In today’s digital age, there have been terms such as ‘target audience’, ‘niche and niche selection’, etc. which are being often used by many, especially digital entrepreneurs or people running their business by leveraging digital media with an ultimate aim of the exponential growth of their business. So, understanding such technical terms is of immense importance and can not be neglected if you too aim at running a successful business.
Emphasising the same in our Class 2 of Digital Marketing Internship Program by DigitalDeepak, that took place on 24th December 2019, our mentor Mr. Deepak Kanakaraju (popularly known as DigitalDeepak) discussed the concepts such as audience, conversation, etc.
It was such a great learning experience to attend the session wherein DigitalDeepak appreciated the participation of all interns in the completion of assignments of Class 1. He mentioned the high assignment completion rate of our Class 1 and analysed that there was a positive pressure among interns to complete the same [The Carrot-Stick principle was successfully implemented].
Thereafter, he covered a few important aspects or say Short Learnings, abbreviated as SL, before moving on to the discussing the understanding of technical terms- Target Audience and Customer Avatar.
Following are the SLs from our Class 2 of Digital Marketing Internship Program by DigitalDeepak :
SL 1: Focus
Focus on the class and be away from distractions since these are more harmful to the brains than drugs.
SL 2: Learn-Do-Teach
The golden triangle of ‘learn-do-teach’ to understand the new learnings in a better way must be followed to ensure better learning and implementation of such new concepts.
SL 3: Mistakes
It’s ok to make mistakes as long as you are learning and improving since these mistakes are nothing but your future benefits.
SL 4: Marketing and Communication
In marketing, a good conversation is really very important, be it 1:1 or 1:many, and cannot be neglected at all. And more importantly, even in this digital life, an authentic conversation is always appreciated. Fakeness will not do any good to your business. So, learn to converse with authenticity.
SL 5: Life Experiences matters
To improve your marketing skills, it is always advisable to travel, learn new things, be open to new things every time and enrich your life experiences.
After discussing the above-mentioned points, the class turned up towards discussing the most crucial topics of the day such as-
1. Your audience, i.e., target customer?
2. How to define your target customer?
3. Where to focus?
4. What is Customer Avatar?
5. How to prepare ‘Customer Avatar’ for your business?
In today’s blog, we’ll learn more about the ‘target audience’ and ‘customer avatar’ in detail. Further, we will also get to know what role they have in today’s much-talked-about topic of digital marketing and how they are related to ‘niche selection’. So, let’s get started:
What is ‘Target Audience’?
“A particular group at which a product such as a film or advertisement is aimed.”https://www.lexico.com/definition/target_audience
This is how the word ‘Target Audience’ is defined by lexico.
Explaining it further, Wikipedia states that “a target audience is the intended audience or readership of a publication, advertisement, or other messages.
In marketing and advertising, it is a particular group of consumers within the predetermined target market, identified as the targets or recipients for a particular advertisement or message.”
To state it in more clear terms, ‘Target Audience’ is the Audience that you target when creating and selling any particular product or service.
Why ‘Target Audience’?
It is being often stated that-
“If everyone is your audience, then actually no one is your audience.”
This is such a powerful statement which reflects the true essence of targeting a specific audience as per your niche before deciding on what products or services to offer which could really help them unleash their true self.
You may feel that you can have everyone as your customer but that is just not true. Not every customer can be the right customer for your business. Your mission and vision, or in short- your message, can resonate with only a few people but not with the whole market.
For example, your niche is ‘business automation’, then your target audience could be entrepreneurs who would be facing difficulties with handling all aspects of their business and looking for solutions to automate the same. You could not target housewives or students for business automation since that will be of no use to such audiences.
Thus, when starting your entrepreneurial journey, it is very important to follow the correct process of selecting your niche and targeting customers based on your niche. Thereafter comes the next step of carefully analyzing and understanding the needs of these ‘target customers’ or ‘target audience’. This plays a critical role in developing your products or offering your services as per the needs of your target audience.
How to define your target audience?
To define your target audience, you, as a business, must follow a few steps to ensure that you are directing in the right direction. These steps are:
1. Market Research:
Identify the pain points of customers. Look into what exactly their needs are. Thereafter, make sure to analyse your customer’s profile in great detail. List out the similarities among all and note what differentiates them from each other.
2. Competitor Research:
Do competition research and analyse the areas where your competitor fails to satisfy customer’s requirements. Then, reach out to fill the gaps where your competitor isn’t offering any product or service.
The other way of defining your target audience is by detailing the following two aspects of these customers:
1. Demographics; and
Demographics explain ‘who your buyer is’. They tend to focus on external or physical factors such as age, gender, location, etc. Though they are straightforward aspects to consider and it is comparatively easier to obtain them due to the availability of public data, yet they can be misleading at times since they focus on generic points only.
Psychographics explain ‘why the buyer buys’. They tend to focus on psychological factors such as motivation, belief systems, priorities, etc. Every person is different and this gives a unique strength while analysing each customer’s profile based on his/her psychographic factors. These factors are less straightforward in nature but can be used to construct more detailed consumer profiles. They help to create a brand message that resonates with the audience’s interests.
