Ideal Customer Profile Development

min read
March 29, 2024
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Executive summary

  • An ideal customer profile is a description of the ideal users of your product or service that you want to target.
  • These customer profiles can be used to refine marketing communications, tailor customer support, and cater products and services to the right audience.
  • Brands can develop an ideal customer profile by conducting market research, analyzing existing customer data, and incorporating detailed information.
  • Investing in an ICP now can pay substantial dividends into the future by better equipping brands to understand their customers and improve their outreach.


Having a target in mind will almost always yield better results than wandering aimlessly. When it comes to marketing and business, knowing your target makes a significant difference in improving your ability to reach customers and expand upon your brand goals.

Ideal customer profiles are a resource that both B2B and B2C companies can work with to determine how to target their most likely customers. These profiles describe the ideal type of consumer for businesses that are most likely to convert. An ideal customer profile is a chance to understand the target consumer and how to best connect with them 

Once businesses establish ideal customer profiles, they can use them to hone their marketing strategies, communications, and overall brand image. To create an ideal customer profile, brands must take several steps to understand their existing consumers, their business goals, and their own place in the market.

What is an ideal customer profile?

Ideal customer profiles (ICPs) are descriptions of consumers that are the ideal target audience for using your product or service. An ICP describes the fundamental characteristics of your perfect customer, highlighting their preferences, pain points, and needs—the more robust and detailed an ICP, the better. 

This information provides a brand with guidance on how to reach out to consumers and develop a messaging framework that resonates accordingly. An ICP guides how the marketing team communicates, who the sales team chooses to reach out to, how to provide customer support, and how your brand should position itself in the marketplace.  

Brands may have one ICP or multiple, depending on the number of consumers they serve and the number of different audience types they hope to reach.

How to develop an ideal customer profile

An ideal customer profile is a valuable resource for understanding how to properly address your target audience, but it takes time and effort to curate one. Brands can take the following steps to develop an informative ICP.

Conducting market research

Market research helps brands determine where they fit into the current marketplace and which consumers make the most sense to target. When developing an ideal customer profile, brands should ask themselves a range of questions. How do consumers view your brand? What pain points are customers experiencing? How does your business help solve them? What trends should you consider?

Finding answers to these questions starts with learning more about your audience, what they find engaging, and why they make certain choices.

Strategies for conducting market research include:

  • Performing customer surveys
  • Social media listening
  • Organizing focus groups
  • Reading through customer reviews
  • Analyze characteristics in your customer relationship management (CRM) tool

Analyzing existing customer data

Understanding your existing customers is instrumental in determining which new customers to target—whoever is buying your products already is likely a strong example for what your ideal customer looks like. Data plays a valuable role in this process.

Consider your existing customers that exemplify what you would like to see out of future customers. Think about which customers are your repeat customers, have generated the most revenue for your brand, and have the most lifetime value—these are the best examples of customers that should guide your ICP.

Consider the following characteristics of your current audience:

  • Geographical region
  • Age range
  • Income bracket
  • General interests

If you are a B2B brand, you may consider other factors like company size, industry, annual revenue, and common challenges. All of these things will help you understand which characteristics your brand is best able to speak to as you begin segmenting your audience along common characteristics.

Creating detailed customer personas

Once you have enough background information surrounding your consumers and their interests, you can begin to piece it all together by developing a strong, comprehensive customer persona. A detailed buyer persona is a representative profile that highlights key characteristics around your current customers—establishing these personas is a key stepping stone in the ICP development process. 

Once you develop a picture of your current and prospective buyers, you can narrow down your ideal customer. An insightful customer persona should include all the following aspects to gather a meaningful description of your current customers.


Demographics are statistical attributes used to describe an individual, usually their defining characteristics. Demographics can be used to sort and group consumers across similarities.

Key demographics include: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Job title
  • Company size
  • Income


Psychographics are other ways to describe a consumer, but these are more related to how a consumer thinks and feels.

Key psychographics are:

  • Interests
  • Hobbies
  • Values
  • Personal challenges
  • Pain points

Behavioral characteristics

Behavioral characteristics are how consumers engage with brands in their purchasing journey. These characteristics describe their interactions with a business.

Examples of behavioral characteristics to include are:

  • Purchase habits
  • Frugality
  • Brand loyalty
  • Preferred online programs

Aligning ICP with business goals

With an established ICP, businesses can use the information further their overall goals for growth and outreach. An ICP has a strong influence on a brand’s marketing and sales strategies, informing proper pathways forward for targeting and engaging new consumers.

Some of the ways that brands can utilize a comprehensive ICP include:

  • Creating tailored messaging and content
  • Sales teams adapting their approach based on insights in an ICP
  • The potential to adapt brand narratives and storytelling accordingly
  • Updating website UI and UX design to speak to the ideal customer

Remember that once you create an ICP, it will not be set in stone forever—a brand’s ideal customer is likely to change and evolve as the brand grows and expands. As a result, brands should expect to have to adapt and adjust their ICP as time goes on.

To adapt these ICPs, brands should stay agile in response to market changes and incorporate new customer insights as they arise. They must constantly assess their customer sentiment, listen on social media, and remain aware of market trends so they can improve upon their ICPs and adapt their strategy.

Start developing useful ideal customer profiles with PETERMAYER

An ideal customer profile is a valuable resource for brands looking to communicate with and reach their consumers in the most impactful way. To develop an ideal customer profile that will support your business goals, you must analyze your current customers, perform market research, and incorporate the right details.

At PETERMAYER, we help brands progress toward their business goals with strategic planning and persona development to improve their marketing and communications strategies. We use data and analytics to help you understand your consumers, their motivations, and how you can best connect with them.

Most importantly, we’ll help you develop a strategy to connect with the right customers by unleashing the inherent joy in your brand and creating bonding opportunities through key brand moments. 

Contact us today to learn more about developing an ideal customer profile and how we can help you make it happen.

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