7 Steps To Discovering The People Who Need Your Technology

health tech customer avatar

Wondering why your content isn't working? You publish two blog posts a week, for crying out loud, but it's doing nothing for your customer acquisition.

Your content isn't working because you're doing it wrong. What I find most often is that health tech companies start from the wrong place - they start by writing about their technology when what they really need to do is start with their avatar - the one person in the world who needs that technology, whose life literally depends on them finding it.

To make sure you find them - because you owe it to them to get your message in front of them - I've outlined the 7 steps to discovering your customer avatar.

1. Write down the person who inspired you to create your technology

Most health tech founders I work with actually have a real live person who needed their technology. In some cases, that person passed away before the tech was created, and that tragedy drives the founders to develop their lifesaving product to stop further tragedies. Take a look back at your life. Was there someone who inspired your tech?

2. Write down who you've already helped

Who have you already helped? If you have a minimum viable product that you've beta tested, think of the people whose lives you've already changed for the better. How did your technology help them? what did it do to simplify their day or improve their lives? Your current customers may or may not be your ideal customer, but chances are there’s at least one customer in your current list that is really close to your ideal customer. 

3. Write down common problems you hear from them

This is where you think back over every conversation you’ve had with the people in #2 and #3, every email thread, every tweet, every Instagram post, every phone call. Anytime they complained about a problem they faced, an issue they had - anything - list it here. It may or may not be related to your product or service, but we’ll figure that out later. Sometimes seemingly unrelated problems are actually problems you can solve!

4. Write down what they love about you/need from you/what you do for them

What makes you so valuable to your customers? What do you give them that your competitors don’t? Think long and hard about this one because while some of the benefits you provide will be very obvious, other benefits are beneath the surface. The way I like to think about it is, “what’s the snapshot of their day with my product or service in it?” or “how do I make their day better?”

For instance, one of my clients sells a wearable for heart patients. While the product they sell is an incredible piece of technology, they aren't selling the algorithms or the sensors or the design. What they're selling is freedom. Freedom for people with heart conditions to live their lives and not worry about their disease affecting their lives because my client has their back (...or actually their heart).

So what do you actually do for your customers? What are you really giving them?

5. Go through and figure out any patterns

Go through the lists you’ve made and find the overlap in people who inspired your technology and people who really need you as well as the problems you solve and benefits you provide. You may begin to discover patterns you didn't see before. Maybe there's a demographic you over looked that could really use your tech or maybe there's a totally different outcome you provide than you thought.

Also be prepared for the fact that some or many of your current customers aren’t really your ideal customers. That is TOTALLY fine. That doesn’t mean you stop selling to them, it just means your content needs to redirect to speak to the people who absolutely need you. Keep providing tremendous value through your product or service to every single customer you have, whether they’re your ideal customer or not.

6. Write down general categories

One way to help make your list is to create categories of customers. Make a quick chart in a journal or spreadsheet. Some customer categories to consider could be "young moms, baby boomer males, college students, or people with X condition.” The categories will depend on your organization but they’ll help you figure out broad demographic information for your ideal customers down the road.

7. Turn it into a sentence or short paragraph

Once you know who your ideal customer is and how you make their day better, write a short sentence or paragraph (150 words or less) about this person or group of people. For instance, back to the heart wearable example. They could sum up their ideal customer this way:

“We provide heart patients with the freedom they need to live the lives they love."

From here, we'll build the customer avatar for your lifesaving tech.

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Whitney is a consultant, speaker, and writer on a mission to help life-saving, life-changing technology break through the noise and achieve mass user adoption. Learn more about her here