journeys.

How do Avatars help businesses?

Our goal with the Customer Avatar is to start a repeatable process that moves your ideal customer from first purchase to buying your products/services time and again to becoming your strongest advocate. And, as an added value, the Customer Avatar gives you and your entire organization insight to your customer. An avatar can:

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  • Align your sales and marketing teams so that you prioritize and focus on the ideal audience; one that would benefit by using your product or service
  • Deliver your content team with insights for messaging and talking points that resonate with prospects and customers
  • Deliver marketing teams insights into trigger points and effective marketing tactics, increasing your chance of delivering the right message, to the right audience, at the right time in their search for a solution
  • Improve marketing, sales and customer service interactions with your prospects and customers by helping them understand the transformation they can expect through your product or service
  • Inform your development teams, giving them opportunities for product and business growth
  • Training your sales team, and boosting their confidence to deliver effective talking points

In our next post, we’ll answer questions on how to find your customer avatar, how to create a Customer Avatar, and who should be involved in the process. Once you’ve defined who to reach, you will want to understand and define their journey, read more about the Customer Value Journey here.

Ready to get started? We can help you identify your ideal customer avatar in an afternoon. Give us a call or schedule a time to come in.

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*As a trained and licensed DigitalMarketer Certified Partner, we use the DigitalMarketer framework, which includes the Customer Value Journey, Customer Avatar Canvas and other tools and resources.