Every business in the world loves to see a profitable return on their investment. With sales and marketing, keeping your cost and time investment to a minimum while bringing in new customers is critical for the growth and overall success of a business. That is why the act of honing in on a precise target market for your product or services is such an effective way to streamline your marketing, sales, and outreach efforts. The term used for this hypothetical perfect customer is known as an Ideal Customer Profile, or ICP for short.
An ideal customer profile is exactly as it sounds, it is a set definition unique to each company that defines who would be the exact type of person that would be in need of and utilize your product or services. Spending the time to create one of these ideal profiles is always worth the time and effort, but where do you start when attempting to create one for your business? In this article, we will be taking a deeper look into what makes up the perfect ideal customer profile and go over the steps you should take in order to effectively narrow down your target.
What is an Ideal customer profile?
As stated before, an ideal customer profile is essentially the theoretically perfect type of customer or client that would buy or utilize your services or products. This could be people who have the ideal job title within the ideal type of industry you are trying to sell towards or a customer within the ideal living location, age range, or background. These individuals would ideally be customers or clients that would greatly benefit from your offerings in one way or another and keep utilizing your product or services for an extended or indefinite period of time.
How Do You Identify Your Ideal Customer?
So now that we know what an ideal customer profile is, how do you go about creating it? There are a multitude of different ways to go about it, as it comes down to how well you know your business and customer base so the process will vary wildly from company to company. At its core, it comes down to research. Many people will have a natural inclination to already know who their ideal audience is based upon their judgement, but if it were that easy then this article wouldn’t exist. Performing precise research on a number of different aspects of your business will greatly help you establish a concrete ICP, so let’s explore a few focuses to explore in order to build out your profile.
1) Establish The Situation
If you are creating an ideal customer profile, chances are that you are doing so because there is some type of end goal. When you first begin your efforts, laying out a clear situation where having an ICP would be useful will help keep your focus aligned with your research. As an example, a situation would be needing to increase monthly sales, move more products each month, attempting to identify or break into new markets and so on.
2) Study Your Competitors
Paying attention to where competitors are putting their efforts can shed some light on what your ICP should look like. Within industries, it’s almost universal that there will be a handful, if not a thousand other companies that exist who aim to secure the same clients and customers that you are trying to acquire. Thankfully there is always plenty of room for everyone to focus on where their strengths lay, but paying attention to how other companies market themselves, and where they market themselves can help you get an idea on what you should be doing.
3) Define The Value Of Your Product
Every product you make or service you provide has more than just a monetary value. These can range from something as basic as making a customer or clients life a bit easier to providing a crucial service that is fundamental to the operations of your customer or client. The way in which you provide value might be obvious, but it’s a good idea to study what use cases your product or services has and try to figure out who would benefit or utilize that value.
4) Look In The Past
One of the best places to start when creating an ICP for your business is to simply look more closely at the people who have already bought your product. These customers may not be your ideal customers for a variety of reasons (churn, niche use case, etc), but most likely if people from one specific industry or job role are interested and paying for your product, others who fit similar descriptions would be interested as well.
Creating an ideal customer profile for your company is an extremely important description to create when performing any type of marketing or advertising. Knowing who would be the most likely to utilize your product will allow you to put your focus into the right place so that you do not waste time or money when trying to grow your business. The process takes time, effort, and patients but the end result of this work will greatly assist your company going forward.