Marketing Strategy · Funnel optimization

Customer Avatars for high conversions doesn't seem clear with start-ups. Do you notice this?

Diane Bernard Chief Digital Marketing & Growth Officer For Hire, CEO, Virtual CMO for Technology, Healthcare, Pharmaceutical, Consumer

April 3rd, 2016

I've had a number of meetings this week with start-ups where they are not getting the level of sales from their marketing funnel. 
Almost in all cases, the customer avatar is not clear and so the who marketing plan has to be rewritten.  Has anyone noticed that trend?

We are going back and doing the work to get everything back in alignment, but wondered if anyone else noticed this?

Diane 

Chuck Bartok Social Media Consultant, Publisher, and Contrarian Curmudgeon

April 3rd, 2016

This has been a problem in business before the words "Avatar" etc.
NOT knowing your customer and customer base, inside out, is the result of Talking ME too much and not ASKING and LISTENING.
A switch from a Character Ethic based business mindset to a Personality Ethic based has been intruding for a couple of generations

Marcus Robb Conversions Master at Business Connector

April 3rd, 2016

Diane,
I've found that most businesses I talk to haven't taken the time to do proper customer research - I think there's a gap (that is shrinking) from the days when customer research was expensive - So it was only a "must have" for thebig end of town.   
But as CPC get's higher it's crucial that your message and your medium is matching your Audience. 


Als, now that content marketing is so key to building trust and authority in an audience and carrying them through a longtail sales funnel  - avatar excersises are more a must than ever before. 
I insist that We do market research and an Avatar exercise before we take on a new client - if we get push back - I explain that it's for us to get t oknow their customer closely and will allow us to do the best job we can - Funnily enough, those companies that have said to me "We know who our customers are." are always surprised about at least 2 key realisations we get from the Avatar exercise that can make a crucial difference in getting in touch with the needs and wants of their customer.

This not so much of an indication that they didn't do a good job before, but that for many companies, the needs and the wants change or at the very least the positioning of those needs and wants  need to be updated to reflect a more marketing savvy audience.

Stephen Flood Chief Executive Officer, Goldcore Limited

April 4th, 2016

Welcome to the age of information overload! It is very difficult to become and maintain relevancy in our crowded world of information overload. Google has monopolised search and sadly choice. Alas consumers are in a mist of endless options with very little real information to allow them / equip them to make real informed decisions. I find that inbound marketing is worthy of review. Orientate towards narrow-casting your content along side specific target client needs - questions that need an answer and where your solution has clear strengths, corroborated by your client community. They will then find you.

Kim Albee Marketing Automation & Content Marketing Strategist

April 4th, 2016

I agree with Chuck & Marcus. We see this all the time. Startups, with slim staff, a. Think they know their customer so don't do any persona research at all, or b. Just don't want to do it or don't know how.  

Mostly they want the results but don't want to invest in the tying clarity on the buyer persona. And then they suffer with content that doesn't hit the mark. 

All too common. 



Ken Anderson Director, Entrepreneurial and Small Business Development, Delaware Economic Development Office

April 4th, 2016

I thinkl this is less about the "Avatar" than it is about a hard core validation of who the customer really is. If you have truly done an effective marketing segmentation evaluation, and most start ups have not, and you are getting forecasted leads in the funnel, then the issue really is about an effective, efficient method for closing. If you are not getting a reasonable number of leads in the funnel, then it's not about closing sales, it's about your targeted market and it suggests that yout market has not been as discreetly segmented as it needs to be. Are you truly targeting the customer that is most likely to do business with you? Therein lies the real issue.

Diane Bernard Chief Digital Marketing & Growth Officer For Hire, CEO, Virtual CMO for Technology, Healthcare, Pharmaceutical, Consumer

April 4th, 2016

Hey all...  I thought I would make sure I clarified the word "avatar" today's customer profile + day and a life+ pain needs, preferences + likes + sales style+ milestones + etc is a richer deeper explanation of a customer's needs and includes things that makes the way we speak more in customers voice, culture, and builds a deeper relationship.   The kind that crosses over into a professional-personal relationship that almost drives higher conversion.   So, definitely should include customers needs, segments and all of those things. Its a more comprehensive profile and YES needs to be validate by actually talking to customer to get this directly from them and not be a creation of our own. 

Thanks for all the great input.  Honestly, Its been amazing to see how many companies have built products without any understanding of the true customers or even having talked to them. So, for them a bit of restart in marketing... 

Best,

Diane 

Chuck Bartok Social Media Consultant, Publisher, and Contrarian Curmudgeon

April 4th, 2016

Thanks for your comments above Diane.
My joke with my staff for years is that "I knew just about everything" regarding my Prospects, which convert to satisfied customer at about a 80% conversion over the past decades, including their "Bra size"
My wife laughs about how deeply I get involved with all customers.

Kim Albee Marketing Automation & Content Marketing Strategist

April 4th, 2016

Adele Revella, president and founder of Buyer Persona Institute, has a great methodology for interviewing your customers -- we did a webinar with her last year that is very very relevant to this conversation... you can check it out here: http://contentzap.com/beware-of-the-buyer-persona/