Template: How to Define an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) for Account-Based Marketing

Creating An Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Account-based marketing (ABM) programs are wildly successful because they focus on generating revenue from a carefully selected list of target accounts — in other words, exclusively from companies that are a great fit for your solution. Instead of waiting for leads to come to you, your sales and marketing teams will collaborate to turn your target accounts into customers and advocates for your brand.

Getting started with account-based marketing is not as daunting a task as you might think. In fact, it can be broken up into seven straightforward steps.

ICP Template

The seven steps to getting started with account-based marketing are:

  1. Assemble your account-based marketing team.
  2. Define your ABM goals and strategy.
  3. Select your ABM technology.
  4. Identify and prioritize your target accounts.
  5. Select your channels and craft your messaging.
  6. Execute your account-based marketing campaigns and begin sales outreach.
  7. Evaluate and optimize your ABM campaigns.

In this post, we will focus on step four: identify and prioritize your target accounts. After all, you can’t market and sell to accounts if you don’t know who they are.

In order to do this, you must define your company’s ideal customer profile, or ICP.

What is an Ideal Customer Profile?

An ideal customer profile is a description of the company — not the individual buyer or end user — that’s a perfect fit for your solution.

Your ICP should focus on relevant characteristics of your target accounts, such as:

  • Industry/vertical
  • Employee headcount — companywide and within key departments
  • Annual revenue
  • Budget
  • Geography
  • Technology they use
  • Size of their customer base
  • Level of organizational or technological maturity

Ideal Customer Profiles vs. Buyer Personas

B2B marketers often question the difference between an ICP and a buyer persona. Does your ideal customer profile replace your buyer personas? Do you need both?

ICPs and buyer personas are not the same thing, but they are closely linked. While ABM is focused on accounts rather than leads, it’s important to remember that each account is still made up of individuals with diverse roles and priorities. This is where your buyer personas come in. For example, you may decide that the presence of specific stakeholders at an account is a key characteristic of your ideal customer profile.

Ideal Customer Profile Template

Use this three-page worksheet to get to know your company’s ideal customer and define your ICP. For the best results, don’t fill this out on your own! Schedule a time to have your marketing, sales, and customer success teams sit down and go through the worksheet together so everyone is on the same page about your ICP with this ideal client profile template.

Example of an Ideal Customer Profile

An ideal customer profile example for a B2B help desk software company might look something like this:

Our ideal client is a B2B SaaS company in the U.S. or Canada that has a customer service team of at least 10 people and ARR of at least $20 million. Their customer base is made up of small and medium sized businesses that require significant hands-on training and support.

As you can see, this ideal customer profile example doesn’t hit on every single characteristic we discussed above. It’s up to your team to determine which factors are the most important to include in your ICP.

The Complete Guide to B2B Account Targeting

Learn More in the ABM Campaigns Workbook

Now that you know how to define your ideal customer profile, you’re ready to identify and prioritize a list of target accounts. Find out what tools and tactics you can use to accomplish in the ideal customer profile template.

Ideal Customer Profile

Wondering what are the methods of customer profiling? In your work as a marketer, you ask yourself many questions. What is a customer profile? What is customer profiling? And what parameters would you use in an ideal customer profile? The reason it’s difficult to come up with a reliable and actionable customer profile definition is the fact that every product or service may fall into a category, but nuances in your offering will make a certain set of prospects likely to buy from you. The importance of customer profiling is all in finding those future customers. There are many methods of customer profiling, so there’s no excuse for ignoring it. In terms of advantages and disadvantages of customer profiling, the only tick in the negative column is cost: most tools that will allow for you to target prospects by profile-type attributes will come with a cost.

The 3 methods of customer profiling can be categorized as the psychographic approach, the consumer typology approach, and the consumer characteristics approach. A cursory search online reveals a bevy of resources if you’re looking for an importance of customer profiling pdf, indicating that this method of marketing is popular and effective. The importance of profiling, and more acutely the importance of profiling in research should not be underestimated.

Customer Profiling Examples

Based on what you know about your offering and your typical purchaser, you will have no problem coming up with an example of customer profile types that you’re interested in targeting. However, identifying your ideal customer profile requires a deeper understanding of who you have the most long-term success with as your customer base, not necessarily who has purchased the most from you in the past. While you’ll find no shortage of examples of ideal customer profile resources, every example of ideal customer profile piece you read will only be an example. To drill down to who your ideal customers are, you’ll need to start with ideal customer profile examples from your own client base. There, ideal customer profile examples should abound. But in addition to the volume they purchase from you, consider things like long term contract value, renewal rates, account growth and expansion, etc. This process may help you identify trends and patterns in your customers–perhaps companies of a certain size or age, companies with geographical or demographical consistencies. These and myriad other traits could point your marketing profile example in the most ideal direction. When looking at ideal customer profile examples, b2b marketers may find that traditional b2c strategies are less effective, if not ineffective. The ideal customer profile for b2b marketers is somewhat elusive, as it’s constantly changing, even if in nuanced ways.

