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How To Build A Customer Profile In 2024

In this article we will take you through our process of creating a customer profile or customer avatar (you'll find that a bit further down the page).

You’ll learn exactly why creating these profiles should be a key part of your overall marketing strategy, and how to do it successfully, with a quick case study at the end of this article.
 

Customer avatars, pen portraits, ideal customers. 

Audience building is a key part of digital marketing and building a successful business.

Whether you work in marketing, or you run a business, you should always be seeking to learn as much as possible about your target audience.

Understanding who your customers are, what makes them tick, and what their pain points are can be challenging. If you can't picture them as individuals with real needs and problems then you aren't going to know how to reach them.

It can become quite abstract and you might end up shifting the goal-posts for your team, making it really hard for them to truly understand who they are tailoring their marketing to.

Why create a customer avatar?

There are a number of reasons why you should create a customer avatar:

  1. Put a name and a face to faceless data

    In digital marketing we are very used to looking at data. It is easy to disassociate from the individual which can lead to things feeling less personalised. In 2024 user experience needs to feel more personal than ever and giving your data a name and a face really helps you to remember you’re dealing with real individuals.

  2. Get to grips with your audiences pain points

    What keeps your best customers awake at night? What are the problems your target audience faces? Listing these pain points can be critical to forming new products and services. It is also a great way to tailor your message and build emotional hooks, making your audience feel listened to by offering up solutions to their pain points.

  3. Identify competitors, potential partners and PR opportunities

    By looking at the brands your ideal customer enjoys or is associated with you can build a picture of who you are competing for bandwidth against. You can also use this to define the brands you might want to work with. By identifying what your ideal customer reads, the websites they might browse or the influencers they follow, you can build a more informed PR strategy.

  4. Better ad results

    For the control freaks out there, customer avatars have always been a great way to build better quality audiences. Not only that but your ad creative is better if you understand how to talk to potential customers.

    However, as we move into more machine learning and both Google and Meta removing more of the manual targeting options from their advertising platforms, this area will become less important. Sad times!

  5. Better quality content

    Your content plan will become much more strategic. With a customer avatar you are able to put yourself in your customers shoes. You can think about their journey from how/why they would find out about your brand to how they become a customer.

  6. Know exactly where to find your customers

    By including a section about where your ideal customer likes to hang out, you can stop wasting money and resources on channels that aren’t going to get you results. 
     

a slide showing detailed information about steve an installer who is reluctant to change

 

How to create a customer avatar

Here are our tips for creating a successful profile:

  1. Create a template

    You can include as much detail as you want but we like to try and fit everything onto 2 pages and include lots of visuals. Consider using the following:

    Picture
    Background 
    Identifiers
    Demographics
    Interests
    Goals
    Challenges/pain points
    Brands
    Where they spend time

    The great thing about creating a template is you can reuse it.

  2. Market research

    Use the data you have available, Google search trends, Analytics, social media follower demographics - Whatever you can get your hands on. Create a survey or actually ask people in real life the questions you want them to answer. 

  3. Use Ai tools 

    Ai tools keep getting better and better. Ask Chat GPT or Bard to provide you with questions to answer in order to build your customer profile. This method allows you to feed the Ai with information relevant to your business and you will be able to create a more accurate avatar.

  4. Get creative

    Add a bit of colour to your avatar. Imagine the story behind the person, give them a background. Get your avatar designed, use logos and turn them into something your team can easily understand and work with. 
     

  5. Test your avatar - Are they recognisable?

    Does your avatar feel like a real person? Discuss them as a team. We workshop our customer profiles with our clients, ensuring they accurately reflect their customers. 

a slide with the title heatly customer avatars showing small images of different customers

 

How we have used customer avatars for our client, heatly

heatly is a one-stop for the survey, design, installation and commissioning of heat pump systems.

It utilises the latest technologies, such as 2d/3d modelling and AR/VR to create a fully interactive and intuitive system design, providing diagrams and annotated component locations for ease of installation.

Heatly has several different audiences to target. It was important for us to build customer profiles for all of them initially to create talking points in marketing meetings. We discussed the challenges their target audiences faced.

We used the above techniques to build 10 profiles, including different types of installers, manufacturers, business owners, home owners and training centre owners.

By creating these profiles we have been able to tailor communications and plan content that is specially tailored to each audience type.

This has helped everyone working on heatly to align on the same personalities, the challenges they face and how heatly solves their problems. 

We have since narrowed it down to 3 main audience types but the process has been incredibly useful. 
 

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