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What’s the Difference Between Buyer Personas and Ideal Customer Profiles?

marketing plan in business plan

There are some misunderstandings about the distinctions between ideal customer profiles and buyer personas, which is understandable in a marketing plan in a business plan. They’re similar in that they both provide your team with a set of lead qualification requirements to follow. The only difference is in how and when you use them. Do you require a flawless customer profile and buyer personas? Let’s have a look at it and see where we can start.

What Does It Mean To Have An Ideal Client Profile?

The ideal client for the problem that your firm solves is described by an ideal customer profile (ICP), also known as an ideal buyer profile in a marketing plan in a business plan. This is a made-up company with all of the qualities that make it the ideal match for the services you offer. An ICP can help you focus on selling to particular accounts that meet your needs if your organization employs ABM, or account-based marketing. If done correctly, an ICP may help you understand the issues you’re dealing with, align your product/service capabilities to what customers desire, and lay out a future road map for product/service updates and modifications.

Related: What is PR Leverage?

Why not send all leads straight to sales? Some leads may not be a good fit, so it’s important to find out who can and can’t buy from you in a marketing plan in a business plan. Your salesmen won’t waste time on leads that aren’t likely to become customers this way. You may use your ICP to figure out what makes a good match. To identify the perfect match, consider the following characteristics:

What is the cheapest price a consumer would be willing to pay for your goods or service? What is the lowest cost threshold that a customer would have to pay in your marketing plan in a business plan for your product or service? Budget / Revenue / Company Size – what is the lowest cost threshold that a customer would have to pay for your product or service?

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Do you specialize in any specific areas of your industry? Do you have any verticals that you don’t work with?

Do you not sell to a certain geographical area?

Is there a legal reason limiting your potential customer base, such as age, region, or government regulations?

Product or Service Limitations – Do you have a service level agreement (SLA) with your clients that compels you to meet a specific response time in your marketing plan in a business plan? Can you guarantee that if someone needs a faster answer, you’ll be able to meet that demand?

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s an excellent starting point for determining who your ideal client is. These are the qualities a lead must have in order to make a purchase from you. If they don’t meet all of these requirements, you may ignore them, ensuring that your sales team spends their time with prospects who are a good fit.

ICPs are more concerned with the account’s fit than with the individuals you’ll encounter. After you’ve identified clients that fit your ICP, think about who your salespeople are talking to and who is ultimately responsible for the purchase. Make sure your salespeople in the marketing plan in a business plan are prepared to talk to and respond to a wide range of people. The accounts that suit your ICP are made up of people with various roles, product/service expertise, and levels of experience. Buyer personas will be used to better define these individuals.

What Exactly Is A Buyer Persona, And How Do You Go About Creating One?

A buyer persona in a marketing plan in a business plan is a fictionalized representation of your customers that takes into account their demographics, goals, motivators, and roadblocks. Buyer personas give structure and context for your business. Buyer personas may aid in the planning and selection of content by Marketing, as well as the allocation of time and resources by other departments such as sales and support.

The personalities of a firm might range from two to five. When establishing the amount of buyer personas your firm requires, it’s common to make the mistake of creating a new buyer persona for each job title that your teams engage with. Instead of building personas based on job titles like Marketing Manager Mary or Sales Rep Sam, consider the many issues that people encounter and create personas like Recent Grad Rachel, Tech Heavy Tom, or Start-up Steph. Instead of focusing on their title, we may focus on the day-to-day obstacles they experience and the solutions your product/service can give to address those concerns with these personas. You may evaluate how these personas consume information and build their ideal purchase process if you focus on the problems you’re attempting to solve. Your teams may change how they communicate with leads based on the information in your buyer personas.

Related: What is a buyer persona?

Buyer personas are created using market research and true information about your present customers. You have a lot of information on your clients on your internal systems. While defining your buyer personas for the first time, you may want to speak with the following people:

Your customers are: Anyone who has paid for your product or service before and whom you have recognized as a good fit may be able to tell you what’s working. To find out what inspires them, what hurdles they face on a daily basis, and what their favorite aspect of your product or service is, call them, send them a survey, or invite them to a focus group at your office. Also, talk to clients that aren’t a good fit, because they might be able to tell you which account qualities your team shouldn’t be focused on and why.

Interview individuals on your customer-facing teams in a marketing plan in a business plan who deal with customers and leads on a daily basis over the phone or in person. Set up a focus group with employees from different teams to obtain different perspectives. Having a salesperson and a customer success manager, for example, may provide different insights. What types of questions do they frequently react to? Do they observe any common roadblocks that prohibit their clients from having a pleasant experience?

Look for trends in the data in your CRM to discover more about how your leads are accessing and consuming your content.

Related: What Is Lead Nurturing And What Are The Right Tactics?

Are Buyer Personas And An Ideal Customer Profile Necessary?

ICPs and buyer personas are two separate but related ideas. You could have an ICP with a few personas for which your marketing team creates content and your sales team is comfortable.

It may be beneficial to identify both your ICP and buyer personas. You want to make sure that your ICP is advising your company on which accounts to target by defining the criteria, and that your buyer personas are telling your teams on the kind of customers for whom they are creating content, prospecting, and answering questions.

At the outset of your sales cycle, you should use your ICP to aid with lead qualifying. It’s pointless for your salesmen to waste time on prospects that aren’t likely to close due to size, revenue, or other predetermined factors in doing a marketing plan in a business plan. If you can use your ICP from the beginning of the engagement, your sales teams will be able to identify accounts that are a suitable fit. Then, using your buyer personas, you can figure out how to sell to that specific person. What issues are they confronted with? What approaches do they employ when it comes to consuming content? Buyer personas define the optimal approach to connect with that individual, whereas ICPs indicate who to target.

After you’ve established your ICP and buyer personas in a marketing plan in a business plan, you’re off to a great start. It’s crucial to remember that nothing lasts forever, therefore it’s entirely fine if these definitions change as you learn more about your consumer. Set a reminder once a year to review and update these definitions, and then notify your internal teams of any changes. It’s vital to keep everyone informed and on the same page. While your ICP and buyer personas are distinct, they work together to ensure that sales spends time talking to qualified leads, marketing creates content for the proper audience, and support is prepared to address any concerns that arise in a marketing plan in a business plan. Take the time to create your ICP and buyer personas, as the time you invest now will pay off in the long run when you’re working with clients that are a good fit for what you have to offer!