Create a Winning ICP: 3 Mistakes to Avoid



Who you sell to never remains static. In this blog post, learn 3 key mistakes to avoid to create an effective and actionable ideal customer profile (ICP).

By Brittany Lieu, Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing

Like many elements of your marketing strategy, your ideal customer profile (ICP) is only effective if dynamic. As buyer behaviors evolve and your business grows, who you sell to never remains static. 

As you develop or refine your organization’s current target audience, here are 3 common mistakes to avoid. 

1. Confusing ICP and Buyer Personas

When it comes to defining your target audience, identifying your ICP and buyer personas serve two different purposes. Unlike your personas, your ideal customer profile is not an individual but a description of the type of company that is best-fit for your solution. Once you determine the organizations that you want to target, only then can you take a deeper look at the employees within those accounts that influence or make the buying decision. 

To understand who you sell to on an organizational level, consider:

  • Company firmographics – ex. revenue, industry, company size
  • Company technographics – ex. tools and technology
  • Company psychographics – ex. company maturity level

2. Staying Within the Marketing Bubble

Although your marketing team is responsible for creating and maintaining your definition of your target audience, don’t forget to loop in teams outside of your department. Lean on your customer facing teams, like sales and customer success, to incorporate valuable insights and feedback on what you’ve developed. This ensures that your ICP gets the stamp of approval but is an accurate reflection of your ideal customer. 

3. Not Using Your ICP

It may sound silly, but an unused ICP is no ICP. After putting in the work to develop an ICP, don’t let your efforts go to waste. Find a regular cadence to refresh what your team has developed and use your ICP as the foundation for all your content development, messaging and sales outreach efforts. 

Your ideal customer profile is only one third of your target audience pie. Once you’ve nailed down your ICP use it to inform the development of your buying committee, personas and beyond

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