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How to find your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Step by step guide to finding ICP with ChatGPT prompts

Hey — It’s Hussein 👋

Happy Thanksgiving to all GPT Hackers in the US! 🦃

I’m trying a new format - fewer words. Let me know if you like this better.

Today’s topic: How to find your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) with the help of ChatGPT.

Umm… the past few days have been wild and interesting, to say the least, with the drama at OpenAI. Good to know we are back to normal.

Before we begin… a big thank you to:

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What is ICP?

Think of ICP as a persona, but instead of the profile of a person, it’s the profile of a company.

Finding your Ideal Custom Profile involves looking into various aspects of a company, such as industry, size, budget, location, technology needs, pain points, number of employees, work environment, etc.

Let’s break this down into a framework you can follow with details on how ChatGPT can help you.

ICP Framework Goal

Before we begin, your goal is to end up with an ICP like these:

  • Someone from the finance department who wants more control over spending at a series A/B company that has between $250k to $2M in monthly spending. (Ramp)

  • An in-house designer at a mid-stage tech company that places a premium on design. (Figma)

  • A social media manager at a small to medium-sized business that posts on Instagram or Pinterest (Canva)

ICP Framework

1. Potential customer attributes

Answer these questions:

  1. What is your core product (or main service)?

  2. What kind of potential customers would find that valuable?

For potential customers, make a grid with values from these:

  • Industry: Technology, Education, Healthcare, Retail, Manufacturing, etc.

  • Company size: Startups, Small and Medium Businesses, Large Enterprises

  • Annual revenue: <$1M, $1M-$10M, $10M-$100M, >$100M

  • Geography: Local, Regional, National, Global

  • Key decision-makers: CEO, CTO, Marketing Manager, PM, Engineer, etc., who tends to make decisions to buy a product or service like yours?

ChatGPT Prompt: "List the core attributes and characteristics of potential customers that would find [insert product or service] valuable.”

2. Segment potential customers

For each record in step 1, answer additional questions to go one level deeper to help you segment them into groups.

  • Selling into: CEO, CTO, PMs, Eng, etc.

  • Tech Stack: uses Slack for communication, AWS for cloud services, GCP, etc.

  • Dev Stack: JS, .Net, Ruby

  • Buying Cycle: Impulse, Short Consideration, Long Consideration

  • Specific pain points?

  • Specific way of working?

  • Type of business

  • Price point

  • Location

  • Where they spend time (online or in-person)

ChatGPT Prompt: “Provide a segmentation of potential customers for [product/service] focusing on [values from step 1]. “

3. Ask users and validate assumptions

Get in touch with your super users and brand ambassadors. Ask them about your characteristics in step 1 and step 2.

This is a good time to understand pain points, ways of working and where they spend time online.

ChatGPT Prompt: "Draft a set of interview questions to understand the value super users find in [your product/service] and their key purchasing decision-making factors."

4. Analyze data and refine ICP

Analyze the customer feedback and interaction data from your interviews and find patterns and shared characteristics.

When you do this, focus on any feedback on specific features, solutions, benefits, and pain points.

Make adjustments to your ICP list based on these interviews. Ideally, you want your super users and ambassadors to match. If not, consider rethinking who you believe your ideal customers are.

ChatGPT Prompts: "Analyze this customer feedback data and identify common themes and characteristics for refining our ICP: [dump of interview notes]"

5. Create buyer personas from your ICP

You should now have a list of characteristics, interview feedback, data points, and a list of ICP candidates.

Now, let’s define detailed buyer personas.

For each of your ICPs left, think of the following:

  • Behavior: decision-making style, communication preferences

  • Challenges and Goals: specific pain points and aspirations

  • Preferred channels: most used platforms for information and communication, where they spend time online or offline

ChatGPT Prompt: "Based on the following data, help me create detailed buyer personas for a [product/service] targeted at [ICP details] companies: [data dump]"

6. Align your marketing

You now have your ICP and Buyer Personas - time to put them to use.

Think of the following:

  • Content: what are common questions asked by your personas? Any challenges they face often?

  • Sales: What products or features do you offer to solve specific pain points?

  • Channels: where do they spend their time? Are you there too?

ChatGPT Prompt: "Suggest content ideas and communication strategies that align with the buyer persona of a [buyer persona] for our [product or service]."

7. Revisit and refine, always

Times change, needs change, technology changes. Make sure you revisit your ICP periodically and make adjustments. Remember, only 12 months ago, most companies were not working on AI solutions. Today, they are.

  • Continuously ask for customer feedback, review the feedback, and look for new trends or shifts in needs.

  • Analyze sales and marketing campaign data for effectiveness.

  • Adjust ICP and strategies based on findings.

ChatGPT Prompt: "Review these marketing metrics and suggest adjustments to our ICP and marketing strategies for better alignment with our target audience: [insert findings]."

Depending on the feedback, I might stick to this concise format or go back to the previous format with more examples and thoughts.

Reply and let me know which you prefer or vote here:

Which format do you prefer?

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See you next week — Hussein ✌️

P.S. If you’d like to sponsor, reply. 5.8k founders and entrepreneurs are waiting for you. 

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