There’s no secret that before contacting sales reps, b2b buyers prefer to run their research on available offers independently. According to Statista’s 2021-2022 survey results, 30% of b2b customers appreciate vendors that understand and cover buyers’ pain points through their online marketing messages.

Thoughtful b2b demand generation is crucial for building trusted communication and representing your awareness of customer pains. This is why we’d like to draw your attention to the role of the relevant ideal customer profile (ICP). Let’s see how it can empower your lead gen campaigns all the way through.

What is ICP Marketing

Firstly, it’s essential to distinguish ICP from your buyer persona. ICP describes the properties of a company that is a perfect match for your brand’s products and services, the one that can benefit most from them. On the other hand, buyer persona refers to the characteristics of a decision-maker.

ICP marketing aims at specific company-level problems. Namely, it identifies businesses that will give you the highest returns and are less likely to churn to your competitors.

B2B Demand Generation Relies on ICP

B2b demand generation, in turn, works out customer touch points that will become entries to the sales funnel. But buying journeys are significantly longer in the b2b market than in b2c. That’s why zeroing in on high-value prospects can help you greatly from the beginning of the buyer journey.

With solidified ICP, b2b marketers can develop targeted demand-gen content that captivates users and incentivizes them to look into your commercial offers. ICP profile impacts b2b demand gen in three ways:

  • ICP allows us to measure the targeted market segment. ICP consists of qualitative and quantitative attributes. So you can set those parameters as filters in market intelligence tools to gauge the volume of the total available market and forecast the possible revenue.
  • Narrower reach saves valuable resources. While creating ICP, go-to-market teams identify the promotional channels with the highest return on investment. Thus, they are much more definite about budgeting and what exact promotional activities will be the most beneficial.
  • ICP-based demand gen focuses on the highest-value customers. B2b demand gen strategy backed with ICP aims to grab the attention of the prospects with the shortest buying cycle and the highest lifetime value. Once you bring them in, you can nurture and retain them by delivering positive, personalized experiences.

What Customer Data Inputs Are a Must for ICP

The ICP profile must encompass company-level data. Typically, it includes generalized characteristics that cross-match across your customer success cases. So ask Customer Success Team or Sales to provide customer data on cases when you’ve won the highest annual contract or lifetime value. Then analyze and determine the following attributes:

  • Firmographics. These are employee headcount, annual revenue, YoY or QoQ revenue growth, industry, and business model.
  • Environmental Attributes. Such can be region, tech stack, and the number of partners/competitors. 
  • Behavioral Attributes. These attributes can tip you on the current needs and goals the company strives to fulfill right now. 

Namely, these can be the increased number of open positions that signify they are scaling up their operations. Or the increased number of new followers on Facebook or Instagram could indicate they invest actively in social media.

3 ICP Marketing Tips to Fine-Tune B2B Demand Generation

1. Build ICP upon Measurable Data Points

The common mistake in ICP development is overlooking the solid data and relying rather on the gut feeling that certain types of companies would be your best sales opportunity.

That’s no do. The actionable ICP for demand generation must represent a dataset enriched with definite quantitative and qualitative attributes. To pinpoint those, we recommend analyzing historical prospects and customer data.

Bring marketing, sales, and customer success teams into this process. Therefore, you’ll pull together and reassess all your essential inputs on the highest-value customers and submit an organization-wide ICP vision.

2. Leverage Martech Tools to Manage Customer Data

Thanks to an abundance of authorized and trusted b2b data providers, you can fetch list audiences with prospects that perfectly match your ICP. Then you can instantly launch your demand gen campaigns by importing these granular audiences into the ad or email automation platforms.

That said, there’s still a chance that datasets from particular providers might lack the completeness of customer records. Instead of pulling together disparate CSV imports from third-party providers, we recommend you check out Primer’s B2B ad targeting platform. This data orchestration platform allows you to:

  • source customer data from 10+ authorized data providers;
  • merge company-level, person-level, and intent data together;
  • export custom audiences directly to CRMs, ad platforms, or CSV files.

3. Refine ICP Based on the Insights from Lead Scoring

Fair enough, ICP shouldn’t be set in stone and must be revised to meet actual customers’ interests and behavior. The lead scoring should become your guide on what ICP adjustments to implement.

To fine-tune ICP, you must pinpoint attributes of high-quality converted leads. Here’s a 3-step process:

  1. Calculate the conversion rate. That’s the ratio between the number of leads generated through your campaign and the number of acquired customers.
  2. Define the attributes of qualified converted leads. Revise data collected from the website (impressions, click-throughs) and engagement metrics (likes, shares, demo downloads), then check how they correlate with firmographics and personal data you got on leads.
  3. Calculate the scoring for each attribute. Based on firmographic and behavioral data, you can compare how many converted leads had the same attributes. Those attributes that appear repeatedly among top and bottom-funnel leads should be assigned the highest scoring.

According to the scoring system, you can revise the set of attributes that your ICP must reflect. Now you only need to check the existing data points of your ICP to see whether you need to refine or enrich them.