The Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
The perfect customer. Can you describe it for your startup? The more precisely you can describe it, the better. That will simplify disqualification. But articulating the ICP well isn’t enough.
Vague ICPs are problematic. The company will focus on too broad a customer base, waste time and effort with unqualified prospects and blunt their sales pitch with irrelevant value propositions.
Clear ICPs can also be problematic. A clear but useless ICP might be: a disenchanted thirty-something mechanic who likes to play German board games, read Nietzsche and watch MMA. I can clearly articulate my ICP to myself and others. The target market is clear (and niche!)
But how would I identify this person if I’m looking to sell to him? Where would I begin generating leads? Mechanics meetups? Board game conventions? Nihilist forums?
A good ICP must serve three purposes. First, the ICP should enable me to identify a good prospect quickly. Second, I should be able to simply convey the ICP to someone else in such a way that they can find other ICPs. Third, the ICP should be defined so systems can be built to identify them.
A better ICP is:
- VPs of marketing in GDPR-affected regions;
- heads of sales with teams larger than 50 people in technology;
- CEOs of profitable pool supply companies.
These ICPs are much easier to identify using lead generation tools. They can be communicated to teammates simply, and computer systems can be tooled or trained to identify them at scale. To grow, startups must scale and distribute ICP identification from one to ten to hundreds of people. A narrow, clear and identifiable ICP is a crucial ingredient in that growth.
Bonus — 8 useful tools for everyday usage:
GetResponse — an email marketing platform that enables you to create a valuable marketing list of prospects, partners, and clients, so you can develop relationships with them and build a responsive and profitable customer base.
Manychat — visual bot builder for Facebook Messenger with broadcasts, analytics, scheduled posting and many other features!
Crello — free graphic design editor that helps create images for social media, print and other web-based graphics.
Funnelytics — the best funnel mapping software available to marketers and entrepreneurs today.
FlyWheel — is managed WordPress hosting built for designers and creative agencies.
Integromat — is a powerful automation tool that connects your apps and services to work smarter, not harder.
Leadpages — lets you build beautiful, high-converting websites, unlimited landing pages, pop-up forms you can add to your other websites.
FlowKit — allows designers to create frighteningly fast user flows within Sketch and Figma.
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