I made the mistake when I was starting out in business of not determining a target market. I thought I could cater to everyone in each type of forum ranging from kids to pensioners and as a result, I wasted a lot of money. In business finding your ideal client is paramount and we start with a customer avatar.
An avatar is a fictitious character made to represent your ideal customer. In determining who this is, will help you focus on and determine which media to advertise on and then market towards them.
Don’t try to create “everything for everyone”. Select a niche/ target market that plays to your strengths and build your products, services and reputation around being the number one /expert for that target market in your local area.
The most important aspect of marketing is defining your customer avatar. Find the ideal (or common types of) clients coming to you. Determine what their needs & problems are and then develop the solution.
- Think about this – what does your ideal customer really want?
- How can your service, solve their problem(s) and needs?
Who are they?
- Male or female?
- Married or single?
- Do there have children?
- How far do they live from your business?
- What are their hobbies/ interests?
- What is their job?
- What is their income?
- Employment status, full time /part time?
- What are their problems?
- What are their needs?
- Are they time poor?
- What social media sites do they use?
Here is an example for a gym that caters for ladies wanting to lose weight.
My customer avatar
- Who are they? Sally.
- Male or Female? Female.
- Average age: 37.
- Married or single? Married.
- Do they have children? Two children.
- How far do their live from my gym? Lives an average of 5km away.
- Hobbies/interests: walking, weight loss, fitness, wellness, social media, shopping catching up with friends for a coffee at a café.
- Type of Job: Office worker, manager.
- Employment status: Fulltime work. Works 9am to 5pm and travels an average of one hour to work.
- Income approximately: $70,000.
- Problems: lose weight keep it off, unsure what diet is best, wants to drop a dress size, and feel good about herself. Always feeling tired.
- Needs to have fun in class and make new friends.
- Is my client time poor? Very time poor because of family and work, takes kids to sport on weekends, dance lesson twice a week or child care pick-ups required.
- What social media sites do they use? Facebook.
- What is the best time to train? Because of work and family best time to train is 7 pm weekdays as this way, her partner is home from work to look after the kids for one hour and the kids are home from soccer/ dance training and day-care.
If you have been in business for over a year, I highly recommend that you survey your existing members and also survey their friends to find out what their biggest problems and need are, and use the Australian Bureau of Statistics which is very helpful.
You must be in a position to have the solution for their problems and needs. To help, build your avatar by asking them the avatar questions and also use free tools like survey monkey to collect information or create a poll on Facebook.
Responding to your avatar’s needs
Now knowing all of this information about my ideal client, I can now develop a marketing campaign to suit my ideal client.
Garry Wasson, Business Coach, Business Coaching NSW