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Account Based Marketing

Targeting - The Ideal Customer Profile

The secret to targeting the right accounts is figuring out what accounts to target. What companies are the best fit for what you have to offer so you can align your resources to land those types of accounts? To do this, we need to create an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).

Ideal Customer Profile

List of attributes that define a company that can get the most value from your products, using all the relevant data points you can find. This is a description of the company, not the individual buyers or end user. There can be more than one ICP for different products or segments. Determine which characteristics are most important to your business. It can include things like

  • Industry

  • Employee headcount

  • Annual revenue


ICP Example

The ideal customer profile for a project management tool might look something like this. Our ideal client is a B2B SaaS company in the U.S. or Canada that has an engineering team of at least 15 people and an ARR of at least $20 million. Their customer base is made up of mid-market and enterprise businesses that require dependable release schedules.


There are two different methods to building an ICP.


Bottom-up ICP

Dig into the customer data in your CRM. Pull a list of accounts with the highest deal sizes. What do they have in common?

Which customers have renewed or have become loyal repeat customers? What do they have in common? Compare this list to companies that didn't renew and see what makes these accounts different. 


Characteristics-based ICP

This is a top-down approach, and is great if you don't have baseline customer data to start with.

Do some market research to come up with your ICP. The best way to create a strong ICP is to have sales, marketing, and your customer success teams work together to define it as one team. And when you're done, be sure to circulate it heavily to ensure everyone is aligned.


“Don't use your ABM customer knowledge to work out what gift to send. That feels like you're buying them. Use it to find something you genuinely have in common.”
- Patricia Collins, IBM

Building a 360 account view

In order to create a 360 degree view, you need to build an account intelligence database from lots of data sources. There are two specific types of data that should be included. Fit data and behavioral data.


Fit data

This is the firmographic information such as their size, industry, technographic profile, growth stage, geography, number of offices, target market, revenue and organizational structure. These are the characteristics that make that company a good match to your products or services. Try to determine which of these characteristics have the strongest correlation to your past sales success to generate a “fit score” for each account.


Behavioral data

Intent - How is the account behaving across the web? Are they searching for articles related to your product or service? What are they researching? An intent data solution can alert you to accounts that are actively researching these topics even if they have never visited your company.

  • Recent searches for competitors

  • Recent searches for relevant keywords

  • Visits to news sites

  • Third-party content downloads

  • Industry publications

  • IT forums


Engagement - How has the account interacted with your company through your websites, marketing and sales activities. This type of data includes:

  • Website visits

  • Meetup attendance

  • First-party content downloads

  • Webinar views

  • Email opens and clicks


No engagement is not necessarily a bad thing. You may choose to  specifically target high intent, high fit and low engagement accounts.


Relationship - How has the company interacted with your sales team in the past? It is a measure of depth, breadth and quality of the relationship between your company and a target account. It includes data like:

  • Number of responsive contacts

  • Frequency of interactions across account

  • Frequency of meetings

  • Responsiveness to one-to-one communications.


In order to get all this information you might need to add to your tech stack, but it might already exist in your existing stack, it just needs to be organized better. Remember to update your target lists as new data comes in and existing accounts move in and out of your segments.

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