Putting the Ideal Customer Together
You should now have your data in place from the research.
If you’ve not completed that, go back and check out the following section that will help you gather all the data you need to proceed.
The goal of an avatar is to create something real and touchable from something virtual.
Kind of like the movie Weird Science… except we aren’t building SuperModels here.
Let’s Build a Super Model.
You need to bite the bullet and just do it. Your business will be much better off in the long run.
Skimp here and you are leaving thousands, if not millions, on the table.
Deeply understanding the ideal customer makes everything easier…
Creating ads, writing sales copy for your websites, developing new products and services… much easier.
Do the research.
The best place to start is to pick a service you currently offer and then survey those customers. Doing the following suggestions for each product you offer is a good idea. Don’t limit yourself to thinking that shared customers are the same as cloud hosting customers. They aren’t.
Get the demographics…
Race, Gender, Age, Income, Job Role.
Take the demographics and place them into a spreadsheet and look for the similarities.
Then get the psychographics…
Interests, aspirations, values, attitudes, needs, wants, desires.
The psychographics are the toughest to obtain. My suggestion is to ask survey respondents to speak to you over the phone. If you have a large base of customers locally, throw a party.
Literally… throw a customer appreciation party.
One large company I work with is expert at this. Not only do they have parties for their customers, they visit them at their place of business.
The CEO made it a point from day one to get out and shake hands.
Knowing your customers in person will reveal the psychographics.
Categorize the psychographics by generalizing them as a group.
Get the word on the street…
What are people saying about your particular product or service on the forums like WebHostingTalk.com and HostDiscussion.com?
… read their comments and group them into common traits.
Create Your Avatar.
Create avatars for each service you offer based on all of the information you have gathered.
You may find that you have distinct differences between services you offer and this is the gold nugget.
Knowing the differences will allow you to tweak your ad copy, landing pages and much more.
But before we get there, we need to build out the avatars.
Hint: It may be easier to do my Empathy Map exercise FIRST.
The facts you list for your avatar need to be based on the facts that you gathered above.
Let’s begin with our biggest demographic:
We’ve learned that males, ages 30-50, earning $90k a year, married, are our current customer base (on average).
We’ve also talked to a handful of existing customers over the phone and now have enough information to go on to create our first avatar:
The name and age are FICTIONAL. The hard facts though are based on date we gathered. We have averaged our psychographics to create an outline of our ideal customer.
[————————– BEGIN AVATAR ————————–]
Avatar Name: Jim
Jim is 34 years old. He is currently an IT Director at a small Oil and Gas
Company in Texas.
Jim graduated from college and has worked his way up through various
jobs over the year and finally landed at a solid company with a bright
Jim is dedicated to being professional in his job and attends conferences
and job enrichment workshops regularly.
Jim’s primary job role is to maintain dedicated servers and cloud
technology his company uses. Costs are certainly a factor, but not the
most driving factor.
Jim is often tasked with finding new technology to improve performance
and reduce waste.
Jim’s technology decisions are based on hours of research both speaking
to companies over the phone, ads he sees, and recommendations from
colleagues. Jim also takes it upon himself to see what’s ‘out there’ by
visiting web hosting company websites.
Jim has to report to a committee that makes the ultimate decision on
technology purchases. However, Jim’s recommendations are highly
valued and respected.
Jim’s primary concern is that the workers in the field have access to
the data they need when they need it. He is also concerned that the data
is safely stored and needs to ensure redundancy.
[————————– /END AVATAR ————————–]
At first you may find this exercise difficult. If you did, please jump over to the exercise on Empathy Maps which you can do BEFORE creating the avatar.