Ideal Customer Profile; What Is It, 4 Easy Steps To Make Your Buyer Persona & How Do You Use It?

Do you know who your ideal customer is? If not, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many businesses don’t take the time to create an ideal customer profile, which can lead to a lot of wasted time, money and energy when it comes to growing the business through marketing and sales efforts. Today we’re diving into what an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is, how you make it and what you can do with it.

What is an Ideal Customer Profile?

Creating an ideal customer profile (also known as a buyer persona) is essential if you want to make sure that you’re targeting the right people with your products and services. In this blog, we’ll show you how to create an ideal customer profile step-by-step, so that you can take your business to the next level.

The ideal customer profile, also known as a buyer persona, is a fictionalised representation of your company’s ideal customer. It goes into detail about your customers’ likes, dislikes, personality traits, behaviours, purchasing habits and more.

Creating a buyer persona helps you to focus your marketing and sales efforts. In this blog post, we’ll talk about what a customer profile is and how to write one that is tailored specifically to your business. Creating an ideal customer profile gives you great insight into the wants and needs of any potential future audiences you might want to target. You can then use this information to inform your future marketing and sales strategies.

What questions does your ICP need to answer about your customers? These generally form different types of ICP, some common types of ICP include;

Your ideal customer profile should answer the following questions:

  • Demographic: What are their demographics? (e.g., age, gender, income, education)
  • Psychographics: What are their psychographics? (e.g., interests, values, lifestyle)
  • Geographic: What location/s and countries are they in? (E.g. do you have customers in North America and the EU, which may have different needs?)
  • Behavioural: What are their needs and wants? What motivates them? What are their buying habits?

What are the characteristics of my target audience? Once you know who your ideal customer is, you need to start thinking about the characteristics of your target audience. These can be divided into two categories: – Demographic characteristics: these are the facts and figures about your target audience. This includes factors such as age, gender, income, education, location, etc. Secondly we have Psychographic characteristics: these are the psychological factors that influence your target audience’s decisions. This includes things like interests, values, lifestyle, etc.

What motivates my audience?

When you know what motivates your target audience, you can use this information to create marketing and sales strategies that will appeal to them. Some common motivators include:

– Need for approval

– Fear of missing out

– Desire for status or recognition

– Sense of belonging

– Curiosity

What locations are my target organisations in? Once you know where your target audience is based, you can start to think about the best way to reach them. For example, if they are located in less populous areas, you might need to focus your marketing efforts more exclusively on online channels such as programmatic, social media and email. Whereas, if they are centralised around a smaller number of say bigger city locations, you might want to consider adding more traditional marketing channels such as print and television, especially now that more modern media buying technologies are catching up with traditional media, such as programmatic connected TV buying.

What is the best way to reach my target audience?

Now that you know where your target audience lives, you need to think about the best way to reach them. There are a number of different marketing channels that you can use, and the best way to reach your target audience will depend on a number of factors, including:

– Their location

– Their age

– Their interests

– The type of product or service you’re selling

Some common marketing channels that you might want to consider include:

  • Programmatic advertising to get placements on highly targeted websites associated with your industry and wider specific audience targeting
  • Social – placements on B2B orientated media like LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora, and to a degree, Facebook and Instagram
  • Paid Search (SEM)
  • Email and content marketing in general (blogs/SEO/syndicated content/content partnerships
  • Television, Podcasts & Radio
  • Print (newspapers and trade magazines)

What type of messaging does my ideal customer engage with?

Your ideal customers might engage with a variety of messaging types, depending on their needs, wants and interests. Some common messaging types include:

– Educational

– Inspirational

– Aspirational

– Product focused

– Solution focused

How does my target audience interact with a business like mine?

Your target audience’s interaction with a business like yours will depend on a number of factors, including:

– The type of product or service you offer and its associated sales cycle

– Their needs and wants

– Their buying habits

Some common ways that people interact with businesses like yours may include:

– Researching online; which could be on your owned media or wider research based behaviour in contextually relevant environments

– Speaking to industry peers, potentially now on the ‘dark social’ networks

– Reading reviews (yes this is still relevant to lots of B2B marketers)

– Going to trade shows or conferences

– Speaking to a salesperson

What type of language does my ideal customer use?

Your target audience might use a variety of language depending on their needs, wants and interests. Different industries have differing levels of jargon and slang, understanding yours specifically can help you dial into the audiences expected forms of content. Some common language types include:

– Technical

– Jargon-filled

– Simple

– Emotive

What type of content does my ideal customer engage with?

Your ideal customers might engage with a variety of content types, depending on their needs, wants and interests. Different job roles can lend themselves to different types of content too. A CTO may prefer educational and technical types of content, whereas an analyst may prefer more detailed long form content like eBooks and white papers. Some common content types include:

– Educational blog posts or articles

– How-to guides

– Lists

– Product reviews

– Case studies

– White papers

– eBooks

Now that you know all of this information about your ideal customer, you can start to create content that appeals directly to them. By understanding what they want and need, you can create content that speaks to them directly, making it more likely that they’ll engage with your brand.

