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Carissa McCallMay 1, 20244 min read

How to build an audience using your ICP

Before you run a successful campaign, you need to figure out the audience you want to reach. Take the guesswork out of building your next audience by using your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Start with your data and build an audience that’s primed to convert. 

Whether you’ve built an ICP in the past or this will be your first time, it’s good to revisit your ICP periodically. Your audience is constantly evolving. Looking at your real customer data and comparing it to your ICP can help you identify any optimizations that should be made. 

According to our new study, 51% of marketers are extremely confident they’re targeting the right personas and ICP. Since your ICP should be the cornerstone of effective custom audiences, we’re here to help you join the ranks of these confident marketers.

Follow these steps to build an audience using your ICP:


1. Determine what type of campaign you're running.

To build an effective audience, you need to understand your campaign's goals. First, identify the type of campaign you want to run. Then, determine the type of persona that makes sense to target with your campaign. 

Campaign types can include: 

  • Prospecting campaigns: Are you trying to drum up new business? You’ll run a prospecting campaign to drive leads and reach entirely new buyers. 
  • Upsell / cross-sell campaigns: If you offer multiple products or solutions that can pair well with existing solutions your customers have purchased, or you know there are additional buyers at an account that could use your solutions. you may want to run an upsell/cross-sell campaign. These campaigns are exclusively for your existing customers. 
  • Campaigns to win back former customers: If you have a pool of lapsed customers that you can reengage with new products or a special offer, you can run a win-back campaign.  

2. Identify what product or service you want to sell to your audience

Once you know the goal of your campaign, decide what you’ll be promoting. The best way to select what your campaign should focus on is by looking at your data. Your previous sales data and campaign or content engagement data will help you make an informed decision about what product or service makes sense in each campaign type and what content could support that. 

For a prospecting campaign, it probably makes sense to go with your best-seller. Since you know that this solution has had the most success in the past, it has good odds of being a good fit for a prospecting campaign. Prospecting campaigns can also be a good opportunity to sell new products, you just may need to test your audience and messaging more since it’s a product or service you don’t have data about yet. 

As far as upsell/cross-sell or win-back campaigns go, look at what products or services your customers have bought together in the past. This shows you that your customers see value in stacking these solutions. 

3. Understand your ICP

Once you know what you plan to promote, you'll then need to make sure you understand your ICP for that particular product or service. It’s important to realize your ICP may not be the same across all your offerings. Think about the specific thing you’re trying to sell and what your perfect customer looks like for that solution. 

4. Set your ICP parameters

If you don’t already have your ICP built for this product or service, this is where you’ll want to set out your specific parameters. Turn to your data if you’re not sure where to start. Look at past purchases to identify the top job titles associated with the purchases of your product/service. Hold onto these; you'll need them for later. 

Set your ICP parameters based on characteristics like: 

  • Job title 
  • Location 
  • Industry 
  • Company size 
  • Past buying behavior

5. Use intent data

Work with an intent data provider to pull intent for intent topics related to your product or service. This will give you the start of your target account list. Then you can take this list and compare it to your customer and former customer lists to identify overlap or lack thereof depending on the type of campaign you're running. 

6. Layer on your ICP

Once you have your target account list, your next step is to add on your ICP. Share the details of your ICP and your target account list with your programmatic team or programmatic solutions provider to compile it all together to build the audience you will target with your campaign. 

Note that you may have to remove some ICP criteria if it makes your programmatic audience size too small. Work with your solutions provider to modify your audience parameters and remember that job title and location will be the most important for programmatic audiences. Don’t be afraid to ask your programmatic solutions provider for advice on how to optimize your audience for the best results. 

Using your ICP to build an audience for your next campaign 

Building a data-driven audience is a surefire way to increase engagement and drive conversions. Using your ICP as a foundation helps you build the most effective audience. By following these steps, you can tailor your audience to significantly enhance the chances of your campaign's success.  



Carissa McCall

Read posts from Carissa McCall.