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Your ICPs and Buyer Personas Are Falling Short


In marketing and sales, understanding your ideal customer profile (ICP) and buyer personas are crucial, helping you select and call on those with the best chance of needing and purchasing your solution.

When documenting ICPs, firmographic information such as industry and company size are standard, and with buyer personas, psychographic information is the norm, giving the persona a name (Sam or Sally) and describing key personal characteristics. However, simply having firmographic and basic psychographic information is not enough to effectively understand what makes your customer tick, so you can effectively target, attract, engage and inspire from “Do Nothing” to “Yes”. 

To truly be effective, ICPs and buyer persona profiles need to go deeper, providing a comprehensive view of the strategic initiatives and buyer pain points that your solutions can help address and resolve, and mapping specific solutions and use case capabilities to each.

Your ICP and Strategic Initiatives List

Your improved ICP should include a list of strategic initiatives that the customer likely faces, and to which your solutions align. Strategic initiatives are the big goals that the customer has established, typically at the C and board level, and which are a priority for investment. With today’s uncertainty, customers are only investing in their “need to have”, not their “nice to have”, Your customer documents these strategic initiatives to dictate their “need to have” programs.  Understanding the strategic initiatives your customer needs to address and invest in can help you better identify and qualify the right customers, one’s who have that big “need to have” that aligns well with your solutions. Click here to learn more about Strategic Priorities.

Your Buyer Personas and “Day in the Life” Profiles

Buyer personas should include a detailed “day in the life” profile, documenting the daily tasks, responsibilities, and pain points your buyer  encounters day-to-day. The “day in the life” can include visualizations and descriptions, outlining the processes and process steps your buyer encounters (upon which your solution can apply), the stakeholders they collaborate with, and the technology they leverage. By understanding what the buyer is dealing with on a daily basis – manual steps, inefficiencies, errors, and friction –  you can better qualify the buyer, understand and highlight the pain, and help elevate and quantify the cost of “do nothing”, 

Some of the pains in the “day in the life” will be related to their business, including tedious manual tasks, duplicate process steps, process friction, errors, overspending, risks and missed growth opportunities. Others will be related to their organization, reflecting friction issues with collaboration, partners, influencers and poor customer experience. And don’t forget about personal challenges related to job dissatisfaction, attrition, work-life-balance, compensation shortfalls and lack of recognition.

The Bottom-Line

Ideal customer profiles and buyer personas are essential tools for effective marketing and sales, however the basic firmographic and psychographic information needs to be expanded, providing a list of strategic initiatives most relevant to the customer, and “day in the life” / pain point profiles for the buyers.

Including strategic initiatives, a “day in the life” and top pain points, can help make the ICPs and Buyer Personas more effective, fueling marketers and sellers to better connect and inspire engagement and change.

Checkout these services to help improve and activate your Inspired Value Storytelling.

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