If you don’t have a clear idea of who your customer is, you’re probably missing out on sales.
No matter what you call it – an avatar, a customer persona, or your ideal customer – getting to know your target customer better is essential to your marketing strategy.
To have the biggest impact on your business, you need to research your ideal customer, figure out what their pain points are, and find out how your company can solve their problems. This will affect everything from the new products and services your customer will need, to the type of content you produce across social media platforms, to where you will get the best return on your advertising investment.
What does an Ideal Customer Look Like?
We will now look into what you need to know about your target customer and how to construct a detailed and beneficial ideal customer profile.
Consider this scenario:
- Bookstore Owner: What book would you sell to the next customer who walks in?
- New Employee: Um, Harry Potter. I loved that book.
- Bookstore Owner: Who cares?
- New Employee: So… what would you recommend?
- Bookstore Owner: Whatever book the customer is going to love.
We need to be careful not to get too excited about our products and services and start telling the world how great our offer is. Effective marketing is all about putting the right product in front of the right customer at the right time. We shouldn’t try to sell Harry Potter books to the next customer who walks into the bookstore if they are looking for a book about managing diabetes.
Too often, businesses invest time in creating intricate logos and advertisements before they have determined who their ideal customer is and what problem needs to be solved. This causes wasted effort that could have been put towards a more productive solution.
When you are thinking about your ideal customer, you should think about who is likely to be a loyal customer, even if there is a dip in the economy. A loyal customer is much more valuable than someone who buys once and is never heard from again.
Let’s Create Your Ideal Customer Profile
There are a few things you should keep in mind when you’re brainstorming with your team to create your avatar.
The process of finding your dream customer may seem daunting, but it’s worth it to take the time to really think about who your ideal customer is. Once you have a clear idea of who you’re trying to reach, you’ll be able to better target your marketing efforts and find more customers like them. To find your dream customer, start by thinking about who your ideal customer is. Give them a name, address, and job. Consider their family life, whether they’re married or have children. What are their hobbies? What kind of things do they like to do in their free time? Once you have a good idea of who your dream customer is, you can start to narrow down your marketing efforts to reach them. Look for places where they’re likely to spend their time, both online and offline. Try to find out what kind of things they’re interested in, so you can create content or products that they’re sure to love.
- What’s your avatar’s annual income? What car does she drive?
- What does your avatar want out of life? And, what’s stopping him from achieving that goal?
- What are your avatar’s biggest challenges and problems, particularly relating to the products and services your company sells?
- What influencers does your target customer listen to? Who does she trust? What books does he read? What shows does she watch on Netflix? What social platforms does he use (when, how, and how often?). Does she read blogs? Listen to podcasts? Which ones? How often?
- Why does your ideal customer love your company and your products? What keeps her coming back? What makes her mad? What is something you might do that would send him running for the door with no intention of ever coming back?
Find a photo that represents your brand and stick it at the top of the whiteboard when you and your team get together to brainstorm about your next ad campaign.
The point of creating a target persona is to remember that you are always selling to a real person, not just some customer or a whole business. The best avatars are those that we could imagine taking home for Thanksgiving dinner. They are just as real as a character in a story. They are your company’s brand hero.
We might think we know who our customers are and what they want, but we shouldn’t base marketing decisions on that. We should get data, ask the sales team, and look at metrics.
Tools like audience insights on Facebook, Google Analytics, and data from CRMs have made it easier than ever to collect data. We now know more about buyer behavior throughout the customer journey than ever before.
Data is readily available but understanding it can be difficult. This post will not discuss data parsing tools in depth, but it is important to consider the facts when creating an avatar.
Getting information from the source is the best way to learn the truth. Although it can be tempting to only use data from automated tools, remember that the data comes from real people.
It is important to ask your customers and potential customers questions in order to get feedback that can be helpful in growing your business. Try surveying customers at different stages of their journey, looking at the content of comments on social media posts, holding focus groups, and listening to what your sales team has to say about customer interactions. This feedback can be used to improve your customer avatar.
Rinse and Repeat
An avatar is not static like a real person. Consider the time of year, health, other commitments, etc. when determining how an avatar will interact with your brand.
What Is Customer Intimacy?
A business strategy that seeks to understand specific client needs in order to deliver the best possible solution is known as customer intimacy. In order to make this strategy work, it is necessary for everyone from top-level executives to support teams to be on board and willing to make the necessary investments. One of the greatest assets businesses have when it comes to customer intimacy is customer loyalty.
