So what's the difference between an ideal client profile (ICP) and a buyer persona?

When it comes to a B2B technology company, people sometimes use the terms ideal client profile and buyer personas interchangeably. But they're not the same thing in a B2B context, especially.

Buyer Personas Explained

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of an ideal client based on actual research and some select educated speculation. Suppose you're trying to stand out in a crowded marketplace. In that case, it's super important to put a lot of thought into your buyer personas because they inform everything going forward with your marketing strategy, sales strategy, and customer success strategy. 

And again, it’s super important to nail the buyer personas so you understand the goals, pains, challenges, struggles, and how potential clients see you and can craft your entire strategy around that. 

How Your Ideal Client Profile (ICP) Fits in With Buyer Personas

An ideal client profile, on the other hand, is about a company, not an individual. 

And it's very common actually for an ideal client profile that talks about a company you're trying to target or the kinds of companies you're trying to target, including two or more ideal buyer personas within the ideal client profile.

So while some people may be tempted to use the terms interchangeably, they're not.

They're different. So if you're focused on, for example, account based marketing (ABM), where you're targeting specific kinds of companies, your ideal client profile is going to be super important.

But if you want to catch people’s attention within those target accounts, make sure that you take time to have a well-thought-out set of buyer personas. 


How do you use ideal client profiles (ICPs) and buyer personas in your business? Let me know in the comments below.

And if you need to grow your business through more effective strategy around ICPs and personas, be sure to enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.

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