March 8, 2017

Why avatar exercises aren’t stupid

I’ve been working on my ‘customer avatar’ over the last few days. An avatar exercise involves dreaming up an ideal customer, and writing a day from their diary. Getting under their skin. Speculating in your head about their hopes and fears.

If that sounds like an exercise in creative masturbation, hear me out.

The reason the avatar process works is because you can never truly make someone up. Whoever you make up is always a mixture of yourself and other people you know. We can only imagine what we’re familiar with.

The police sometimes use this insight in murder trials. If a suspect is making someone up, they’ll often describe a person with close similarities to somebody else in the case.

My avatar is called David. One of David’s key characteristics is he knows an unspoken truth about something I care about. This insight is based on a common thread in recent projects, for example:

  • The truth about money
  • The truth that Infusionsoft is too stinkingly complicated for regular humans
  • The truth that Western medicine only reliable works in extreme circumstances
  • The truth that office life isn’t a natural, healthy environment
  • The truth that running frequent marathons is an uncompassionate way to treat your body

The best truths to write about run counter to conventional wisdom: some under-heard opinion on the fringes that Western media isn’t interested in talking about. Something like that gives me a real bone to work with.

The truth behind my own work is I believe marketing is about relationships, not information. I can illustrate that truth with different examples and stories, but the fundamental message – the core truth – never changes.

How about you? Do you have an unspoken ‘truth’ about something? If you do, you should consider doing an Uncover Your Story call with me.

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.