One of the things I do with clients is to help them really understand their target audience and the potential motivations to want to buy my clients’ services. The next stage is then to communicate to the target audience and press the emotive buttons. This involves developing stories and case studies etc.

In helping my clients quickly gain clarity I go through an exercise I call Customer Archetypes™ and I thought I would share it with you here as I am sure it will help you better understand your target audience.

The difficulty people have in putting themselves in their customer’s shoes is that they are generalising too much. They are not thinking about specific people. Its when you start to think about specific people that you can start to empathise and understand what their life and problems must be like.

Did you ever watch a movie and start to feel for the main character? Share their joys and their suffering? Well once you bring your target audience to life then you will be able to feel the pain and desires of your target audience. Then you just need to wave your solution in front of their noses with words that push all the right buttons! It does not mean to say they will buy buy it definitely will generate interest.

Here are the steps:

Step 1 – Identify your target audience
Step 2 – Break your audience down into types of people and name each one
Step 3 – For each one describe the person
Step 4 – Articulate their motivations and concerns
Step 5 – Think of specific people who fit each archetype
Step 6 – For each archetype develop stories of how these people have benefited

When you communicate a specific story to the right archetype they should think ‘Thats just like me!’. Thats because you are able to describe not just their problems but also how they are feeling too and any potential concerns they may have in buying a solution.

This is a simplistic overview and the main message is that the more you understand the specific groups of people in your target audience, the easier it is to communicate with in language they will find compelling. The other advantage is that you may decide that you do not want to do business with certain archetypes because there is not such a good fit or they do not make good clients.

Best wishes and hope this helps

Richard