Imagine you prepare a dinner for your guests without knowing their food preferences. You could end up serving a sugary dessert to a diabetic one, or worse, you might offer egg to vegans. Terrible, isn’t it! Similarly, marketing without knowing to whom you should market is just like shooting in the dark. Consequently, it leads to enormous time, money, and resources spent reaching out to disinterested & low-value audiences. The same efforts could have been channeled towards the potential audience to generate high-quality leads. As stated in a HubSpot report, generating qualified leads is the biggest challenge for marketers.
How to conquer this challenge? Simply by determining your ideal customer profile (ICP). Before we dive deep, let’s understand the exact meaning of a perfect customer profile.
What is an Ideal Customer Profile?
An ideal customer profile refers to the comprehensive description of what type of customer will benefit from your product/service while providing high value in return. In other words, a speculative company will need your offering if you reach out to them at the right time. Ideal customers give significant value in return, beyond the monetary gain. They most likely become the brand advocates and promoters of your business. Apparently, through feedback, testimonials, referrals, they tend to become more involved in your company’s overall growth. Aside from the obvious explanation, ICP’s creation is crucial to attaining a rock-solid, iron-clad approach for pipeline development. Creating an ideal customer profile is often tossed aside, but it should be at the centre of your marketing plan. So, let us look at some of the precise reasons to create a customer profile.
Why Do You Need to Create an Ideal Customer Profile?
1. Account-Based Marketing
The ideal customer profile is integral of account-based marketing (ABM). ICP unfolds the characteristics of your perfect fit target accounts such as revenue, geography, revenue, etc., which ABM optimizes for highly targeted personalized campaigns.
2. Improve Lead Qualification
ICP can be used as a benchmark to qualify leads. If the lead characteristics aren’t like your ideal customers, you can take them out of the funnel. This way, you can focus more on leads, which hold the potential to be your perfect customer.
3. Ad Targeting
The insights of your ICP can help you target ads to the right people at the right time. You can create custom affinity audiences and placement-based audiences as per their area of interest.
4. Convey Right Message
By knowing your perfect customer’s pain points, needs, and interests, you can craft a tailored message and communicate it through the marketing collateral. An ideal customer profile gives you the direction and angle required to produce relevant content.
5. Define Pricing
Find the pricing format your ideal customer profile would be comfortable with. ICP might like long-term pricing where they would have a contract for long-run service usage, or they might be the small businesses preferring to pay monthly as per the ROI they are receiving. In a nutshell, ICP tells you how big your customers’ pockets are so that you can define pricing accordingly.
So, now that we have learned the critical reasons for having an ideal customer profile, let’s move ahead and address the elephant in the room that is how to create a perfect customer profile.
How to Create an Ideal Customer Profile?
You can create an ideal customer profile out of nothing or build it based on user data. Creating a data-centric customer profile might sound easy for well-rooted firms, unlike startups small and medium-sized businesses, who might need to start from scratch. The modern skillful B2B marketers probably rely on predictive analytics over secondary data. If you are a data-driven marketer, let us walk you through the steps of creating an ideal customer profile.
Identify the Best Accounts (Potential Customers)
When it comes to picking up the best accounts, make sure your customer data is accurate, relevant, reliant, and integrated to process it further for ideal customer profile creation. If that is not the case, take up the CRM data cleansing and enrichment solution for zeroing the errors and leverage the data standards. Once the data is ready, consider the below points to filter out some of the best customers from your data universe.
- Good potential for growth
- Maximum years of business connection with your company
- High annual contract value
- Most profitable
Once you have determined the parameters, combine the data, and look for patterns and commonalities in the customers.
Demographics, Firmographics, and Technographics
Some of the in-depth data points that must be part of your ICP process are your customers’ demographics, firmographics, and technographics. Demographics comprise the geographical location your prospective customers would most probably belong to. Whereas firmographics talks about what the target account is all about, who the decision-makers are in buying the products, their designations, industry type, preferred product category, etc. On the other hand, technographics requires you to find the technologies prospective customers use or have used earlier to compare them with your products. Digging out such crucial data points requires data expertise and laborious efforts. Hence, you can look for a data partner who can provide as meticulous and comprehensive bespoke B2B database as you want to.
Talk to Your Customers
Having an open conversation with your customers can unveil profound insights that you can’t find anywhere else. Take that chance to ask precise details of their perspective towards your product/service. Keep it short and to the point with open-ended questions. Don’t miss out on asking for their feedback to improve the offerings.
Build Behavioral Profile
By now, you must have collected all the major and minor details about your existing and prospective customers; it is time to merge all that information to create one cohesive picture. The behavioral profile gives you an outline of your ideal customer to plan the marketing strategies around it.
If you are thinking about how much time it takes to create an ideal customer profile, then it is a branding exercise. It can either take 6 weeks or 6 months, depending on how elaborative or lean you want to create ICP for the desired purpose. The objective is to understand the profile in and out to sharper the customer targeting for an effective marketing strategy. If you are keen to get started with ideal customer profile creation, then we are here to help you with our B2B customer data and account profiling solution. It will help you get a firm hold on what your ideal customer looks like to kick-start the insights-driven 360° marketing programs.