Before you do marketing of any kind you have to pinpoint exactly who you want to target.
I’m going to teach you a unique methodology I developed over the years to drill down on who your ideal target customer (or avatar) is. You always need to have this person and their psychology in mind when you're building a marketing strategy.
Why is Knowing My Avatar Important?
If don't know who you're talking to, you don't know how to spur empathy. If you don't know how to spur empathy, you're not going to make anybody feel anything. If you don't make anybody feel anything, nobody is going to buy anything. So you've got to get clear on who your avatar is.
A few years ago I developed the persona exercise to help you do just that. It’s in my book Producing Empathy and I have talked about it here and there but I wanted to get into it in depth here so you have the one single tool you need before you start any marketing campaign.
The Persona Exercise
With the persona exercise the first thing you need to do is create a grid with four parts.
The first part of the grid is a broad look at who the main demographic is that we're talking to and working with. I love to use Lululemon for an example here because it's sort of easy to do. So generally we have 25 to 45 year old females interested in health and fitness. Also here you can put a general income level, we are using mid-high income or upper middle class.
Next you need to get into your demographic more specifically. This is fun because you get to actually name your avatar and give them a backstory so you know exactly who this person is. The idea is here is that you can close your eyes and say “I know exactly who this person is, I see them across the table.”
So let's go with Samantha. Samantha is 32 years old. You want to get deep into who this person is. Yes, Lululemon is athleisure, yoga stuff but you don't want everything you list specifically to be about athleisure and yoga or health and fitness because there's so much more to Samantha than those things. Samantha has a whole life!
Let’s give her a life; she’s married to Bob and she has one kid, Stevie, who's two years old. She went to college and maybe she went to fashion school. She could have a part-time job where she does fashion related work. She is obviously a very huge yoga enthusiast. She is very fit and very healthy. They’re a relatively wealthy family with a combined income upwards of $180,000 a year. For fun she goes to yoga classes and she may even be studying to be a yoga teacher.
She is definitely a social butterfly, it's really important for her to keep up appearances. She’s opting to buy $100 yoga pants at Lululemon rather than go with a cheaper pair, that’s for a reason. You can get even deeper. You want to make this as fleshed out as possible so that if you close your eyes you can actually see that person.
Now that you know who your avatar (Samantha in this case) is broadly and specifically, you want to list all of the major pain points Samantha has in her life.
These pain points may include the fact that she wants to keep her youthful glow, keep a high social status and find more "me time", as a mother. Try to have 3-5 pain points listed.
Next is wants and needs.
In this column you're going to list what her wants and needs are, a lot of times you're going to draw these directly from the pain points section. For instance, keeping her youthful glow is a pain point; she wants to always look five to seven years younger than she is, she wants/needs a fitness regimen that keeps her toned and looking young. To keep her high social status she wants to look on trend, she wants to be the one that is hosting the social gatherings and to be the leader of her social circle. She wants to find more me time which means simply having a regular way to relax and have fun that energizes her, that could be anything from shopping to doing yoga.
This is the persona exercise.
You must this to pinpoint exactly who you want to target before you do any content creation for organic social media, blogs or any other marketing.
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