I just got this message today in my inbox and I am really keen to share it. It was from a good friend of mine who is seeking advice on how to start his startup company. He always had this real entrepreneurial spirit and he is really into digital marketing. Well he just recently quit his job and decided to give his ideas a go.
So the e-mail basically read: “where should I start? What do I need to do before I hire you?”
I was laughing at the end of that sentence but that made me think. What should I answer back?? Well, this would definitely be a long email so I will just start with the basics. So my reply was: identify who your customer is.
Once you have defined what you want to do with your business – what your market and product is and who your competitors are – the next most important question to ask is “who are your potential clients”?
Identifying to whom you are speaking is really important and this should be an integral part of any digital marketing methodology. There are two important steps when doing this: elaborating a plan and executing it. Let’s start with the first part then.
What You Need to Find Out?
To sum up the ideas on this particular topic, this is what we try to identify when we are doing a customer avatar:
- Psycho-demographic research. We aim to understand a number of distinctive psychological and demographic characteristics of our potential customer.
- Pain points and Problems. What challenges are they facing? What are the things they can’t do or achieve? Why are they frustrated?
- A fear is a stronger feeling than just a problem. If you can identify really strong fears of your customer avatar you will do your digital marketing plan a favor.
- Dreams and Aspirations. What is the most important achievement that they aspire to? What are their goals and aspirations?
- And how can our product or service help achieve that?
Once the psycho-demographic research is done you need to see yourself as building a profile of your potential customer along a continuum:
- What are they trying to move away from? (tackling their pain points and challenges)
- Where do they want to go? What do they aspire to move towards?
How to Find this Out?
There are a number of tools that can be used to do this. Google analytics, google ads or even paid software. But I feel for the first part of the research the best tool is facebook audience insights. Nathan Williams has probably the most succinct explanation of how to do this. Check this video and follow his steps.
When it comes to identifying pain points, fears and aspirations, this will have to be done by your own experience in the industry. A good technique to use is to just talk to as many potential clients as possible. You will easily pick up the answers once you do this.
To refine your research, you can go to different forums where your clients hangout and read what they are saying. From this supplementary research you can complement your answers and sometimes find more answers and better understand your clients.
I have put together a template that you can download for free here.
What consequences does this research have? Well A LOT.
We can cultivate better relationships if we clearly identify what the targeted customer of a certain product is. Based on this research we will write better targeted content, social media copy, we will target the right social media audience, etc etc etc. This is really powerful for all we do in digital marketing.
Need help? Get in touch …