Know your avatar
Do you remember the “Share a coke” campaign?
They changed the “traditional” wrapping around the Coke bottle to say ‘Share a Coke with…’ and a popular name.
Essentially what Coke did was encourage people to buy a bottle of coke for their loved ones, with their name written on it. Clever!
#ShareACoke became the number one global trending topic. It resulted in over 1 billion impressions. The campaign won seven awards and raised sales by 2.5% after a decade of decline.
This campaign, which went global and was seen in 70 countries, became known as one of the most successful marketing stunts of the decade.
But why do you think the campaign was so successful?
For one, they hit the nail on the head with targeting their buyer persona, or otherwise known as client avatar.
You see, the main target audience for Coke, (and the campaign) was teenagers and mature college-going students from the age group of 13-25.
Most of these youngsters pass time in the college canteen, restaurants, and cafes.
These students also love the sweet taste of Coca Cola soft drinks with fast foods. Coke launched the campaign to target these young people who are most active users of the social networking websites and would love to share selfies with a bottle having their name.
It worked so well that they were able to replicate the campaign in many other countries.
From this story, it’s evident that when you narrow down your target audience, your chances of success increase.
And that’s why it’s so important to know your client avatar…
Who is a client avatar?
A client avatar or buyer persona is a profile of the perfect customer or client. It is a representation of your ideal client/customer.
When you’re distilling your client avatar down, you’ll go into the specifics of who they are, their behaviours, patterns, income and buying habits.
Important to note, a business may have more than one client avatar in the event that they wish to reach many ‘personas.’
Why it’s important to know your client avatar
1. To laser focus your marketing efforts
Let’s be real…
Marketing is pretty much pointless if you target everyone. Your marketing must speak to a specific target audience whom you expect to buy your products from you.
Remember, good marketing is about the right message, hitting the right person at the right time. Understanding your avatar is the first step.
When it comes to marketing, what works in one demographic may not necessarily work in another. Even if it does, it won’t work as well. That’s the essence of a client avatar. You narrow down to specific individuals and even give them names.
It gives you a chance to communicate to the specific people you consider your ideal clients.
2. It saves you advertising money
From the jump, Coca Cola knew that they were targeting young teenagers and young adults. Their entire campaign was built around that, knowing that it would be easier to convince a young person to buy a coke bottle with their friend’s name and gift it to them.
Had the same campaign been applied to adults, it would probably not have landed as hard. But, because they knew who they were targeting, they only spent money to reach the young teenagers and adults.
Advertising can be a gamble if you don’t know exactly who you’re targeting.
You’ll spend so much time and money focussing on a really wide audience.
You have to know that your product or service is not for everyone. It’s for very specific people. And your advertising should only focus on those people, otherwise your coins will go to waste.
3. Communicate effectively with your Target Audience
The way that you communicate with adults is different from the way you do with kids.
And not just that…
The way you communicate with adults living in Oxfordshire is not the same way you would with adults living in New York City.
When you know exactly who your ideal client is, you can communicate with them, on their level.
During an interview, one of the masterminds of the “Share a coke” campaign said, “Our research showed that while teens and young adults loved that Coca-Cola was big and iconic, many felt we were not talking to them at eye level. By putting first names on the packs, we were speaking to our fans at eye level.”
4. Retain visitors longer and encourage them to convert into customers.
When you are speaking to someone at their level, it’s a lot easier to retain them. They are able to relate with your brand and pay attention to you.
If you can speak the ‘language’ that your target audience is interested in, you are able to retain visitors longer and encourage them to convert into customers.
Think about TV shows, radio shows, or even musicians who have a solid fan base. It’s all because they’re relatable to their audience. People can connect with the things they say and the way they do things on a personal level.
How to know your avatar
1. Fill in their demographic info – Who is your avatar?
The first step to knowing your avatar is answering the question “Who is the person or that you’ve most enjoyed working with or you’d most like to work with – They are your avatar”
a) Their name
If someone calls you by name, you’re much more likely to pay attention to them. That’s why the #ShareaCoke campaign worked so well.
Having a specific individual avatar starts with providing a name. You’ll even want a photo or cartoon likeness to go along with the avatar so you can picture them. You’ll need to be able to ask yourself:
What would Dan the Designer want to hear in this message?
Where is Penelope the Programmer spending time online this week?
How does Carl the Copywriter perceive our product?
b) Their age
Once you’ve given your avatar a name, they need to have a specific age.
This can lead you to knowing their possible interests and what they spend time doing. The answer to these questions should in some way give clarity as to why they would be interested in your product.
