02 Sep Customer Avatars and Attitudinal Segmentation
Do you know who your customers are? Or do you have trouble determining who to cater your products and services to and how best to market them to increase your sales? Today we’ll show you how to develop a Customer Avatar for your crafty business. By zeroing in on who that customer is, you can best fulfill their hopes and dreams, and solve problems they’re having. We’ve also got a great FREE worksheet to help you in this process – click here to get started!
What is a Customer Avatar?
A Customer Avatar (also known as a buyer persona) is a representation of your customer(s). The reason to develop a Customer Avatar is to narrow down who your customer is and develop products and marketing strategies that appeal to that specific customer. To develop a Customer Avatar, you’re going to consider four quadrants:
- Demographics: Demographics are the real data on your customer and can include data like age, gender, economic status, geographic location, level of education, etc.
- Characteristics: Characteristics are going to tell you more about your customer’s interests and habits. For example, what level of skill do they have in relation to your product (i.e. are they a beginner knitter? Intermediate? advanced?)? Are they health conscious? Do they care about the environment and want to support eco-friendly alternatives?
- Hopes: Hopes are what your customer wants to achieve with your product or services? For example, do they hope to become a better sewist? Do they want to expand their overall skill set, or focus on a specific skill?
- Pain Points (Fears): Pain points are the problems or needs that your customer has that you and your products and services can solve for them. What does your customer fear most and how can you alleviate that fear?
As you examine these quadrants and start to put together a Customer Avatar, choose a name for your Avatar. Build your Avatar out like a real person and use that person as you start to strategize your offerings. At Stitchcraft Marketing, our Customer Avatar is Carol and we frequently have conversations that sound like: “Would Carol find that useful? I just don’t think Carol would want to do that. Oh my goodness – that would save Carol so much time and effort!” The more you can personalize your Avatar, the better you’ll be able to develop products and marketing strategies that cater to exactly what he or she is looking for!
How do you identify your Customer Avatar?
If you’ve already been in business for a while and don’t have an Avatar that you’ve developed, chances are you can extrapolate your Avatar from your current customer base. Here are a few ideas on how to sleuth out who your customers are:
- Listen to what your customers are already telling you. If you look at your social media posts, comments and customer reviews you’re going to find out what your customers are most interested in and what they’re looking for. Your reviews will probably also give you information about Hopes and Pain Points – many customers will tell you how you solved a problem for them!
- Become a super sleuth. When customers or potential customers leave multiple comments or questions on your social media posts or website, you can turn around and explore who they are to get a bit of insight into what they might want. For instance, check out a commenter’s Facebook page and you may be able to determine age, gender, and location from a quick glance at the page. Look at what kinds of things they are sharing on their page to learn more about their hobbies and interests. The information is there at your fingertips!
- Ask questions. When in doubt, ask questions! Develop a short list of questions and distribute them to your email list in survey form (Check out Survey Monkey to conduct free or low cost surveys!). Or simply ask questions if you see them face to face.
- Mine the data you already have. If you don’t have Google Analytics installed on your site, you’re missing out. This is a FREE way to get tons of information about how your customers are finding you (demographics, links they’re using to get to your site, search terms they’re using to Google for you), what they’re finding most interesting on your site, and how long they’re staying to peruse your pages. If you’re not using an email platform (like Mailchimp or Constant Contact for instance) you’re losing out on useful data from your email sends. Who’s opening your emails and interacting with them? What links get the most clicks? All of this information can help you better tailor your offerings to customers who are already finding you and purchasing!
Trends come and go and most of them won’t change what your customer base is looking for. However, now and again some things are so large and fundamental they will change how you interact with your customer. Below is a list of considerations specific to the coronavirus pandemic that you should at least be aware of:
- Masks: Everyone is buying, wearing and making masks. Do you sell products that could help customers? If you are a location that is open to the public, do you and your staff wear masks or require your customers to wear masks? Emphasizing your commitment to keeping everyone safe and healthy will build trust with your customers.
- Cleaning: In a pandemic, customers want to hear that you’re redoubling your efforts on keeping a clean, sanitary and safe environment for everyone who visits (or works in) your location.
- Social Distancing: If you have a physical location, what measures have you put into place to keep everyone socially-distanced? Have you added footprint decals or lines to your floor to delineate proper distances? Plexiglass at checkout? What measures have you put into place to keep employees safe and healthy through social distancing?
- Online Ordering: Have you created an online ordering experience for your customers? If you have, is it simple and straightforward and easy to use? (TIP: Use your demographics to determine what help your customers might need to successfully transition to online ordering if they were previously face to face customers.)
Here are a few of the common questions we receive from clients when developing their Avatar. We’ve also provided our best answers!
- What if I have more than one Avatar? Many businesses will have more than one Avatar and on average our clients have 2-3 Avatars. That’s fine – you may be serving a few distinct types of customers. The point of having Avatars is to allow you to dial into what your customers are looking for and provide them with products and services that meet those needs. However, if you’re finding yourself with more like 5 or 6 Avatars, or you’re trying to cater to everyone, we recommend you go back to the beginning and start again. Working with too many personas (or the entire world!?) means you’re not focusing on the niche of customers you serve best and it’s a sure way to fail with everyone. There is no one-size-fits-all in marketing.
- What if you pivot or change to a new business model? If you’ve changed direction for the long-term or even pivoted your services in the short-term, you may need to make tweaks to your Avatars. These may be small tweaks (for instance if you’re a brick & mortar store and trying to switch to online sales during the pandemic) or they may be large ones (for example, a local whiskey distillery switched to producing hand sanitizer during the pandemic). In the latter case, you may even need to go back to the drawing board and determine an entirely new customer Avatar.
- What about customers who span the quadrants? If you’ve got customers who span the quadrants you may need to drill down further. For example, maybe your project kits are attracting both younger and older customers, both beginners and newcomers to the craft, and those more experienced crafters looking for quick, fun projects. That leads us to our next topic, Attitudinal Segmentation!
Attitudinal Segmentation is a data-driven process to determine what attitudes your customers share. This is different from your Customer Avatar because it doesn’t ask WHO is buying your products, but rather WHY they are buying them. In general, Attitudinal Segmentation works with a large panel of respondents, and develops specific questions for them to answer to create data that can drive your decision making process and marketing strategies. The reason Attitudinal Segmentation is so valuable is because it is data-driven. If you know exactly why your customers are buying your products, you can use this data to develop additional products and services you know will appeal to them and you can make marked improvements in your sales growth.
Stitchcraft Marketing works with a third-party vendor, Audience Audit, to work on Attitudinal Segmentation projects for clients and we can provide you with more information on what this involves for your crafty business.
We hope we’ve helped you learn a little bit more about customer avatars and attitudinal segmentation. Don’t forget to download your FREE worksheet to develop your customer avatar. If you’re interested in working with us to develop marketing strategies for your avatar, or to discuss attitudinal segmentation for your crafty business, contact us today to get started!