This term is one of the three disciplines noted by two strategy experts, Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema, in their book The Discipline of Market Leaders:
A company cannot succeed only by trying to please everyone. It must find a unique value that it is the only company that can deliver to a specific market.
The three strategies for honing in on your unique value and market are:
Companies that use streamlining and automation to reduce costs. McDonald’s, FedEx, and Dell are all examples.
Product or services that are always being improved to stay ahead of the competition. For example, Intel, Johnson and Johnson, and Apple.
Companies which offer products or services which are adapted to specific customer situations and niches are referred to as example companies. Some examples of these companies include Nordstrom, Home Depot, and IKEA.
The company is Home Depot The last discipline mentioned in the article is ‘customer intimacy’, which is demonstrated by Home Depot, a company with massive one-stop home improvement chains across the United States.
When you first walk into Home Depot, you’ll notice a few things right away. The store is almost the size of two football fields and everything is neatly organized by numbered aisles. The staff is also very helpful and they’re all wearing orange aprons. If you look closer, you’ll see that the customer service employees spend a lot of time with each customer, even hours, to help them resolve any issues they’re having with home improvement. This is because Home Depot’s business strategy focuses on the customer and finding the right product or service for them.
Effective Strategies to Improve Customer Intimacy
Competition is something that most businesses have to deal with. The most successful businesses spend a lot of money on making sure they are offering the best possible product or service to their customers, while also staying ahead of their competition. However, the real challenge for businesses is growing while still maintaining a customer-centric mindset. When a company expands rapidly, it can be difficult to keep the focus on the customer.
However, adopting a customer-centric approach and creating positive experiences for clients is not the only thing that is necessary for success. Achieving intimacy, or closeness, requires realigning your entire organization, which can be costly and time-consuming without the right tools.
Be a Customer-First Company
Too often, businesses make the mistake of chasing revenue without first ensuring that existing customers remain satisfied. Wondering why your business is still around? If you think it’s because of your product, you’re wrong. It’s easy to forget the people who got you where you are now as your business grows. Many businesses make the mistake of worrying about making money without making sure their current customers are happy.
If you want your company to be successful, you should make sure that your customers are at the center of your company culture.
It’s no surprise that companies such as Amazon put the customer at the center of everything they do. This includes discussing the customer in every staff meeting, building specialized customer feedback tools, and improving overall sentiment. But there are other things companies can do to keep the customer at the forefront. For example, they can decorate their office space with pictures of customers taken at events (with their permission, of course) or have a customer guest book where visitors can write a note. Surrounding yourself with reminders of customers on a daily basis can help keep the customer’s needs in mind.
All Hands on Deck Customer Service
A key component of a customer-centric strategy is ensuring that your entire organization is on the same page when it comes to empathy. One way to do this is by having customer service be a company-wide effort, involving everyone from high-level executives to summer interns. This allows every employee to hear and respond to customer concerns.
Before we get started, let’s take a step back. This doesn’t mean that they will be working the queue or taking calls every day. You already have a talented and trained support team (or individuals) with the right skills. Instead, treat it more like a monthly one-hour shadowing session between an employee and a customer service representative. This way, any non-support staff can ask questions on the spot when they are responding to clients (for example, tone, language, and providing more details) that will resolve the issue.
Show Your Real Face
Meeting clients face-to-face is the best way to build a long-lasting relationship. If they are located close to your office, invite them over to explore your work environment, or if they’re a B2B company, hop over to their office. If this is not possible, take advantage of meeting clients while on business trips, conferences, or meetups.
If you go above and beyond for your customers, they will notice and appreciate your efforts. This will in turn improve your relationship with them by building trust, transparency, and customer loyalty.
Understand the Customer Journey
This is where the client starts their relationship with the product or service, how they use it, and how they feel about it. One of the main challenges businesses face with improving customer intimacy is understanding the stages a client goes through with a product or service. A customer journey map can illustrate more than a funnel to a one-time purchase; it can be a journey through the customer experience. This is where the client starts their relationship with the product or service, how they use it, and how they feel about it.
This is an example of a company who thought about every step of the customer journey. Looking at Starbucks as an example, we can see a company who has thought about every step of the customer journey. From the moment you walk in and smell the coffee beans, to the warm lighting and friendly staff, they have created an experience that keeps people coming back.
If your goal is to create long-term relationships with your customers, a journey map is an essential strategy. Additionally, learning to anticipate your customers’ needs will enable you to provide them with customized products and services.
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