Building your ICP; a 4 step process

Step 1: Define why you’re doing consumer profiling

Ask yourself: what outcomes am I looking for from this buyer persona? The answers to this question will determine what factors you focus on when creating your persona. For example, if you’re looking to improve customer acquisition rates, you might want to focus on factors like age, income, and location.

Step 2: Focus on one or two variables at a time

These are two variables you should expect to polarise your sector. For example, in the B2B industry, you might focus on brand vs. feature buyers.

Step 3: Mutual exclusivity

The two variables need to be categorically different. You can’t change CRM solution every year and also be in market every month for example.


Step 4: Dial in the personas and personify them with demographic and psychographic elements

Coupled with your own behavioural and psychographic questions, demographics like age, gender or location can help to build a more rounded view of your persona.

Now you have outlined your Ideal Customer Profile/s, what do you do with them?

Having customer profiles helps you plan your business’s future strategy and product roadmap, driving business direction and unlocking new sources of growth.

Your ideal customer profile can help you:

– Develop targeted marketing plans and strategies

– Optimise your product or service offerings

– Create sales enablement tools and processes

– Improve customer success rates.

Ideal Customer Profiles are also a great tool for new business development, as they provide a framework for you to assess new market opportunities against. By understanding your ideal customer’s needs, you can more easily identify other markets and industries where your product or service would be a good fit.

Finally, ideal customer profiles help you build better relationships with your customers. By understanding their needs, wants and interests, you can develop a closer bond with them, leading to improved customer retention rates.

If you want to learn more about ideal customer profiles and how to create them, get in touch with us today and book your free evaluation session with one of our B2B marketing experts.


Recent Posts

B2B Marketers; The Cookie Demise Is Already Biting, Here Is A Game Plan For 2024

After years of calling wolf, it looks increasingly certain that cookies will be eliminated during 2024. Google Chrome, the last major browser bastion of the cookie based internet will begin deprecation in January, culling 1% of their cookie pools and by June ‘24, they...

25 Most Powerful Account Based Marketing Insights From The FunnelFuel Analytics

In todays post, we're looking at insights and more specifically insights with an ABM lens applied over the top. In all my years around agencies, adtech, brands and clients directly, and the various teams that service all stakeholders, everyone has always been...

2023 Best Guide To ABM: Your Account Based Marketing Cheat-Sheet

Here at FunnelFuel, ABM remains one of the most requested marketing tactics, and tracking named accounts is one of the biggest use cases of our platform Journey. We have amassed a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) which we get asked by clients of all...

What is ABX? Uncovering The Power of An Account Based Experience B2B Marketing

Today we’re diving into ABX, or the concept of an ‘Account Based Experience’, and how it has evolved out of the widely talked about Account Based Marketing (ABM) movement. Account Based Marketing (ABM) has been a staple in B2B marketing for years, enabling companies...

Unlocking Programmatic Performance with Supply Path Optimisation (SPO) for B2B Marketers

Today we're diving into the topic of Supply Path Optimisation (SPO) and how it pertains to a B2B marketer. We're looking at the concept of SPO, why its especially relevant to B2B and what we have done here at FunnelFuel to optimise the supply chain which we connect...

Dissecting & Optimising The Best-In-Class TOFU B2B Media Mix (April 2023 stats)

What are B2B marketers doing to drive their Top of Funnel (TOFU) marketing mix in 2023? According to the latest research from Insider intelligence, it's squarely into the world of social media. As you can see on the below graphic, according to B2B marketers in the...

B2B Positioning: How To De-position Your Competitors Using This Competitive Intelligence Framework & Gain Mindshare

Today, we're looking at B2B positioning and more specifically at how you can use advanced competitive intelligence gathering exercises to de-position your competitors and win their business. This journey begins with world class competitor research, with the intention...

Implementing World-Class B2B Content Marketing To Move Your Marketing Needle

Welcome to our blog post on B2B content marketing! If you're in the world of business to business marketing, you're likely familiar with the term content marketing. But what exactly does it mean when it comes to B2B marketing? I’ll preface that the majority of what...

Dark Social Falsely Attributes B2B Web Traffic as “Direct”: Unmasking Dark Social For B2B Marketers

We have spoken previously about the impact of 'dark social' for B2B marketers and I was interested to see the topic hit the headlines again this week with research carried out my Rand Fishkin and SparkToro. I've followed Rand since his days founding SEOMoz, which...

As the Legality of Google Analytics Gets Called Into Question Again; Here’s How To Not Process Any PII With FunnelFuel

Disclaimer: this blog post has been written by digital analysts, not lawyers. The purpose of this article is to explain how to not process any personal data with FunnelFuel in order to avoid going through the GDPR compliance process with FunnelFuel analytics. This...

Book A Demo