Which one is better- Demographics or Psychographics?
Demographics help to ponder upon generic factors and as such, they can be a guide to provide a rough sketch of your audience.
However, for a better understanding of your audience in great detail and more personalised way, it is always better to go ahead with psychographics since this will enable you to provide customised solutions to your customers’ specific needs that will have a ripple effect of creating more satisfied customers.
Not to forgot, satisfied customers not only are a great source for your referrals, but they are also the ones who will surely have a long business association with you as well.
As such, the use of both demographics and psychographics is recommended for business because though psychographics will help you build a personal relationship with customers and enhances brand building, but without demographics, this analysis will not be complete.
Where to focus?
Focus is YOUR customer and their needs. And you need to provide solutions to their pain-points. As such, you must always focus on specific customer’s requirements only.
To understand it in a better way, note the following key points:
1. Connect with your customer on a mental level. Use Email marketing which is more powerful than social media.
2. Write to one customer at a time. Though your communications may be reaching to thousands of customers at a time, yet each one of them is reading alone on their laptop/mobile. So, it must have a feel of having 1:1 conversation.
3. Write emails addressing the person with their first name. Converse as if you are talking to your friend.
4. Make sure to connect every paragraph of your email. Heading must make the customer lead towards the first paragraph which then takes them to the second paragraph and so on and so forth. This is possible only when each such paragraph is well-connected which will persuade the reader to read and consume whole information without missing anything in between or skipping reading the mail.
Thus, it is always advisable to be focussed on the centre (i.e. your customers’ needs) and provide solutions to solve their pain-points while building a more personalised relationship with them and creating a brand for your business. As you move from centre to border, your focus will dilute and will have an effect on all such related aspects as well such as customer satisfaction and brand building.
Customer Avatar- What Is It?
Also termed as ‘Ideal Client Profile’ or ‘Buyer Persona’, ‘Customer Avatar’ may be defined as the process of promoting your products or services to the right target audience on the right platforms at right time.
In other words, the process of ‘Knowing Your Right Target Audience’ is technically termed as ‘Customer Avatar’.
“A customer avatar is a detailed profile of your ideal customer.
It doesn’t make assumptions or categorize people into groups. The avatar focuses on one person and outlines everything about them. It goes into much greater depth than a regular marketing persona, providing marketers with many more targeting tools.”https://www.einsteinmarketer.com/customer-avatar-target-market/
Therefore, a customer avatar lets you know each and every detail of the individual target customer and helps you in providing personalised solutions to them while addressing their pain points.
Who must create a ‘customer avatar’?
As already mentioned, knowing the ‘right target audience’ for your business as per your niche will decide the success or failure of your business. As such, one needs to be very sure of whom to choose as your ‘target audience’.
As such every business needs a customer avatar.
But essentially, a customer avatar must be prepared by small and medium-sized businesses to ensure effective and efficient utilisation of human and other technical resources.
For example, if a small-sized business prepares and follows their own customer avatar, then their staff persons will be focussing on targeting specific audiences rather than wasting time doing trial-and-error method. Further, the amount spent on or time involved in the marketing of such products can be reduced considerably.
Why Customer Avatar?
Besides reaching your right target audience, preparing a customer avatar is also important because of the following reasons:
1. Increases the number of customers;
2. Creates higher repeat buyers;
3. Increases the referrals for your business;
4. Reduces the overall cost;
5. Aids in streamlining business at all levels;
6. Increases the level of efficiency of staff personnel;
7. Creating a focused environment for your business;
8. Provides aid in creating personalised, targeted and relevant products for your target audience;
9. Enables great content marketing by uncovering the real pain-points of your target audience;
10. Ensures high conversion from your paid ads for traffic generation.
How to prepare Customer Avatar for your business?
Preparing a customer avatar is a very crucial task to do since it must reflect all the important characteristics of your ideal customer. As such, you must follow sequential steps to prepare a customer avatar that best suits your business needs as well as enable you to extract the most from your ideal customer’s head.
The steps to prepare a customer avatar is as follows:
1. Customer Avatar Template
A customer avatar template is a document with few questions to be answered. These will reflect the characteristics of your ideal customer.
2. Prepare a list of questions
Create form to create questions and make sure to use ‘But no one else would’ trick to prepare questions so that you can easily reach your target audience.
3. Get these questions answered
Either share the form with your known contacts or on your social media profile if possible and get replies from your friends. Else, answer these questions to reach your ideal customer.
4. Analyse the results
Analyse the results obtained from the survey to reach your ideal customer or target audience to whom who will be approaching with your products or services.
My Customer Avatar:
Click on the link below to view my customer avatar:
The same got filled by 4 respondents and their responses can be downloaded from the ‘Download’ link below:
The blog post has been quite long but fairly detailed as well.
On analysing the results, I came to know that my ideal target customer will be women who are graduate or above having Rs. 1-2 lakhs or higher annual income, were high performer in school and dare to dream. They must give top priority to their own happiness and are looking for a community of people who truly value happiness.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your pen and notepad and start taking down notes to apply while creating your own customer avatar.
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Till then, keep reading and keep learning.
Your Friend and Happiness Coach