What is an Ideal Customer Profile: definition and template questions
Ideal customer profile is a hypothetical description of a perfect customer that would benefit from your solution and provide you with significant value in return. It helps improve personalization and overall customer experience, leading to more successful deals, when all the parties are satisfied in the end.
Nowadays, interested potential clients mostly find out about products and services on the Internet before contacting a manufacturer or a seller and make a request through the website. Marketing teams must adapt to this and offer the interested parties relevant information and added value related to their situation. The higher the relevance of the information, the better the conversion rate.
The marketing team should develop an ideal customer profile together with the sales department. They need to jointly define the most important information that should be available for a prospect profile and set it up as mandatory fields for the customer database.
At the same time, these fields should be queried in every web form, and not as mandatory, but as optional fields. The method of progressive profiling can help gradually fill out a prospect profile without deterring prospective customers with long and complex forms.
Web forms that adapt to the customer
Progressive profiling makes it possible to query only those fields in your website forms that should be displayed depending on the existing customer profile. This way, web forms remain short and manageable, guaranteeing a high conversion rate. For example, you can only ask about a position in the company if the first name, last name, company, and email are already in the customer profile.
The following information is part of an optimal customer profile:
- Lead source: Where do leads come from? A conference, online advertising, webinar, phone call, etc.
- Behavior: Activities on the website, email clicks and opens, reaction to certain offers, participation in events, and more.
- Willingness to buy: Where are prospects in the sales funnel? Have they just started to show interest? Have they already been interested in further content? Has there been contact with the sales department? Have they already received an offer? Have they made a purchase?
- Persona: Decision-maker, head of the department, purchasing manager, etc.
- Demography: Position, industry, company size, origin, and more.
- Purchase history: What was bought and when? What else can you offer to the customer?
The more information you have about prospects, the better the profiles, the segmentation strategy, and the relevance of the information or content. Use your customer data to optimize the customer experience.
Creating an ideal customer profile
When we pick up the phone at home, we usually speak quite differently with different groups of people: friends, colleagues, doctors, and so on. The adaptation of the tone and the choice of words is common, mostly unconscious human behavior.
This enables your conversation partner to understand you better, which ultimately makes communication more effective. In marketing, we deliberately use the same approach to build a better relationship with our prospects. As part of segmentation, personas are an excellent way to make your customer relationships more efficient.
Depending on the company’s position, business area, or individual decisions, people react to your campaigns differently – and in case of doubt, they don’t react at all. Each person has different information needs, basic knowledge, and goals. So, if you send the same message to a marketing director, a sales representative, and an IT employee, you probably won’t achieve much. It is preferable to address the interested parties and their needs directly and individually.
How to use personas?
You need to define the type of content that will be made available to the interested parties in various stages of the purchase decision. Personas play a crucial role in lead nurturing.
It’s like the development of a character for a novel or a film. However, respective buyers already exist, so it’s a question of defining those who are specifically geared to your offer among existing prospects.
To simplify the development of personas, there are many useful ideal customer profile templates that guide you through the process of creating a buyer persona and help you describe the ideal buyer. You can adjust the complexity of these tools according to your needs.
What points need to be defined in the ideal customer profile template?
Imagine you are telling a friend about some person. Is it a man or a woman? How old are they? What position do they have in the company, and what does their working day look like?
Depending on which product or service you offer, you can also ask about different characteristics. The goal here is to build a solid profile of a person with whom many people can identify themselves.
What are the issues that are important to this person? What influences their decision making? Always refer to these definitions with a special focus on the topics that relate to your product or service.
What are your prospect’s business concerns? What do they want, where do they feel unhappy with your product/service, what should be changed? Where do they need support? Be sure to write your list from the perspective of this prospect.
What content and information is most useful when communicating convincingly with this person? Are there certain types of information they would like to receive? Are they particularly responsive to a particular medium? Will they take advantage of any offers?
Role in the purchase deal
Is this person a decision-maker or someone who has influence? Who could influence this person?
Wrapping it up
Now that you know your ideal client, you can use this info to attract and convert high-quality leads with qualities that match your vision of ideal relations with customers. You can also formulate user personas to help your company further optimize your marketing and lead generation strategies.
Comparing the ideal customer profile to the rest of your clients’ base, existing leads, and new prospects to see if any relevant patterns appear is also a useful practice.