Have you ever taken the time to identify your ideal client? Do you know the difference between an ideal client profile and buyer personas? Your business marketing plan can’t succeed if you don’t understand who to target. Your Ideal Client Profiles (ICP) and Buyer Personas provide that insight. However, they have different purposes.
While your ICP defines the person most likely to need or use your products and services, buyer personas tell you how to reach them. ICP is more quantitative, looking at a company’s revenue or number of employees, while personas are based on qualities such as challenges, fears, goals, and motivators. Here we explain how to create both your ICP and buyer personas to improve your marketing strategy for better sales results.
Why You Need to Develop Both ICPs and Personas
Defining both your ICP and buyer personas ensures:
- Your sales team understands the accounts and leads they should be targeting based on your ICP qualities.
- Your marketing team understands the kinds of people they create content for.
- You know what types of questions to ask when qualifying leads.
- You have answers for the types of questions likely to come up when prospecting or qualifying leads.
ICPs and buyer personas provide insights that help reduce wasted time on targeting the wrong prospects and producing the wrong content. When you understand your targets you attract the right personas keeping your pipeline fed with high-quality leads.
How to Use Your ICP
Using your ICP at the beginning of your sales cycle helps qualify leads. Nothing wastes more time for your sales team than spending time on leads that will never invest in your products or services. This is based on details about your ideal client such as:
- Company Size
- Your product or service limitations
These predetermined factors tell you at the early stages of contact whether or not the prospect is a good fit. For example, a client without the revenue stream to set a budget to invest in your offering will never have the budget, or at least not in the near future. On the flip side, a very large company with the revenue and budget could pose a problem for you if you have limitations to your product or service that makes it impossible to meet their expectations.
How to Use Your Buyer Personas
Buyer personas tell you how to sell. What channels are they most likely to use? What challenges do they face, and how do you resolve them? What content is more likely to resonate with them, video, blogs, case studies or social media posts? This provides fodder for your marketing team to not just reach the ideal customer, but also help qualify leads using highly targeted content. So your ICPs tell you who to target, and your buyer personas tell you how to reach them.
The Main Differences
You’re probably starting to understand the difference between an ICP and a buyer persona. ICPs are quantitative while buyer personas are qualitative. While you can have a single ICP, you are likely to have several buyer personas which allow you to create more targeted content. Yes, they both use numerical data like budget and salary to create the profile and personas, but the numbers rule when creating an ICP.
Knowing the size of the company and how many employees they have helps you decide if your product will do them any good. Buyer persona looks at hypotheticals: What challenges do they face? What are their greatest fears? What goals do they tend to set? Where do they go when they need information? While your ICP tells you who to target, your buyer personas teach you how to create an effective marketing strategy that will generate qualified leads and increase your ROI. You can’t have one without the other.
Although every company needs an accurate understanding of their ICP and buyer personas, it should not be a time-consuming process. Instead, you want an easy way to define your ICP and come up with buyer personas without investing tens of thousands of dollars on research and people hours. We believe that once you create your buyer personas, it is so much easier to clarify your message.
As a HubSpot partner, we have access to some incredible resources that will help you on your journey to creating your own buyer personas! Click here to make your own!