I daresay you don’t need me to tell you how important it is to know and understand who ideal customer profile (and therefore your content audience) actually is.
Indeed, I’d be pretty worried if you hadn’t given it some thought long before you clicked this post.
But for the uninitiated, if you’re putting together a sales and marketing strategy (the two should go hand in hand), identifying your ICP should very much ‘point one’ on the agenda.
An ideal customer is someone who:
Needs your products, will make a decision as quickly as possible, can afford the price of your service, has the staff to use it and will get the maximum value out of your product or service and, therefore, give you the most value in return.
Knowing who they are, what they care about and where their pain points are can direct help direct your sales and comms towards the quickest, easiest conversion.
Basically: get it right and everyone’s happy.
Get it wrong/not bothering and you are opening yourself up to the exciting world of scattergun sales strategy, dart on a map marketing and generally wasting your time. Which isn’t fun
Here’s how we identified the inflo.Ai ICP.
Step one: describe your ideal customer
The best way to develop an accurate ICP is to look at your current customers. Which of them are coming back again and again? Are any of them?
The larger your existing customer base, the easier it is to do this, but if you can identify five or ten ‘Super users’ (not my term, but go with me here), then you can start looking for patterns and characteristics that link them together.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Choose four or five relevant metrics to segment your Super users (dependent on what data you have on them). For example, for a B2B product you could use:
- Company size (annual revenue, number of staff, number of branches)
- Annual budget
If you are missing some of your chosen data sets from any of your Super users, add them to the questions you will ask of them in Step two.
Step two: talk to your Super users
Next up comes the scary part. Contact your Super users and see if you can organise a quick 15-20 minute phone call to chat through what they like about what you do and why they keep coming back.
But most importantly of all, learn about them. Flesh out your relevant metrics to paint a picture of who they are, their buying process. Why did they buy? Why do they continue to? Where are they getting the greatest value?
Also, throughout be ready and willing to listen to constructive (sometimes brutal) feedback, even from your most engaged users. You’ll learn more by doing this than in any Neil Patel lecture.
You can download the basic questionnaire that we at inflo.Ai ran through with our early adoption customers earlier this year to define our own ICP. Just click here: ICP Investigation – Example
Step three: look for the common threads
Now that you’ve spoken to your Super users – firstly, go have a cup of tea (you’ve earned it), secondly run the results against each other. You can either do this manually (print off your notes and highlight the consistencies) or plug it into your customer relationship management (CRM) tool and let it do so for you.
There are plenty of really user-friendly tools that can help you do this, including HubSpot and SalesForce.
Try to identify any recurring patterns or characteristics that your best customers share and use this to inform your ICP and, as a result, your sales and marketing content.
Step four: succinctly define your ICP
The final step is to input this information into the ICP framework to act as a guide for you, your team and your business as a whole.
Luckily for you, we’ve created another jazzy template for that. You can download and complete it by clicking this link: Ideal Customer Profile – inflo.Ai template
Step five: use your ICP to target better leads
Once you’ve defined your ideal customer profile, the fun stuff can begin across sales, marketing and digital comms. You can craft tailored content that targets their pain points, solves their problems and generates greater revenue and referral possibilities.
To find out more about devising targeted content, check out our How to create ebook.
For more information on how to define your target audience or ICP, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org