How to Create an Ideal Customer Profile: The Ultimate Guide

7 minutes read
Sarah - 04.04.2022
The ultimate guide to creating your ideal customer profile

Do you know who your ideal customer is? This is the first step in creating a successful marketing strategy. Without knowing who your target market is, it will be very difficult to reach them with your message. In this guide, we will teach you how to create an ideal customer profile that will help you attract more customers and increase sales! Inbound Marketing strategies

Free ideal customer profile and persona template


What is an ideal customer profile and why do you need one?

An ideal customer profile (ICP)  is a description of your ideal customer based on data collected directly from your organisation. You can source this information from your CRM, analytics platforms and feedback surveys.

An ICP includes information like demographics, psychographics, behaviours, and more. This allows you to create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to reach and resonate with your ideal customers. There are a number of variables you can explore when creating an ICP. Let's explore some of the main variables to look at:

  • Demographics: Age, gender, location, income, etc.
  • Psychographics: Lifestyle, personality, values, interests, etc.
  • Behaviours: Buying habits, media consumption habits, etc.

So, why do you need an ICP? What value will your organisation derive?

As you may already know, not all customers are created equal. Some may be more valuable to your business than others. When you create an ICP, you are exploring which customers are your "ideal" fit.

To create an ICP, you should loop multiple stakeholders into the conversation. This ensures you can paint a clear picture of who your target market is and what they're looking for. From there, you can target your marketing messages and approach to appeal specifically to those ideal customers. In essence, by creating an ICP you can serve your customers better by tailoring the right message to the right customer at the right time.

Once exploring your data further and speaking with stakeholders, you may begin to realise that your messaging needs to shift as you are no longer targeting the right customer.

It's pretty unlikely that your business growth is static. As your business evolves, it's important to revisit your ICP and ensure attributes shift alongside your business. This then enables you to track who your ideal customers are over time, but also your ability to attract and convert those customers as well.

The last reason for creating ICPs is that it offers your business a reference point against which to measure the success of your marketing campaigns.

How to create an ideal customer profile for your business

So how do you go about creating an ideal customer profile?

i. Explore your customer data

The first step is to understand what makes an ideal customer. This often will correlate to the amount of revenue the customer brings in for your organisation or even the relationship that is formed between your organisation and the customer.

Ask your stakeholders, why is this customer ideal? 

  • Do they bring in a % of revenue?
  • Is it because you enjoy working with them?
  • Do they operate in a specific vertical or industry?
  • Do you need a specific number of users to be onboarded onto your software for the customer to derive the true benefits?
  • Is the company located in a specific location?

In order to explore your ICP further, it is essential to look at the data that already exists in your CRM, analytics platforms, and customer feedback surveys. Begin taking note of the demographics and psychographics that often result in that "ideal" customer definition.

ii. Create customer feedback surveys

Customer data is essential for understanding your target audience. However, data alone can only tell you so much. In order to truly understand your customers, you need to look beyond the numbers.

A well-rounded ICP will take into account both quantitative and qualitative information. Customer feedback surveys and interviews can help you to get a better sense of your customers' needs and wants. Speaking with customers directly will give you insights into their motivations, concerns, and objection. This type of information is essential for creating an ICP that truly reflects your ideal customer.

iii. Input information collected into your customer profile template.

Now, you should have a good sense of who your ideal customers are, as well as which customers you should not be targeting.

It's time to begin inputting this information into your template.

👉 Access your free ICP template here

Access your free template to build an ICP and persona


Tips for using your customer profile to increase sales

Once you have created your ideal customer profile, there are a few things you can do to use it to increase sales.

i. Use your ICP in your advertising efforts to better target customer groups.

By now you should have one or multiple ICPs. When building advertising campaigns, create unique ad rules and copy variations that resonate with your distinct ICPs.

Make sure your advertising is targeting the demographics that are most likely to be interested in your product or service.

ii. Use your ICP to guide your sales pitch.

The better you understand your ideal customer, the easier it will be to tailor your sales pitch specifically to them.

When speaking with potential customers, use examples and stories that resonate with their ICP. Craft a compelling message that speaks to the needs, pain points, and buying behaviours of that unique ICP.

iii. Match leads to your ICPs

Not all leads are created equal, and not all of them should be targeted using the same marketing strategy.

Segment your leads according to their ICP, and create unique lead nurturing campaigns for each group. This will help ensure that you're providing the most relevant content and offers to each individual lead.

Common mistakes businesses make when creating their customer profiles

Creating an ideal customer profile is an essential step for any business, yet it is also one that is often overlooked.

There are a few common mistakes that businesses make when developing their ideal customer profiles. Let's explore them further.

i. Organisations base their ICPs on assumptions rather than on data.

We've touched on the importance of looking at data that exists within your CRM and databases.

Humans are inherently biased and it is important to extract key details from data that is already at your fingertips. Not only this, but your ICP  isn’t a wishlist. It needs to be an accurate depiction of tangible customer profiles that will deliver value to your organisation.

ii. You create an ICP with a siloed team

Creating an ICP should not be the sole responsibility of your marketing or sales team. It's an exercise that should involve everyone from customer service to product development.

iii. You don’t have regular ICP reviews

Just like your business strategy, your ICP needs to be reviewed and updated regularly. Markets and customers change, so it's important that your ICP evolves with them.

iv. Businesses don't take into account the entire customer journey.

Your ICP should not be restricted to just your current or potential customers, but also past customers, leads and users.

When businesses set out to create an ideal customer profile, they often make the mistake of thinking only about the sale. They consider who would be most likely to buy their product or service, and they tailor their marketing accordingly. However, this narrow focus ignores the fact that the customer journey doesn't end with the purchase. In order to create a truly successful customer profile, businesses need to take into account the entire journey, from initial awareness all the way through to post-conversion. Only then can they hope to create a profile that is comprehensive and accurate. Without considering the full journey, businesses run the risk of leaving money on the table.

Free ideal customer profile and persona template


If you don’t have an ICP, your business is likely targeting the wrong customers and wasting valuable time and resources in the process. Luckily, we created a free template to help you get started. So what are you waiting for? Time to focus on your ideal customer and start driving more sales!

Unleash the power of RevOps

Maximize revenue and sales today.

Begin experiencing faster growth by managing revenue generation cross-functionally. Download the complete guide to RevOps to learn how you can align your teams and scale revenue.

Get The Guide