A customer avatar is a profile, or description of your target audience and ideal customer. It is nothing more than a listing of typical characteristics and behaviors for the narrow group you want to target with your sales communication. It is a portrait that gives you a much deeper insight into the mind of your future consumers. And since you already know well how your customer thinks, it is much easier for you to speak to them in their language. Why do we need an Avatar? You'll learn the direction of quality marketing and sales efforts; You will save money on advertising, for example, because you will know who to target; You will know what strategy to adopt to be successful and you will not waste time, money and energy on the wrong contacts; You will learn how to communicate better with your customer; You will see your customer's world more clearly and find it easier to respond to and meet their needs; And most importantly: You'll sift out the clients you don't want to work with.

Customer avatar in affiliate marketing

Determining the audience for information is the starting point for effective communication. This applies to a narrow group of buyers as well as a broad, internally diverse customer segment. The solution is to create a customer avatar, and we’ll cover this topic in this article.

Customer avatar as a starting point for affiliate marketing

If research is to be believed, the modern consumer is bombarded daily with nearly 2000 messages, including advertising messages. A similar amount of information was absorbed by a man in the Middle Ages – in his whole life. It seems unbelievable.

It is worth realizing that the pace of modern consumer’s life and information noise that surrounds him/her require an effective marketer or seller to get to know the representative of his/her target group thoroughly. Why? To reach the right consumer with information about their product at the right time, in the right place.
Otherwise, even the most flashy information will disappear in the crowd of other, more or less competitive information.

Thorough knowledge of target group (segment or segments of consumers) is an essential starting point for all promotional and advertising activities. Also on the Internet. So start with the basics – characterize your potential and current customers.

Most marketers define the target group based on:

  • socio-demographic aspects (e.g. age, gender, education, income, occupation),
  • Geographical aspects (e.g. place of residence, place of work, place of shopping – region, province, metropolis, agglomeration, city, village),
  • psychographic aspects (for individuals – e.g. lifestyle, personality, loyalty, attitude towards ecology, beliefs; for legal persons – family business, corporation
  • Other aspects, often specific to a particular group (e.g., Internet users – time, place, and frequency of Internet use).

This data set allows you to effectively define your target audience and is the first step in segmenting and building a customer avatar.

Segmentation

Segmentation is the process of dividing consumers into relatively similar or homogeneous groups. Distinguishing homogeneous groups of recipients allows you to conduct effective online and offline communication, emphasize key benefits and values or eliminate possible barriers in the communication process.

A common phenomenon on the Internet is the creation of online segments, i.e. behavioral profiles to which Internet users visiting portals, vortals and other websites are assigned. Demographic, social and geographic data of Internet users, obtained through surveys (declarations of network users) and compared with the activity of Internet users on the Web site (categories of information, reactions to advertising messages, e.g. clicking on advertising banners, navigation), create a full picture of the user

The best affiliate marketers offer the possibility to advertise to one of several dozen or even several dozen profiles, ensuring several times higher effectiveness in reaching the consumer with the message.

An interesting phenomenon is the currently observed process of self-segmentation of Internet users, who by joining various thematic groups on social networking sites or a closed group of users of a given forum, in a way declare their affiliation, orientation or views – they inscribe themselves within a group of users with similar beliefs, interests and needs.

Creating a customer avatar online

One of the proven models for defining your target audience is the STP strategy. It is based on three key elements: segmentation, targeting and positioning.

Segmentation has already been briefly discussed. It mainly focuses on demographics, geography and psychographics.

Targeting involves defining the target market, that is, selecting at least one segment of users that the company wants to target with the message. Think deeply and objectively determine the segments you are interested in – both in terms of the feasibility of reaching them and in terms of the target group’s interest in your offer.

The consequence of segmentation, building a customer avatar and targeting, which result in respectively homogeneous groups of buyers and the decision to direct marketing communications to selected segments,
is positioning. The essence of this activity is to determine how a given segment should perceive the product addressed to it.

Example :

Duo Life is a closed store – to join the group of shoppers, you need to register, and this can only be done through an invitation issued by an already registered user. It may be such a link:  https://hdbpolska.myduolife.com/register/initial.html

This approach is to create an impression of uniqueness of the buyer, who – once he gets to the store – can find an offer of supplements and cosmetic products at attractive prices.

There are many positioning options, but three are key:

  • averaging – positioning the offer relative to strong/weak competitors, which can result in a more attractive price with good product quality (’I am neither a price leader nor a prestigious online store for the chosen ones’),
  • differentiation – positioning the offer through uniqueness, i.e. original design, unique functionalities, exclusive details as bonuses and gratuities for buyers,
  • me-too – positioning the offer by adapting it to different groups of buyers, e.g. a light (basic) version of a product.

Five key mistakes for building a customer avatar

1 – Target audience is too broad.
Even if potentially everyone could be a recipient of your products, focus on the local market first or choose a smaller number of segments to utilize the potential and budget of your company.

  1. Target one message to all audiences. Customer segmentation allows you to differentiate your advertising message – emphasize what is important to a given group of users, address specific concerns.

3. Wrong allocation of users to segments.
Getting to know users takes time and sometimes also money. An in-depth analysis of the information (from page-visit statistics, through navigation paths and surveys, to sales and financial data) allows you to take the first step towards defining a reliable target group and segmenting it.
A relatively convenient and fast, although costly, solution is to outsource this task to a specialized research company.

4. Defining a large number of small segments.
The key to success is not the number of segments, but their homogeneity. Creating too many groups of recipients forces more precise allocation of consumers. This can result in a large number of segments with a small consumer population. It is worth noting that auction portals like ebay, amazon define several hundred user segments with multi-million users of the service, and at the same time focus their activities on the most profitable seller segments.

  1. Falsification and subjective approach.
    The big challenge is to maintain an objective approach to the subject (a bird’s eye view of the business), and therefore refrain from coloring groups of buyers or creating segments and pretending to reach them with an offer.

Summary

Segmentation, or „grouping” customers into possibly homogeneous clusters (segments), is the starting point of any communication strategy, including the Internet.

A target group is at least one customer segment that a company is trying to reach.

When creating segments and describing target groups, socio-demographic, geographic, psychographic, or group-specific aspects should be taken into account.
The development of the Internet, especially social media, stimulates the process of self-segmentation – an Internet user, through membership, observing or „liking” a profile or service, defines and inscribes himself in a certain segment of customers.

Product positioning allows you to determine the optimal terms of the offer, including prestige and price.

Persona is a proven way to create a representative of the segment and target group. It allows you to get to know the target group, including their motivation, and to effectively manage communication. Restraint in creating personas is important – too many of them can lead to dilution of target image and disperse communication activities.

How to build a customer avatar you will learn in the next article : How do you create a profile of your ideal customer ?

Wondering what the definition of this term is and what the process of creating a customer profile looks like? The people who are your customers are constantly evolving and changing. You, with your business, certainly have an idea of who the best customer for you is and who you want to target with your products and services. Buyer Persona is a profile of your ideal customer - it contains all the information about who they are, what they do, what motivates them, what they fear or need.

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