What is ICP? (Ideal Customer Profile)

Ellie Burns Written by Ellie Burns

5 min read   -  20th May, 2024

What is ICP? (Ideal Customer Profile)

As a digital marketer, you know that the key to success in any campaign is understanding your target audience. This is where an ICP comes into play.

There are countless demographics that you could be selling your products to. But who would really benefit the most? This is your ICP. An ICP is a detailed description of your customer that is highly specific to your company’s products and services, dialling into who they are and how they would benefit the most from your service.

Not only are these “ideal customers” the most likely to be buying from you in the future, they’re the people who will actively benefit the most from what you offer. It’s hitting the sweet spot; you want to sell to them, and they really want to buy from you.

In marketing, an ICP is essential. Read on to learn how to streamline your marketing efforts across all of your campaigns, to bring in an improved sales performance overall:

What is an ideal customer profile?

An ICP outlines the attributes, characteristics and demographics of the customers who are most likely to benefit from your brand.

This profile covers the basics such as age and gender, but also includes more detailed features such as industry, company size, location and job title. It goes a little deeper, beyond the surface level understanding of your customers.

However, the most meaningful element of this profile are these final features: the pain points, goals and challenges. This is where you really unlock what makes that customer want to connect with your brand and make a purchase. Through understanding these elements, your data becomes far more influential in your marketing efforts.

ICP vs Buyer Persona - what’s the difference?

The key difference? Psychology. 

Buyer personas cover the basics. You know, the sort of attributes that you can match your automated audience tailoring to in Google Ads. We’re talking about things like age and gender and location.

ICPs on the other hand, target at a far deeper level, looking into individual preferences, behaviours and motivations of each customer. The sort of questions you should be asking about your customers when building out an ICP include:

  • What are their buying habits? 
  • How does buying from your company reflect their recent and usual spending? 
  • What matters most to them when making a purchase? 
  • Are they looking for a quick fix to their problem, or is this a slower decision made over several months, to enrich their life in some other way?

You’re thinking about your customer as an individual, not a more generic demographic in the way you might when crafting a buyer persona.

Why do you need an ICP?

It’s time to go beyond the basics, introducing an ICP is not only a more sophisticated approach to your targeting strategy, it also comes with a few benefits.

Your most valuable customers
Having a clear ICP allows you to align your marketing, sales, and product development efforts to attract and retain your most valuable customers. These are the people who will bring in the most business to your brand, often with relative ease, as your products and services are directly solving their pain points.

Identifying where you make the most profit
ICPs help you to identify the most profitable market segments for your brand, tailoring your messaging and offers with that audience in mind. It’s casting a deliberately smaller net, to bring in the most value to your company.

A developed customer understanding
By the time you’ve got your ICP fully developed, you’ll have gone on a real journey of discovery when it comes to better understanding your customers. This level of understanding can increase customer acquisition and retention, but also helps improve the experience that customers have interacting with your brand. Through taking the time to tailor your business to who needs it most, you’re levelling up your brand potential in a big way.

How to create your ICP? 

It’s a simple process, but one that you’ll get the best results from if you are methodical in your approach. ICP creation takes time, so don’t rush the process.

Analyse your existing customer base
Take a good look at the date you already have. This is your foundation. You can quickly see what is working, and what isn’t bringing in the results you’d like. Think of it as an overview of your success that you can immediately build upon.

Identify the common traits, characteristics and demographic details of your most valuable customers. The results may surprise you.

Market research
Now it’s time to build upon that foundation. Conduct market research to gather data on industry trends, market segments, and customer preferences.

Use tools such as customer surveys, interviews, and data analytics to gain insights into the needs, pain points and behaviours of your target audience.

Refine over time
No ICP should stay exactly the same. Refine your ICP over time based on feedback, market changes, and new data insights. Your company goals, customer preferences and industry trends can all impact the specific of your ICP, so don’t set it in stone forever.

Making sure you benefit and drive sales as a result

Your ideal customer profile is just the beginning: here are steps to take once you’ve crafted your ICP to take your marketing to the next level.

Inform your wider marketing strategy
Once you have developed your ICP, use it to inform your marketing strategies, messaging, and content creation efforts.

Update your marketing campaigns
Tailor your marketing campaigns and sales pitches to address the specific pain points, goals, and challenges of your ideal customers. Now you know the specifics of your customers on a deeper level, it’s time to reflect that understanding back to them through your copy, video content and images.

Engage with your ICP directly
Utilise targeted advertising, email marketing, and social media strategies to reach and engage with your target audience effectively. Don’t just use a one-size-fits-all approach; by now, you’ll know exactly how your ICP uses social media, and what platforms and schedules will resonate with them the most.

Monitor as you go
Continuously monitor and evaluate the performance of your marketing efforts against your ICP to identify areas for improvement and optimisation. Like any campaign strategy, your IPC is at its most effective when it has been recently analysed and updated. 


Crafting an Ideal Customer Profile isn't just about ticking boxes - it's about forging stronger connections with the people who matter most to your business. By pinpointing the characteristics and preferences of your most valuable customers, you're not just streamlining your marketing efforts and bringing in a higher ROI; you're building bridges to better engagement and more meaningful interactions.

Think of your ICP as a compass, guiding you through the vast sea of options of demographics that you could be marketing to. With it, you can navigate with confidence, knowing that every campaign is finely tuned to resonate with an audience that truly matters.

It starts with discovery

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It starts with discovery

Speak to us today and let’s start growing your business.