Class 2, Digital Marketing Intership

Creating your Customer Persona

Assignment 2 – Find your Customer Avatar

Thank you for taking the time to go through this blog. You might have various questions or doubts as to why you need to “Create your Customer Avatar”.  Thoughts like:  I am a working professional, why do I need to create this persona?  Yeah, I want to start/ expand my Business/ Services – how do I do it? I have some great ideas – how do I market them? How stable is my job, do I need to look for a new line of work/ business which I would enjoy – but who would be my customer? My business is doing well, but there is an uncertainty in the economy – do I need to re-evaluate and look to expand my customer base? Or, why am I wasting my time reading this blog when I have better things to do?

These and a myriad other questions may be running through your mind. When you get down to thinking about it, the answer is really simple – everyone, be it a Professional, Businessman, Entrepreneur, Freelancer, Consultant, would have customers playing a vital role in their lives. The working professional has internal and external customers, the rest need paying customers for their product and services while satisfying a need/ want in their end user – customer.

identify your Customer

So who could be your “Customer”? Who are they, where are they – Demographics.  Why and what would they want – Psycho-graphics. When and how would they want your Products or Services. You would need to determine all this and more, based on the outcome of your effort to define your “Customer Avatar”.

The endeavor of this assignment is to explore the path to find your customer, identify them and define them on various parameters.

Lol that is me in the program 🙂

This blog is an extension of my previous blog on “Finding Your Gold”, which is part of an assignment I am doing for the Digital Marketing Internship I am undergoing with Deepak of www.digitaldeepak fame, who has the largest Learn Digital Marketing Group in India – so basically an expert par excellence in this field.   

That is Deepak at a TedX Talk

The previous blog dealt with “Finding Your Gold”, where to compete, how to do market and keyword research etc., and the first step in the Customer Search journey. You can read it and my other blogs here:

A summary of my learning from Class Two:

  • Distractions are more harmful to the brain than drugs.  You start off wanting to complete a certain task but can go all over the place and waste time being distracted by a multitude of other activities.       
  • The Golden Trio – “Learn = Do = Teach”: Learning in Theory alone is purposeless apart from giving your brain some work and adding to your knowledge. Taking it a step further and “Doing” / taking action on what you learnt is beneficial for your career, business, bank balance ….  
  • Mistakes are future benefits. Which is very true, that is, if you are learning from your mistakes and taking positives corrective directions from them. Not if you make it a “status symbol” and wallow in it – it’s become quite fashionable, but is only detrimental to one’s growth. Making mistakes is good in that it indicates that you are taking certain up actionable activities and failing may be because of reasons created by yourself or reasons out of your control. Chew on it – spit it out and Bounce back!
  • Marketing is about good “Conversations”. If you can converse well 1:1 then you need to take it further to communicate 1 to Many.. Customers
  • Be “Authentic” to communicate better. Sooner or later the audience cuts through the clutter and calls out the “fake” BUT gets attracted to the “Authentic”. Be yourself, be real, and try to help others. The end justifies the means if it is genuine – make money, help others make money, help solve their problems, wants or needs.
  • What can make you a better communicator? Life experiences, travelling, meeting people, learning and doing things outside your comfort zone all make you a better communicator.
Focus on your Target Audience

Don’t blindly try to reach the global population – you will only end up executing a purposeless activity.

