Why you need a buyer persona now?

Posted by Carol on 30/07/14 9:45 AM

It's the single most valuable marketing tool a business owner can have...

And it's totally free!

Yet almost every business owner to is NOT using it.

I am talking about a customer avatar. You may think it's not that important or that you already have it stored in your brain.



Having a good customer avatar(s) printed out and hanging in your office is the single most important thing you can do to increase the effectiveness of your marketing and sales.

It helps you choose the right blog topics, it helps you write better ads, it helps you choose better ad targets, it helps you write better emails and sales letters. Did I mention it even helps in developing new products and services.

Understanding who you are targeting is vital!

So how do you create a customer avatar.

The first step in creating a customer is to think about your target market.  You can start with your existing customers and move on to your ideal customers.

Who are they. Which are your best ones what do they have in common.

What are their dreams, hopes, fears, what do they need help with.  The more you understand your customer, the more you can develop solutions that fit their needs.

The questions you need to address when creating a buyer persona are:

  • who they are
  • what they want to achieve
  • what goals drive their behaviour
  • how they think
  • how they buy
  • why they make their buying decisions

Customer avatars are generally research based. The key difference is that they are fictional characters based on research.

The Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) is very good at creating these. I often used them when developing new products and writing communication briefs to out agency.

If you are a smaller business and don't have the resources for research, there are several ways you can go about creating an avatar.

  • Customer surveys
  • Phone and in-person interviews of your existing customers - what has motivated them to use your business or service, what have been their barriers to purchase
  • Web & exit surveys

In all cases your questions need to be open ended.  Your aim is to uncover what has motivated them to use your business or service, what have been their barriers to purchase. Understanding this will help you develop solutions that tap into their motivations and remove purchase barriers.

Other sources you can use to develop your avatar are:

  • Customer newsletters - what topics and subjects are they interested in. What topics generated the most clicks. Was there anything special about the copy that may have struck a chord with them.
  • Facebook or LinkedIn insights if you have a Facebook or LinkedIn Business Page - there is a minefield of information at your disposal. Again you can look are what articles got the most views, which ones generated the most engagement and which ones hit the hot spot.
  • Google Analytic - this now allows you to segment customer data according so interests and demographics. It's not natively set up but once done, you can get insights into their interests which is super useful for targeting.

What do customer avatars look like?

You can see an example an avatar below. In this example, we've covered off:

  • Background
  • Demographics
  • Goals
  • Challenges
  • How we help
  • Real Quotes
  • Common objectives
  • Marketing messages
  • Elevator Pitch


customer avatar

You can download an example customer avatar here.

You should create more than one avatar as you will generally find you have more than one customer segment that you serve (or want to serve).

Here's a look at what Microsoft 365. Notice how they have put a condensed summary of each of their customer persona's. It makes for a quick reference guide that any one in the organisation can reference.

customer persona microsoft

Do not go another week without having a good well defined printed and hung customer avatar(s).

Your bank account will love you for it!!


Topics: Marketing

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