Agencies are on a constant hunt for new clients to maintain revenue and grow their brand, yet many don’t have a clear idea of who these clients are. A clearly defined target audience is one of the most important foundations of a thriving agency business. After all, you need to know who your content is speaking to, and that you’re offering what your audience actually needs.
This is where an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) comes in.
An ICP is a comprehensive description of the perfect customer for your agency that goes beyond basic demographics and includes factors such as their pain points, needs, aspirations, and behaviour. It’s also known as a ‘marketing persona’. It should represent the type of customer who would derive the most value from your agency's services and, in turn, be the most profitable and enjoyable to work with. While a lot of the ICP might be based on assumptions and desires of the market you want to branch into, a successful ICP also needs to be rooted in reality and backed by research. It needs to incorporate information such as the work you’ve done up to date, what your team enjoys, the type of clients you currently attract, and the size of the market you are looking to enter.
Here's why an ICP is a key component for agencies wanting to succeed:
Targeted marketing and increased conversions
Having a tailored message is an absolute must if you want to connect with your target audience on a deeper level and a clear ICP will allow you to do just that.
Being able to speak directly to your audience means they’re much more likely to speak back to you, allowing you to start building relationships and converting them into paying clients. You will be able to directly address their pain points, provide solutions, or create a sense of community with them that starts to earn trust and credibility around your agency’s service. On top of that, because of your depth of understanding of your ideal client, you can create more relevant and personalised offers, they should be more open to purchasing.
Better customer relationships and team satisfaction
When creating an ICP you'll intrinsically outline things that are important to your team and business which means you can align your clients with your agency’s values and strengths. Working with such clients fosters stronger and more productive long-term relationships. Your team is happy to be working with people they like and are equipped to help, and your clients are satisfied. It’s a win-win!
And of course, happy customers are more likely to provide positive reviews, referrals, and repeat business.
Efficient resource allocation
Whether you’re deciding how to spend your marketing budget, or thinking about developing a new service offering, an ICP will be your guide on how to proceed. After all, everything you’re doing is for your client. Knowing the needs, pain points, and preferences of your ideal customer means you can invest in areas that are optimised for that customer, such as developing services that precisely meet a new challenge present in their industry.
Because of agencies’ limited resources, such as time, money, and personnel, understanding how to spend them is key. An ICP can help you focus on the most promising opportunities, optimising your efforts for the highest return on investment.
Building agency success and strengthening your competitive advantage
An ideal customer is someone who will achieve the most success from your offering, hence it means your agency should be optimised to serve them, from skill set and experience to aligned values. Once you start attracting these customers, your work should have them singing your praises. Ultimately that means repeat business, better advocacy from your clients and a sterling agency reputation!
By serving a specific client, you’re also strengthening your position within their market and giving yourself a competitive advantage as you become better known among these customers’ circles. In no time you can become the go-to option for all the professional contacts of your new target market.
A clear ICP plays a pivotal role in your agency’s success, allowing you to align your marketing, product development, and customer service strategies accordingly. If you feel your agency is in need of better focus, efficiency, and direction in its marketing efforts, customer interactions, and overall business strategy, it might be time to start looking at who you want to be servicing and create an ICP!
The ICP is a small (but as we can see very important) part of the marketing strategies we run at Chime. If you’d like to know more about how an ICP could enhance your marketing ROI, we’d be happy to help - just drop us a line.