Welcome, everyone to the first episode of Tech Power-Ups. Tech Power-Ups is a *micro* podcast about marketing and technology designed to help you make smarter decisions.

Podcast Transcript

Today’s topic is customer avatars. That’s just a fancy name for your ideal customers.

Knowing who your ideal customers are informs every step of your marketing and technology needs. Without properly defining and understanding your customers, you’re flying blind. Your ads, funnels, and customer experience, will never work as well as it should. So with that frame of mind — grab something to take notes with — and here’s Mike Cline with today’s podcast.

Improving anything starts by identifying where it’s broken and the process of doing that is one that’s really uncomfortable for a lot of people.

It’s not uncomfortable for people like us — that are digital mechanics — that like the act of taking things apart, and asking questions of it, and poking it with a stick.

But when something is really close to home, and you’re emotionally tied to it, we can kind of stay in this wishful thinking sort of mindset, as opposed to looking at things candidly for what they are.

Improvement starts by identifying your troubled areas. And one of the first areas that we really start with is understanding who the avatar is. So it’s a two part problem. One is looking at the products and services that are being offered. And the other is saying, “well, who is that serving?”

Products and services often get a lot of focus, and we go down the rabbit hole of what are the benefits? What are the features of those products and services?

A lot of times, features get harped on instead of benefits. That’s kind of one of the classic things to take a look at and review and say Are we talking about features versus benefits and the jump there is that you can only state a benefit if you understand the avatar.

Who’s the human you’re serving? Like, really get to know them, like what is in their head, heart and home? What are they afraid of? What brings them joy? Where do they shop? What magazines do they read? What state of mind are they in most of the time?

Is your avatar currently paralyzed by fear, because of what’s going on in the outside world? Do they spend the majority of their day thinking about the future, the present or the past?

This might seem really abstract and you might say, “well, I don’t have any idea.”

If you sit down and think about your your best customers that really, that really love the products and services that you offer that are just the raving fans of your products and services. You’ll come up with a few things.

So I invite you right now to just think about that, like, grab a piece of paper, well, maybe not a piece of paper, you’re just on a phone here listening to computer, but maybe pull up your little notes. And you could pause this recording for a minute and just jot down some of some of these little nuggets who are who are these people? What do they really care about? What do they really love.

Take 60 seconds to do that, right now.

The purpose of this exercise is to get you in the mindset of understanding this ideal customer so you know, what else to sell them and when to sell them, how to reach them, how to actually better connect them, like what kind of little nuggets cropped up from from the exercise, just jotting a few things down there.

Did the timing of when you should engage them change in your own mind?

Did you have a new insight to say, “oh, actually, we ought to be following up with them to ask if they need this upsell,” or, “this upsell product we have two days later.”

Or maybe you’re being too aggressive. This is something that we see a lot of in the digital information marketing arena, where there’s massive emphasis on getting average order value up. Because you’ve got to break even on your direct response, marketing ads, we can’t float cash very long, and that aggressiveness can really turn off the customers.

If we’re not really asking these longer term questions about what’s really going on with them, really thinking about them, we can accidentally and unintentionally be predatory to a market.

That translates into customers that aren’t referring other people. They take your product and service, and had just a so-so experience with it. They’re not going to tell anybody about it. And if they do, it’s going to be a, “Yeah, I tried it and it didn’t work.”

I consider that predatory in the marketplace, meaning that we’re not serving at our highest and best needs of the customers themselves. This isn’t to throw anybody under the bus, or use the word predatory in this derogatory kind of way. It just means that we need to sit and think about this a little bit more.

We need to figure out how, in the words of Stephen Covey, we can keep sharpening our own saw, because the market out from underneath us.

We, as a tech and marketing company have experienced this ourselves just in the last handful of years.

That’s the purpose of this exercise: To really understand your customers and understand Do you have multiple customers? Right? Are you really serving too many people?

The number of avatars you actually have is your choice. But making sure that it’s a conscious choice is the key here, because the unconscious problem is that things get scattered. And then we don’t know what we’re measuring. And we don’t know who that avatar is.

So the goal of today’s podcast is really about understanding and building your ideal avatar out, getting to know what’s in their head heart in their home. What are they afraid of? What brings them joy? Where do they shop? Where do they find information?

You did 60 seconds thinking about it. But now you need to talk to other people in your company. Talk to your employees, talk to your entire team. Talk to everybody else.

Talk to the buyers and survey them. Do some market research, and really dig in and refine your avatars.

And then step into asking, “are we selling the right product or services?” Does that match our avatar?

This is something that you can kind of put on, put on a piece of paper or a little line down the middle. You’ve got products and services in the left, you’ve got avatars on the right. And just understanding as we lay these words out on paper, are they matching up? Do they really sync up and match?

If they don’t, what improvements, additions or exclusions Do you need to make to the products or services or to the avatars?

This kind of an exercise lets us know if we’re playing in the right pool. Are we aligned with how we’re showing up to the market, in today’s market? Knowing that tomorrow’s market is going to be different than today’s market.