Please tell me I am wrong Re: Customer Avatar

8 replies
Hoping I am way off base and just wrong here..

I am feeling that 99% of the time determining a "customer avatar" is complete waste of time horse poopy.

Unless you have a VERY niche product/service WTF is the point?

Let's say you have an information product/membership site that helps women lose weight and feel better about themselves.

Um, hello? Who is your avatar? Any woman 18-80 who wants to lose weight and feel better about herself.

What does it matter how many kids she has, their ages, what she does for a living, how much schooling she had, her age, etc...

I just invented a Universal TV Remote that never needs batteries.

Who the heck is my "customer avatar"? Why in the world do I need to know what books/magazines they read, how much money they earn, what their challenges, values, goals, occupation, age etc...?

You have a TV with remote? Great.. you are my customer.

You want to lose weight? Great you are my customer

You want to make money online? Great you are my customer

You want to learn how to pick up chicks? Great you are my customer

I sell baby strollers..... you have a baby? Great you are my customer

I am assuming I am wrong here.. but for the life of me this all seems like horsepoop unless you have a REALLY REALLY niche product.

Please tell me why this whole "customer avatar" isn't nonsense?

Customer Avatar Worksheet| Download the Template
#avatar #customer #wrong
  • Profile picture of the author kartherma
    Why would anyone want to buy your weight loss product?
    Often men have different attitudes and opinions than do women- and are therefore motivated by different feelings when it comes to weight loss.

    There may be an entirely different set of concerns for men over the age of 40 than the younger group. (one is facing potential issues with diabetes, the other still trying to get dates for the weekends).

    Often, weight loss products are tailored to men or women- not both.

    Another example:

    You'd not see women wearing men's boxers much- until some slick marketer managed to put a pair on a sexy model and show women how sexy they could look wearing them around the house...

    Without your useless avatar, you might never see what truly motivates your customer. And that, to me, is horror of horrors.

    You ever need something really bad but the only store open or near is the gas station? You are stuck with the one brand of crappy spaghetti sauce (if they have spaghetti sauce). And, if you do buy it, you'd be the ONLY one to have bought it in weeks or even months.

    I don't relish the idea of putting 'stuff' on the shelf hoping people would buy it. Which is equivalent to the just build it not knowing your market post above suggests.

    I prefer knowing my target market- what their problems are, what they are concerned about, what they fear, what makes the happy... And I prefer developing tailor made products that actually solve their problems or address their concerns.

    The avatar exercise can help folks better get into the minds of their targeted group.
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  • Profile picture of the author Simon Nilsson
    I don't think that customer avatars are useless, but they do exist on a continuum.

    If your goal is to sell product X to "everyone and their mother", they don't matter much.

    If you plan to offer two versions of product X, say one for men and one for women, they become a bit more relevant.

    If you plan to sell tailored versions of product X to niche groups, having an avatar for each group is very important.

    Personally, I think being able to tailor the product to a niche group sounds like a great idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author dana67
    Anything that can brand your product, service, or whatever is a good thing. Nothing is useless if it catches someone's eye or conveys information.
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  • Profile picture of the author danieldesai
    Originally Posted by mrdeflation View Post

    The are several reasons but the most important one is this:

    Creating an avatar allows you to speak to a specific person - in reality, this is actually a group of people who fit all those characteristics to a "T".

    By focusing on one specific "person" you'll actually have a sales message that people feel like they can relate to on a personal level.

    The whole point of an avatar isn't to sell to everyone, it's to sell to those who can relate to your message.

    Selling to everyone is impossible anyway (minus mass consumer goods), so selling to a specific group of people actually leads to more sales than if you tried to appeal to everyone.

    Put it another way...

    Would you buy from someone who is pitching you an offer but they know NOTHING about you, and they don't even care to know?

    Or would you rather buy from someone who understands you, someone who speaks to you on a personal level, and someone who knows what you're going through?

    Not to mention, as marketers this makes targeting your audience much easier in the first place.

