The development of ideal customer profile, buyer personas and the role of personalized content in virtual market
Modern marketing and sales technology are more advanced than they have ever been. With the right tools you can track purchase habits, geo-locate their comings and goings, and even pitch them a product they’re only considering simply because they searched for it. What this technology can’t do is read minds. What makes a customer walk away? What turned them off? What will make them say yes? Building an ideal customer profile is the next best thing to reading customer minds. By building a profile backed by data, personal details, and targeting your content to those insights, your team can get to the root of how customers make decisions and guarantee stronger leads.
Building an ideal customer profile is the first step in developing an account-based marketing flywheel.
Why you should build an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
Did you know that less than 1% of leads will ever generate revenue for most B2B companies? That, in part, is due to sales pursuits that aren’t targeted to the right kind of consumer or never reach the ideal audience in the first place. By building your ICP you’re enabling your teams to use strategy and research to streamline your sales and marketing tactics with a purpose that’s grounded in data.
Who is your Ideal Customer?
Ideal Customer Profile: A description of a company that would be an ideal account for your team. This description should include specific characteristics of the company, what their goals are, who works for them, etc.
Your ideal customer profile should be modeled after the common characteristics of your best accounts who deliver long-term value to your business. Start by listing five accounts that apply in the following categories:
- Highest Profitability
- Most Satisfied
- Shortest Sales Cycle
- Ideal Transaction Size
- Longest Client Lifespan
When building your profile, think of the size of these companies, where they’re located, the verticals they represent, and whether they are B2B or B2C. Group the commonalities of these accounts and begin painting a picture of what your team finds most attractive about these relationships.
Once you have a clear picture of who your Ideal Customer is, it’s time to pinpoint the key people influencing your targeted buyer’s decision to partner with you. Who are they? What drives them towards an opportunity? What scares them away? With this information you can begin the next step: building Buyer Personas.
How to build your Buyer Personas
Buyer Persona: A representation of your ideal customer’s high-key decision makers and their influencers.
If the CEO is your buyer, those decision makers and influencers may be the COO, the sales director, the head of marketing, and even the CEO’s assistant. Gone is the day where the CEO makes all the decisions, in fact Gartner research states In a typical firm with 100 to 500 employees, an average of seven people are involved in most buying decisions.
When building your descriptions of the kind of people who make purchasing decisions, you want to factor in as many details as possible. Here are some suggested steps to help you narrow down your profile:
- Think about who are the key decision makers in each of those accounts and who else might influence the key decision maker.
- Flesh out each key decision maker by job role. A good rule of thumb is to create somewhere between 3-5 buyer personas. Too many personas make messaging more complex than it needs to be. Too few personas make it difficult to hone your messaging strategy.
- List demographics such as age, industry, salary, education, their role in the decision making, and their individual goals.
- Most importantly, you should understand the pain points and challenges of each individual and how your product or service solves those challenges.
- And finally, the messaging strategy and/or what channels and mediums they engage with most frequently.
Keep evolving: Keep in mind, ideal customer profiles and buyer personas should be updated often as buying behaviors and habits evolve over time. Keep your team fresh and on target by frequently working together to keep your customer profiles current.
Target your content
Now that you have your ideal customer profiles in place, you can then develop targeted efforts that will break through the noise and clutter. Personalized content can come in the form of content that uses their name, their companies name or content, or in a broader sense, content that can meet their specific needs.
Before you stop and think that personalized content seems like work, consider two things:
- Both within B2C and B2Bs 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience
- Personalized can decrease acquisition costs by as much as 50%.
These are unusual times to say the least. For many businesses, the tried and true strategies that you leveraged to find new customers mere weeks ago are now completely irrelevant. In the B2B world, there are few, if any, prospects in the office to call, visit or send physical sales materials to, and tradeshows have given way to virtual events. In the B2C space, brick-and-mortar retail has essentially evaporated beyond essential products like groceries, fuel and healthcare with no clear timeline for a return.
By positioning your personalized content through the right marketing tools, you can lower acquisition costs and hone in on your desired customer. Here are some of the tools you should add to your ammunition:
Video emails: Research from Campaign Monitor shows that adding video to email can lead to open rate increases of 19% and click-through rate increases of at least 50% or more. By using your buyer personas and ICP analytics, your team can design videos custom fit to your ideal partner and exceed traditional marketing email expectations.
Competitor-Conquest Geofencing Campaigns: Competitor-conquest campaigns allow you to set a geofence around your competitors’ retail or office locations and deliver ads to those visitors, many of whom you could assume are your prospects. Even if these locations are closed due to COVID-19, geofencing partners, like RedRover, can collect mobile device IDs for anyone who visited competitor locations prior to “safer-at-home” orders.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator: Sales Navigator is a social selling platform with features like prospect search and filters, insights, and other actionable information. This tool can help you gain a deeper understanding of what performs highly and what your ideal customer is drawn to, helping you better engage and offer customized content.
Ideal customer profiles and buyer personas paired with personalized content result in more effective marketing and sales output, including increased profits, improved value propositions, better understanding of buyers and higher lead conversions. By leaning into the power of research and refinement and applying ideal customer profiles into your sales process, you will help your team connect with the right consumer and set them up for success.
If you are unsure where to start, book a Funnel to Flywheel consultation with RedRover. Or, if you are ready to begin building your ideal customer profile along with a custom ABM strategy, we are here to partner on your growth strategy.