Why You Need An Ideal Customer Profile In Your B2B SaaS Marketing Strategy

Why You Need An Ideal Customer Profile In Your SaaS B2B Marketing Strategy
Summary: A significant number of companies I’ve recently spoken to are still struggling to identify their core target. In this article, I’ll try to shed some light on why it is important to have an Ideal Customer Profile, and what you’ll be using this ICP for.

The Importance Of An Ideal Customer Profile In Your B2B SaaS Marketing Strategy

I still remember when, many years ago, during a B2B start-up event for SaaS companies, a lot of people pitching ideas were falling short on providing a very important answer to a very simple question: Who’s your target? It may sound crazy, but back then startuppers were simply looking for money without having a proper idea of their ICP - Ideal Customer Profile. It may sound crazy, but not even that crazy.

ICP - Ideal Customer Profile: What Is It?

First things first. We could define the Ideal Customer Profile as: “a company that would be a perfect match for your product or solution.” In other words, a company that is facing a major challenge, which could be perfectly solved by the adoption of whatever it is that you’re selling. Ideally, if you already have a customer base, this ICP should reflect the portion of your happiest customers: the ones that are constantly using your product; the ones that will never churn because they just can’t live without your solution. And why is that? Because they see real value in it, and because your solution is key to transforming and improving their bottom line.

Why Should Your SaaS B2B Company Have An Ideal Customer Profile?

There are plenty of answers to this question, and all of them are solid reasons to start working on your ICP as soon as possible. Generally speaking, by having a clearly defined ICP, companies can focus their global marketing efforts in a much more effective way. And not in regards to old-school marketing fluff like “building your vision” or “having a mission.” I’m referring to real strategies, translated into effective tactics, and executed through concrete, actionable items. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.

1. Content And Message Customization

That’s probably the first - and simplest - reason to identify your Ideal Customer Profile. If you’re leveraging content marketing (and if you run marketing for a B2B SaaS company, you must be running content marketing activities), the content that you’re writing must be tailored to a specific audience and to the specific needs of this audience. Any software/product/service can, of course, address the needs of companies that belong to - for example - different industries. But it’s important to understand what industry represents your sweet spot, and then focus your content marketing efforts on this one. Let’s say that you understand Healthcare is your sweet spot. After that, you’ll be able to better organize your entire content strategy to focus on this specific industry. This means: write a case study with a customer that belongs to the Healthcare industry and highlight a specific challenge that your product can solve within that industry. Even more, start customizing your website copy, ad copy, and landing-page copy in order to be more relevant to Healthcare companies.

2. Inbound Lead-Generation Campaigns

Now that you have your customized content (end-to-end: from ad copy to landing pages, from emails to assets) you can leverage your ICP to better target your Pay-Per-Click campaigns. There are a variety of PPC tools out there that you can use. Some of them allow you to target your audience in a very precise way - and this is when a well-defined Ideal Customer Profile makes a huge difference. Let’s think about LinkedIn, for example. This advertising platform allows you to target your audience by location, language, company size, and job title. By reducing the number of people you’re targeting, you won’t be wasting your PPC dollars by reaching the wrong people. And, even more importantly, you’ll see way higher engagement because the ads you’re serving will be much more relevant.

3. Outbound Activities

Outbound is a world of unlimited and fantastic possibilities for B2B SaaS marketing strategies. It for sure comes with pros and cons if compared to the inbound marketing approach, but that’s something that B2B SaaS companies should have in place. And if inbound marketing is usually considered to be like “fishing with a net”, outbound can be considered much more specific in terms of reaching out to people who are the core target of a company. And this is why, again, having a clear idea of the Ideal Customer Profile is paramount. For example, what if your outbound team is using Linkedin to find prospects, but they don’t know where to start in terms of industry, company size, or even job role? But also: we live in a world that makes it easy to find (and buy) updated, fresh information about companies. If years ago one of the biggest challenges was how to find data to run outbound campaigns, today there are a lot of tools out there designed for this very specific purpose. If anything, the new challenge is about curating this data, and also how to best use it. So before even budgeting for one of these tools, be sure that your ICP is solid and up to date. It will be crucial in order to properly use the data you have access to, build customized outbound campaigns, and therefore, improve your Return On Investment.

Content creation, Inbound Lead Generation, and outbound activities. These are 3 of the most important reasons why you need to define an Ideal Customer Profile for your B2B SaaS marketing strategy. In my next article, I’ll talk more specifically about how you’re supposed to build your ICP, and what criteria you should be considering in order to make your ICP effective.

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