Hot Takes

Why it’s so hard to align on an ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) definition?


Most operators have a good general understanding of the concept of ICP, but if you ask them “how did you get there?” things immediately become fuzzier.

Most sophisticated operators will tell you that the more articulated and granular an ICP description is, the better. They will also tell you that to get to a high level of confidence in a granular ICP description, the best idea is to ground your analysis in some statistical significance, defaulting to Market Research to achieve that.

There is a funny thing about statistics tho, most of the time if you read the fine print and look into how many people contributed to a certain Market Research study, the number you’re gonna find is mostly between 100 and 1,000.

Always found that interesting. 

There is a reason for that: it used to be hard and expensive to reach 1,000 people with the demographics you’re looking for. It used to be hard and expensive to get the answers you are looking for, then organize them in a format that provides insights back to you.

Key word being *used to*. In fact, you might have tens or hundreds of thousands of users/customers–maybe millions–available to you these days and active across your online properties.

Also: Market Research is good at capturing thinking, not so much at capturing behavior… and sophisticated operators know that those are two correlated but very different things.

So, by all means, have the “statistically relevant” Market Research done… but look into your prospects/customers firmographics as a function of behavior too?