  • Who is your “Audience”? Specify! Narrow down! Deepak keeps harping that “If everyone is your customer then no one is your customer” – true! You are only blindly Carpet Bombing!
  • Define your Target Customer through “Demographics and Psycho-graphics” – What age group is your customer, where is your customer, break down details of your customer – Relationship status/ hobbies/ interests etc. Which segment of the population would be looking for your Product or Service? Do Customer Surveys. I had run a customer survey, a brief of which I am sharing towards the end of this blog; you may have seen it or even responded to it.
  • Write as if you are addressing each Customer as an Individual – keep a sample customer – who fits the 100% Customer Avatar in mind and write to that person. Deepak ran an impromptu Survey in the Learning Session to demonstrate how to identify your target Customer Avatar and he randomly picked a volunteer fitting the bill and spoke to him to get a ground level, real time feel of his target audience. This helps immensely in:
  • Designing and drafting communication as if it is written 1:1
  • Join the audience in their Mental Conversation – addressing what is uppermost on their minds instead of something irrelevant to them. Join the conversation in their mind!
  • That is why emails are more powerful as they address the audience 1:1.  I got a sample of this when I ran my Customer Avatar Survey to an Email list, my Facebook/ Linked in/ Twitter connects. Email response was 13 % ( Emails sent to Responses Received), the others less said the better L – I pacify myself that it is because it is New Year time and people are busy celebrating 🙂
  • Then he illustrated how the content should flow smoothly from headline to following sentences seamlessly to keep the audience interested. How he built his audiences with focus and using Emails as the primary marketing tool of communication.
Focus …
  • Focus on the Center – your core Customer Avatar!
  • Awkwardness is an indicator of learning:
  • Challenges Old Beliefs
  • Creates New Beliefs
  • Friction is needed to Improve/ Grow – example: Working out at the Gym
  • Unlearn and Relearn to stay relevant.
Create Your Customer Avatar

This is the second important component of Class 2 – Create Your Customer Avatar through a Survey. Disclaimer: It is a work in progress Survey and not the perfect customer avatar as depicted in the picture 🙂

I would like to share with you further learning from my “Customer Avatar Survey for my Niche: “Personal Branding – for Individuals or for Business”.

Personal Branding for Self or Business
  • Objective:  To tentatively determine the “Customer Avatar” for the Niche “Personal Branding”
  • Methodology:
  • Publish Survey through:
    • My Facebook Reach
      • My Linked In Contacts
      • My Twitter Account (very less activity so no expectations)
      • Email List
      • Discussion and feedback from a few friends who are established and successful marketers in their own fields.
  • Summation of Result and Conclusion:
    • Zero Response from Social Media/ Linked In, Twitter – possible because the survey was published on New Year Eve and has been exposed for less than 24 hours.
    • 13 % Response from Email Lists (77 mails sent – 10 responses, few duplicate mails).  Goes to show what Deepak has been harping on – emails most effective as it is one to one communication.
    • Expect more responses which I will use to further build my Customer Avatar. But cannot include in this report as submission time is nearing.   
    • Customer Avatar 1st Edition Picture – needs more work and subsequent detailed surveys:
  • Name Shared: 100 %
  • Email id Shared: 100 %
  • Gender: Female (30 %)/ Male (70 %)
  • Age Range: 18-24 (10 %)/ 35-44 (10 %)/ 45-54 (80 %)
  • City: Madurai (10%)/ Bangalore (10%)/ US (10 %)/ Dubai (10%)/ Chennai (60 %)
  • Occupation: Freelancer (10%)/ Working Professional (40%)/ Own Business (50%)
  • Is Branding Required: No (10%)/ Yes (90%)
  • Where is Branding Required: You Tube (0%)/ Others (10 %)/ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – (20% Each)/ Blog (40%)/ Website (80%)/ LinkedIn (100%)
  • Hobbies, Interests: Movies/ Books/ Motor Sports/ Music Travelling/ Singing
  • Comments: Few comments but Interesting

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate Deepak’s insistence on “Know your Customer – Customer Avatar” is extremely important and two way communications is required to tango! I am happy that the survey has justified my choice of “Niche” as very important and needed and as the responses have not yet come in fully would require more time and maybe a few more detailed follow up surveys. Results so far indicate that I would need to break up the audience into different segments and tailor the communication and products accordingly.

Visualization link:

Thank you for staying through till the end, and hope that it was interesting reading about Customer Avatars, need for such avatars to make a mark with your endeavors, importance of good and focused communication to marketing and the need to stay relevant with constant new learning.  

Wish you and your near and dear ones a very Happy, Wonderful, Joyous and Prosperous New Year!!!

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