Your ‘Ideal Customer Profile’ – What Is It and Why Your Business Needs One

What is an Ideal Customer Profile

Your Ideal Customer Profile is one of the most under-rated, skipped process that sabotages business results.

So, let’s start by taking a close look at what it is and how it can help your business.

Let’s face it, you cannot get ‘Everybody’ to buy from you. Some people just don’t need your products or services. And even when they do, there are buyers and lookers, the hot ones and the warm ones and the cold ones as well.

In your business, like many others, you only have so much money for advertising. So, what if you spend your advertising dollars, not to mention your time and energy, on the people who won’t buy from you?

You may never completely know which potential customers will or won’t buy, but you can discover those that will give you the best chance of success with an ‘Ideal Customer Profile’.

Your ‘Ideal Customer Profile’ or ICP for short, is an essential tool, that will help you identify and target the right prospects, thus maximizing the effectiveness of your advertising dollars. Your ICP is critical for identifying and marketing to your target market.

You will also find that your ICP will be used in all areas of your business decisions.

Building Your Ideal Customer Profile

To create a killer ICP you need two specific types of information: Demographics and Psychographics.

Demographics describe who your ideal buyer is. The information includes things like:

  • Age,
  • Gender,
  • Where they live,
  • What language they speak,
  • Whether or not they are married or have a partner,
  • How much money they make,
  • Whether or not they have a family,
  • How many children they have,
  • What level of education they have,
  • What lifestyle they enjoy.

On the other hand,Psychographics tells you why they buy. The information includes things like:

  • Their goals.
  • Their behavior.
  • Their values and attitudes.
  • The 3 “H’s” as in …
    • How they buy things.
    • How much money they spend.
    • How they spend that money.
  • Problems they may be facing,
  • Current issues and challenges they are working through. (If you can provide a solution for them, you probably have a customer for life.)

The Curse of Assumption

There is always your gut feeling about a customer type that you have as a business owner, and you may have a reasonable idea about your customers’ spending habits. But you need more than assumptions.

This is your money that you are spending and the old saying that ‘assume’ makes an ‘ass’ out of you and me applies here. You want to get the best bang for your buck with your advertising money and this is the best tool in your armory. So, your job here is to get and use as much ‘objective data’ as you possibly can.

In your business decisions you want more than assumptions to go on. Gut feelings are going to give you a feel for your audience, but objective data could well bring you some surprises. You need to use objective data whenever you can.

Tips to Understanding Your Market and Building Your ICP

Here are two alternatives to do this. One is the Direct Method, and the other is called the Indirect Method.

The Direct Method focus is on collecting data directly by:

  • Engagement and Interaction with your customers
  • Real Listening. You were given one mouth and two ears which indicates that listening is very important, perhaps more important at times than talking.
  • Start taking investigative surveys and polls.
  • Start asking questions. Show that you are wanting to get to know them.

The second process is called the Indirect Method.

  • This method uses some deeper investigation as you are trying to find data that does not come directly.
  • This involves tracking the audience behavior through their actions. Here you will find yourself digging deeper using things like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media resources.
  • You can track their buying metrics as well as looking into your competitor’s website etc.

Putting Your ICP to Work for Your Business.

Now comes the crucial time of putting the data to work for you.

Effective marketing is all about getting the right message using the right media to the right market (your ICP). As we said earlier, the major benefit of your ICP is getting the best results from your marketing investment by identifying your ideal customer and aligning your marketing message and media to that ‘avatar’.

In this way you are really putting your marketing dollars to work for your business.

Next week, we are going to look further at how to craft a killer ICP for your business.

Want to learn more about getting the right message to the right audience for your business? Check out the course titled ‘Creating your Ideal Customer Profile’, that walks you through the A to Z of developing and using an ICP to achieve your business goals in the Self Employed Business Academy membership program. Get access to the course now for just $1!

Other articles in this series:
How to Craft a Killer Ideal Customer Profile
Your Ideal Customer Profile: 6 Common Mistakes Business Owners Make
How to Use Your Ideal Customer Profile to Smash Your Business Out of the Park

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