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What is an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)?

An Ideal Customer Profile is similar to your target market or target customer, but with one key distinction: your target market is everyone you sell to, but your ICP is just your very best customers. A good way to think of it is if you could pick one of your existing customers and make everyone you sell to exactly like them, who would they be? That’s your ICP.

What makes someone your “best” customer?

Your best customer is someone who repeatedly buys from you and has the shortest sales cycle. They also likely have the longest tenure with you, leading to a higher than average customer lifetime value (LTV). Lastly, they're probably the customer that’s the most pleasant to deal with—never underestimate the importance of prioritizing customers that remain loyal to your brand.

How do you find your ICP?

There's not a single tried-and-true method, but there are a few things you should consider when identifying your ICP. These include, but aren't limited to, customer demographics, geographics, preferred digital channels, and pain points. Begin sifting through your sales history in your e-commerce platform or CRM to see what commonalities there are between your best customers. If you don't have access to that information, our "What's your (customer) type?" Quiz can help you identify some of the demographic and psychographic properties of your ICP.

Why do you need an ICP?

Identifying your ICP can help improve your ability to target the right consumers and provide a more personalized digital experience. This, in effect, reduces sales cycles and customer acquisition costs (CAC) and increases average order value (AOV) and CLV.

How does the "What's your (customer) type?" Guide work?

One of the key components of an ICP is a psychographic profile—a combination of demographic attributes (e.g., age, gender, income, location) and common behavioral characteristics (e.g., where they like to shop, what kind of media they consume, what motivates them to buy.) This guide is here to help you identify the psychographics of your ICP by figuring out where they may lie across three different categories: income, life stage, and geography.

Income: How much does your ICP earn? Knowing your ICP’s income range helps you ensure your products are priced correctly and gives insight into some of their peripheral interests, which you can use to better hone your marketing and overall messaging.

Life Stage: From the hectic days of young adulthood to the relaxation of retirement, different life stages create different motivations for consumers. By figuring out where your ICP is on the road of life, you can refine how you reach them and how you turn interest into sales.

Geography: Figuring out where the bulk of your ICPs live is a great way to make your marketing more efficient and effective. More than any of the other categories, this one makes it simple to cut acquisition costs by allowing you to more precisely target your ad spend.

What should I do with this information?

After you finish the quiz, you’ll be given a couple of psychographic profiles. The first one will be your best match, followed by some close matches. These psychographic profiles will have information like where your potential ICPs might spend time online, what do they like to read or watch, and where else they may be shopping.

Before you go and change all your marketing, however, you should do a basic sanity check to make sure the results match what you’ve seen in your actual business results. Run these segment profiles by your sales and customer service teams to make sure they agree, and to fill in any additional information you might have on them.

Remember that these profiles are generalized starting points. You may find that the ICP segment we create only partially matches what your CRM is telling you, in which case you should only use the parts that work—your data is going to be much more insightful and accurate than any guide can be. So use these segment profiles as a starting point, not as the be-all and end-all.