[DOWNLOAD] Customer Avatar Worksheet: Finally, Get Clear on WHO You Are Selling To!

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February 16,2016 by
Russ Henneberry

It makes sense, right?…

“To market a product or service properly, the first thing you must do is get clear on WHO your ideal customer is, where they are hanging out, what their challenges are…

You know building a customer avatar (some call it a buyer persona) would have a huge impact on your marketing.

But how?

We’ll get into the how-to in just a second, first understand that a customer avatar is…

The Swiss Army Knife of Marketing

This exercise will impact virtually every aspect of your marketing and sales process including…

  • Content Marketing – What blog posts, videos, podcasts, Lead Magnets, etc. should you create to attract and convert your avatar?
  • Paid Traffic – Which ad platforms should you buy traffic from and what targeting options should you use?
  • Product Creation – What solutions is your avatar searching for?
  • Copywriting – How should you describe offers in your email marketing, ads and sales letters in a way that compels your avatar to buy?
  • Email Marketing – Which avatar should receive a specific email marketing campaign?

… and that’s just scratching the surface. Any part of the marketing and sales process that “touches” the customer (which is pretty much EVERYTHING) will improve when you get clear on your customer avatar.

After all, it’s a person that buys our products and services. It pays to get clear on the characteristics of that person, so you can find and present them with a message that moves them to action.

Let’s look at an example customer avatar…

Customer Avatar Example: Meet Agency Eric

In April of 2015, DigitalMarketer introduced a new offer.

We began selling a new type of digital marketing training product: Certification Classes. These new trainings include exams, certificates and badges.

A new product means a new ideal customer. And, a new ideal customer means a new customer avatar must be built.

We defined 4 distinct buyer personas:

  • The Marketing Freelancer – interested in training and certification to distinguish herself from the other freelancers she is competing within the marketplace.
  • The Marketing Agency Owner – interested in training and certification to add to the services he can offer his clients and to sharpen the marketing skills of his employees.
  • The Employee – interested in training and certifications to distinguish himself at his place of employement or to secure a new job or promotion within his existing job.
  • The Business Owner – interested in training and certifications to sharpen her own marketing skills and the skills of her internal marketing team members.

As a result, four new “Customer Avatars” were born.

One of these avatars is known as Agency Eric:

Customer Avatar Worksheet

Let’s have a look at the different components of the Agency Eric customer avatar as an example.

Customer Avatars: What To Include

There are 5 major components to the customer avatar. In some cases, you’ll need to survey or have conversations with existing customers to accurately flesh out your customer avatar.

In other cases, you’ll be intimately familiar with the characteristics of your ideal customer.

In any case, move forward. Don’t wait for surveys or interviews to be conducted to create your first draft of an avatar. Make assumptions where you have no data or feedback and put it on your short list of to-do’s to complete your research.

In the meantime, you’ll begin getting benefit from an avatar built from the assumptions you’ve made.

Let’s look at each section of the Customer Avatar Worksheet in turn…

Goals and Values

Parts of a Customer Avatar

We begin with the goals and values of your ideal customer.

Make note of the goals and values that are relevant to the products and services you offer. You’ll use this information to drive…

  • Product creation
  • Copywriting
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing

We know, for example, that Agency Eric is interested in “increasing the capabilities of his team.”

As a result, we could draft an email to this avatar that promotes our Content Marketing certification with the subject line:

Need Content Marketing training?

 That should get Agency Eric’s attention.

Sources of Information

Customer Avatar: Sources of Information

This section of the Customer Avatar Worksheet is critical to determining the “where” of your customer avatar.

You will determine the best places to advertise and the targeting options you’ll use to reach your avatar by listing their sources of information.

Use the “But no one else would” trick when filling out this section of the worksheet. You’ll simply complete sentences like these…

  • My ideal customer would read [BOOK], but no one else would.
  • My ideal customer would subscribe to [MAGAZINE], but no one else would.
  • My ideal customer would attend [CONFERENCE], but no one else would.

Are you getting the picture?

The idea is to find the niche books, magazines, blogs, conferences, gurus, etc. your ideal customer would be attracted to – but no one else would.

For example, if you are in the golf products market – you wouldn’t want to assign Tiger Woods as a guru. Tiger is someone that golfers are familiar with… but so is everyone else.

Instead, choosing a more niche golfer like Rory McElroy will allow you to hone in on your ideal customer – and exclude everyone else.

When buying traffic from ad platforms like Facebook, you’ll often be able to laser target your audience by focusing on these niche interests — while excluding less than ideal prospects.

(NOTE: Need Content Marketing training? See Digital Marketer’s Content Marketing Specialist training and certification program by clicking here.)

Demographic Information

Customer Avatar Worksheet: Demographic Information

Applying demographic information will bring your customer avatar to life.

While the usual demographics are critical, the exercise of filling in the ‘Quote’ field can be particularly helpful to “get inside the head” of your ideal customer.

The demographics are another useful part of the Customer Avatar when choosing targeting options in ad platforms like Facebook.

And, when writing content, email or sales copy it can be beneficial to simply write as though your avatar were sitting across the table from you. Demographic information like age, gender and location will give your persona a look and feel.

Challenges and Pain Points

customer-avatar-digitalmarketer-img5

This section will drive new product/service development as well as the copywriting and ad creative you’ll use to compel your ideal customer to action.

When selling certifications to Agency Eric, for example, we would do well to build solutions to his challenges and pain points and use language that addresses them in our marketing messages. For example, our sales letter should include copy like…

Are you tired of losing proposals simply because you don’t offer Content Marketing services to your clients? Certify your team with Digital Marketer’s Content Marketing Mastery Course and Certification.

Copy like that will get a response from Agency Eric because it is specific to one of his pain points.

Objections and Role In Purchase Process

Customer Avatar: Objections & Role In The Purchase Process

Why would your customer avatar choose NOT to buy your product or service? These are called “objections” and they must be addressed in your marketing.

For example, if we know that Agency Eric is concerned with the amount of time his team members will be “out of pocket” to receive the certification, we might send an email with a subject line like…

Content Marketing Certified (In one business day)

You must also determine your avatar’s role in the purchasing process. Are they the primary decision maker? Are they a decision influencer?

Understanding your ideal customers decision making process is paramount to the success of your marketing and sales campaigns.

Build Multiple Avatars

Start by building a single avatar. But don’t stop there.

Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be churning out multiple avatars representing the different segments of your market.

Don’t go overboard, but any lucrative market segment with a distinct set of goals, sources of information, pain points, etc. is deserving of a customer avatar.

Use the Customer Avatar Worksheets below (there are male and female versions) to get clear on your ideal customer.

Download the Female Avatar Worksheet

Download the Male Avatar Worksheet

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(NOTE: Need Content Marketing training? See Digital Marketer’s Content Marketing Specialist training and certification program by clicking here.)


About Russ Henneberry

Russ Henneberry is the Editorial Director at Digital Marketer. He's worked on digital marketing projects for companies like CrazyEgg, Salesforce.com and Network Solutions. You can connect with Russ on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+.

View all Posts by Russ Henneberry