What is an Ideal Customer Profile?

The concept of buyer personas is all well and good but insufficient for effective B2B marketing. In addition, it makes sense to focus on certain organizations that seem to be particularly promising. This is where the concept of the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) comes in.

De facto, it makes a big difference to sell a certain service to automotive workshops or to automotive groups. This is because both the pain points and the decision-making process are fundamentally different. B2B marketing and sales, therefore, focus on specific types of organizations.

What are the advantages of an Ideal Customer Profile?

Focusing on specific organizations works best with documented ICPs. But why focus at all? First and foremost, it is then much easier to communicate with specific target groups and consequently the acquisition costs do not get out of hand. Both the targeting of advertising and the provision of content is then more effective.

What does an Ideal Customer Profile actually look like?

Even companies from the same industry can differ enormously. If only because of their size. The Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) model describes an organization and includes other characteristics. The description includes, for example:

  • Branch
  • Sub-industry
  • Company headquarters
  • Turnover
  • Number of employees
  • Used products or tech stack
  • Pain Points
  • Expertise

Tips for selecting an Ideal Customer Profile

When selecting ICPs, it is important to assess the attractiveness of the “market opportunity” in advance. The following criteria play the most important role here:

  • The incentive to buy: the service offered helps the ICP solve a problem.
  • Market volume: The size and growth of the targeted market appear large enough.
  • Cost-effectiveness: The acquisition costs are significantly lower than what the ICP is willing to pay for the service.
  • Feasibility: Potential barriers to product development, marketing, and sales.
  • Time to market: duration of market development and sales cycle.
  • External risks: Competitors and dependence on third parties.

Ideally, a marketing department focuses on two to three comparable ICPs.