If you’re targeting young adults, you may want to use a more casual friendly tone. If it’s mature adults, then formal language would in many instances work better.
Is the person that’s going to buy from you most likely a girl or a guy? It’s important to note because their goals and objectives (may) be different.
d) Marital status
Your marital status affects your buying behaviour, and in more ways than you would imagine.
A study found that married consumers are highly influenced than unmarried consumers as far as in the influence of purchase decision over buying behaviour.
Knowing this, you need to determine whether you’ll be targeting married, single, divorced, separated, or widowed people.
e) Occupation, job title, and income.
A person’s nature of work can give you insight into how much money they make, what their preferences are, and what their buying habits are.
Is your product targeting customers with white collar jobs? Is it targeting teachers, mechanics, chefs, marketers, or lawyers? And why is it targeting the people it’s targeting?
Find out how you can rewire your marketing efforts to be suitable to people within the occupations that you’re targeting.
If you look into it, people living within a certain area tend to have similar preferences, desires, fears, etc…
In some countries, where a person lives tells you a lot about their social class and this can help you to know what products they’re likely to be interested in.
g) Social media and other sources of information
What kind of social media sites is your client avatar into? At what time are they very active online?
Write out the magazines, websites, and books that they’re into. What are the main topics that they acquaint themselves with?
This information is great to create and develop a marketing strategy, because then you can align your topics with theirs.
2. Identify their challenges
Why would your customers buy from you?
This is an essential question to answer. What makes you better than your competitors, and why would clients come to you instead of them?
Based on the demographics we’ve talked about above, it’s easy to predict the kind of challenges that your customers may face.
For example, if you’re in the fitness industry, some of the challenges that your customers may face are lack of enough exercise or customised programmes that suit their fitness needs and goals.
Knowing their possible challenges will help you to know how to craft your communications and marketing strategies.
3. Determine their goals
Ask yourself this important question – What would your avatar want to achieve? And how can you help them achieve it?
Understand that your target audience will only buy from you if you make their lives easier.
Your product needs to be able to give the customers’ value, which makes them want to buy from you. And your marketing and communication efforts should outrightly bring out this value.
4. Identify their pain points
There’s a really interesting phenomenon in marketing which was recently described by Erica Mackay, (the marketing detective).
She says that there are two types of pain points: The nail in the foot and the pebble in the shoe.
The nail in the foot causes immediate pain which she’d do anything to get rid of. If someone approaches her when she’s in that much pain with something to get rid of the pain, she’ll probably buy it immediately.
Then there’s the pebble in the shoe. When there’s a pebble in your shoe, you can withstand the discomfort for hours before it finally gets to you. It’s just a slight annoyance.
The easiest pain point to market to, is the nail in the foot pain point.
With this the customer is in serious pain, they are hopping around looking desperately for a solution and will reach for whoever comes to mind first.
Alternatively, the pebble on the shoe pain point can be a gold mine for some businesses.
Identify both pain points that your business offers solutions to, and stay consistent to get to both the person with a pebble in the shoe and the person who has been bitten by the stinging nettle.
5. Recognise their values
People purchase products that are in line with their values.
A customer value is the perception of what a product or service is worth to a customer versus the possible alternatives.
In this step, you’ll need to outline what values your ideal client has.
An example is the solution that a product or service provides, not only to the buyer but to their organisation as well. Values are also monetary, time, energy, and emotional costs which consumers consider in making a purchase.
6. Pinpoint any possible objections
In the game of business, we have to be realistic.
And when you’re stating the possible objections, you need to be REAL with yourself.
Why wouldn’t your ideal customer buy from you? It could be that your product is too expensive, or that they need a lot more convincing. It could also be that they are keen on working with your competitors.
By identifying these possible objections, you can pre-determine how to answer the hard questions from possible customers.
In conclusion, you need to get down to the details of who your ideal customer is. These are the 4 reasons why you need to know your client avatar:
- Laser focus your marketing efforts
- Save advertising money
- Communicate effectively with your target audience
- Retain visitors and encourage them to convert into customers
How do you know your avatar? Follow these 6 simple steps:
- Fill in their demographic information
- Identify their challenges
- Determine their goals
- Identify their pain points
- Recognise their values
- Pinpoint any possible objections
If you don’t already have a client avatar, then it’s definitely time for you to get to work. We have an upcoming FREE workshop where you get to “Discover your avatar.” You may book here.
You can also download our FREE client avatar workshop and get started on narrowing down your client avatar. Download here.