Knowing exactly who your ideal customers are might seem like a given. Some marketers don’t give it much thought, though – some adopt a “whoever buys our product is the right customer” mentality.
That attitude doesn’t help you target people who are most likely to purchase, though. Effective marketing requires a strong picture of your target audience.
Building an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is one of the best ways to do that. We’ll show you how to do it, and what to do once you have one.
Ideal Customer Profiles for B2B: How to Create and Leverage Them
So what is an ICP?
It’s a definitive description of a customer that would benefit from your offering and bring you value as well.
In a B2B context, think of it as a hypothetical company that would get the most value from your product or service.
In other words, it’s a profile of the type of customer who will be most likely to make a purchase and get value from it.
That last point is an important distinction. The best kind of customers are the ones who have a great experience, get all the value they wanted from their purchase, and keep coming back.
In exchange, of course, they pay you. You can get value in other ways, though. The ideal customer is one that provides you with testimonials, refers other potential clients to you, and generally becomes a brand advocate.
The Difference Between Buyer Personas and ICPs
So far, this all sounds like buyer personas, doesn’t it? They aren’t quite the same thing, though.
Buyer personas (also called user personas) represent the end user of your product. They’re useful for developing detailed messaging and marketing campaign ideas, and understanding your users’ needs on a personal level.
An ideal customer profile, on the other hand, is higher level. It’s a representation of the companies that you want to target – the companies those buyer personas work for.
How to Create an ICP
The easiest way to create an ICP is to analyze your existing customer base. Your goal is to identify those that aren’t just using your product, but are using it more extensively and effectively than the average user.
These are the companies that are getting the most value out of it, and they’re the sort of customers you want.
Make a list of five to ten of these “super users”. You’ll want to make sure you have certain data points about these companies:
- Geographical location
- Size (number of employees) and annual revenue
After that, it’s time to reach out to that list and gather some more data.
Interview Your Super Users
Those customers on your list are likely also the happiest with your product, and most likely to be willing to chat with you about their experience.
You’re looking to learn more about their decision-making process for purchasing your product, and about how they use it.
Reach out to each of them and ask to set up a quick call. Here are some questions to ask:
- How much research did they do before they purchased your product?
- Was it referred to them by someone else?
- If not, how did they hear about it?
- What process do they follow for making a purchasing decision? Who makes the call?
- Why did they choose your product?
- What pain points do they have and how does your product help?
Analyze Your Data
Once you have all that information, it’s time to look for patterns. Try to identify the most common answer for each of the following attributes:
- Company industry
- Size (number of employees)
- Decision-making process (primary decision-makers)
- Pain points
- Short term and long term goals
- Other common patterns
That’s your ICP!
Using Your Ideal Customer Profile
At this point, you have a clear idea of what your best customers look like. Now you want to find more just like them.
As prospects enter your pipeline, compare them to your ICP. How similar are they? If there’s a lot of overlap, chances are they’re a strong potential customer.
But what about finding new prospects that match your ICP?
That’s where Clickback WEB comes in. It identifies companies visiting your web pages – even if they don’t convert – and gives you detailed information about them, such as their industry, location, size and revenue.
It also gives you accurate contact data for leads at those companies, including key decision-makers.
You can use your ICP and Clickback WEB’s built-in lead scoring system to quickly identify potential high-value customers from your existing website traffic – all without having to spend a lot of time prospecting.
Get the most out of your ideal customer profile – get your free 14-day trial of Clickback WEB today.