    You linked to a couple of Digital Marketer's avatar worksheets...

    That company does at least tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue (I think it might even be in the 9-figure range) and they use avatars as an important part of their marketing... just something to consider.

    There are some exceptions where you don't need one, but in most cases an avatar helps a LOT.

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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Segmenting can be extremely effective. Let's take the example in the OP of weight loss...Instead of creating a squeeze page that says, "Sign up and get weight loss tips", how about you have TWO email inputs forms:

    Want to lose weight:

    Men sign up here

    Women sign up here

    You'll get more people to sign up and will be able to target offers and info for each. 70% of the info can probably be the same, but relating to both men and women will very likely result in much better results.

    There's an important concept in marketing, and that is to "mirror" your target audience and is a good reason to try to create an avatar of your general target audience. Mirroring means to look, act and talk like your target market looks, acts and talks.

    If you were selling music, you'd want to use a whole different vocabulary of words/slang for people wanting to buy Glen Miller music than you would for fans of Mac Miller. You would also want to target your advertising and products differently for sites about Glen Miller than you would for Mac Miller. A radio station that plays Glen Miller may be a good place to advertise Depends and Denture Cream, while a station that plays Mac Miller is probably better to try to sell tickets to rap concerts.

    Understanding your typical customer is a basic concept in marketing and demographics are very important. On the other hand, the OP does have a bit of a point. Psychographics are also important and are basically what someone is thinking NOW. Often it doesn't matter how old or what sex someone is, it only matters that they are interested in buying a camera.

    Having a good grasp on both demographics and psychographics can be very helpful in marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author ByEdvin
    I also thought it was the biggest BullShit when I first heard about it... But then I started to learn more about influence and realised the power in having your "customer avatar"

    You create a "customer avatar" if you want to target a specific grop of people... "Trying to Please Everyone is Like Pleasing No One"

    Every big company has there own customer avatar... just think about the difference between Windows and Mac

    The thing is >>> This is used when your building a Massive Following that Loves to Buy from you...

    If your just selling to one person then this is not needed
    =============> Is This too Much Hype For You? :-) <=============

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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by mrdeflation View Post

    Please tell me why this whole "customer avatar" isn't nonsense?

    Let's get our terms straight first. An avatar is "a graphical image that represents a person" - it's that little image next to your name that you've chosen to show when you make a blog comment or a forum post.

    I think what you are talking about in this thread is not an avatar, but a "customer profile." It describes personal attributes, demographics, and facts that are useful in segregating a group or audience by certain traits they all possess.

    Why would you want to do this? It's a great way of making sure that all the prospects in your lead pool will be interested in, and candidates for, your marketing offer. If everyone in your audience is a targeted candidate for your offer, you are not wasting your message on anyone.

    You might think, what's the big deal if some of my prospects have no interest in what I'm selling? If you are doing paid advertising, it means you are buying traffic that will almost never convert into a sale. It's money down a rat hole. You're paying for eyeballs that don't care.

    One of the important aspects of creating a customer profile is to choose those traits about the customer that (a) can be effectively identified and segregated; (b) are meaningful indicators that will be part of the "cause" for someone to want to buy your offer; (c) the advertising platform can filter for these same indicators.

    The arguments against profiling that you offer suggest that you are not targeting your prospects based upon the right traits or demographics. In other words, you can set up a profile that is too general or broad, or that is too specific. You can also set up a profile for traits that are not important (they aren't linked to pointing out potential buying candidates - "invalid indicators".)

    Profiling takes some experience to know how to do it right. You are correct in questioning what some personal traits have to do with a customer profile. In some cases, marketers pay attention to traits that are totally meaningless to the buying decision.

    Research so you can match the offer to the right pool of prospects is certainly important. If you are the product creator, or know it well, that's half the equation - understanding what benefits the product provides. The other side of the equation is setting up the right audience so their traits or demographics include things that indicate they will be predisposed to purchase the benefits you're offering.


    Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources

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