If you’re really struggling to identify a target customer profile example for your organization, there are consulting services that can help. They can provide a unique outside perspective, helping you to drill down to the target customer profile examples that will help you build sustained success in an ever-changing marketplace. But note that this marketing profile example will change over time–don’t get stuck in a rut of focusing your messaging and targeting on an outdated model. To that end, regularly review ICP examples that the market indicates are buying your product or service. And complete an ICP questionnaire at least quarterly to see how things are trending.

The Crawl, Walk, Run Multi-Channel ABM Playbook

Ideal Customer Profile Examples

One industry may help you understand the use of the client profile; fashion. When a fashion label sets out to create a line of clothing, they often begin by considering the types of customer profiles that they’re designing for. Do they have a certain set of hobbies or interests? Maybe they are from a part of the world where climate dictates the desired weights of fabrics. By designing clothes for someone other than their customer profile example, fashion designers may find that they can’t generate the sales they desire. Your b2b customer profile is just as important as this fashion target market profile example. If you’re looking for an exercise to move you toward a clearer definition of your ICP, sit down and write out some ideal client avatar questions.

If you can figure out how to create a customer profile for fashion, then you already have the tools to build a target market profile example business plan. And we can debate the pros and cons of an ideal customer profile vs buyer persona approach to your marketing plan, but knowing who your ideal customer is requires blending science and art.

If you’re wondering who is your target market in clothing business, Brainly may have some examples to inspire you. Why are customer profiles useful for a business? By now it should be clear.

Some types of profiling, however, have negative connotations and negative outcomes. And we are not suggesting that you engage in customer profiling when it can be harmful to your customers. Customer profiling in customer service situations can damage your business. Avoid this at all costs.

Array influenced $5.6M in revenue with Terminus

Ideal Customer Profile Template B2B

Using a client profile template to help you drill down to your ICP is encouraged, and many resources are available to that end. And a customer persona template will be of use, too. If you are a B2B offering, however, you will want to find a specific B2B customer profile template. As discussed above, B2C and B2B marketing efforts are related but they are not identical. So as you fill out your customer profile template excel sheet, don’t think about your end user, necessarily. Think about the person in charge of making the purchase of your product.

You will find many options in your search for a free customer profile template. And they are available in many formats to meet any need (like customer persona examples). Whether you need a customer profile template word document or a customer profile template Google Docs-friendly resource, your searches will return many matches. After download customer profile template exercises can be conducted. We recommend doing so in a group setting with input from multiple functions inside your organization. In terms of quality, free customer profile template options may be serviceable, But if you find them lacking, make your own or opt for a more reliable, although possibly expensive, option. Check out a free customer profile template powerpoint file if you want to see it in slideshow format. If you’re looking for something that has been trusted by marketing pros, the Hubspot persona template has been a popular resource.

Ideal Customer Profile Worksheet

In your quest to define your ideal customer profiles, you will likely be tasked with completing different types of worksheets and templates that are all designed to ask ideal customer profile questions. Customer profiling examples can be used to help you identify types of personas, and each customer profiling example gets you closer to finding your idea. If you’re having trouble making sense of the customer profiles examples you have, it may be time to call in a tool or an expert to help you make customer profiling and segmentation decisions. Marketing consultants may be able to provide you with a customer profiling and segmentation example that they achieved with a previous client to demonstrate their abilities before any contracts are signed. Even if account specifics can’t be share, a customer profile example business plan will show that the consultant is able to build a high-performing campaign.

If you’re not sure how to analyze ad metric data, you may want to consider taking a step back and maybe looking at some customer profile analysis example data. This, along with customer profile survey examples can also be helpful in building customer profile examples that you’ll consider while narrowing in on your ICP. If only it was as easy as using a search engine to download your ideal customer profile pdf (or your ideal customer profile ppt if you prefer it in that format). Then you’d never have to do any of this work–like going to a multi-day, immersive ideal customer profile workshop, where you spend time with marketing experts to discover your ICP (assuming something like this exists). The point is, you can’t just download some b2b company profile pdf documents and call it a day. You have to know your business, your offerings, your prospects, your buyers and most importantly of all your ideal buyers. That’s a lot! But it is achievable.

A profiling questionnaire example or two might help you get the ball rolling. There’s a long list that meets the criteria of “all of the following might be included in an ideal customer profile except:” and very few datasets are off limits in the effort to clearly define an ICP. If you know how to create a customer profile, you’re on your way to knowing how to create an ideal customer profile.

Ideal Customer Profile Framework

In your quest to define your ideal customer profile, along with help from resources and people like consultants, there are a number of tools at your disposal, including many that are free. You can find tools like an AI persona generator that can analyze your customer data and tell you which profiles truly are ideal. These customer profiling tools might not be free, but they bring a lot of value if your CRM data is mature enough.

A free persona generator will do the same, though usually without as much analysis. Ideal customer profile generators, like the ideal customer profile generator Hubspot produces, are very popular. For many who want to know what is an ideal customer profile, Hubspot has helped them find answers. The HubSpot “Make My Persona” tool is especially helpful for this.

When looking for a persona generator, don’t fall for links that lead to a persona image generator. That’s for something different entirely.

You may even find some playful things like a “who is my ideal client” quiz. And while it’s on the opposite end of the spectrum from services that would help create Zara customer profile data, the profile building questions it asks can be of use. It’s great to know that when it comes to prices for a user persona generator, free is always an option.