Welcome to Step 04. Want to jump back to our full 11 step Business Growth process?


Why Ideal customer research?

HubSpot certified partner badge darkAccelerate the sales process by better meeting the needs of your Ideal customers by researching and creating a semi-fictional representation of your Ideal customer based on facts. As a HubSpot Certified Partner, we see this step and one of the most critical. You can waste a lot of time guessing so why not take the time to understand who your Ideal customers and usually they’ll tell you how they want to be sold to.


Your Ideal customer research consists of

If you’re in a B2B organisation, your ideal customer profile will be at the company level. If you’re in a B2C organisation, it will be based on a particular market segment. Regardless of what space you’re in, here are some questions that should help jump-start the conversation between marketing and ales:


Are there economic factors that make a customer ideal or not ideal?


  1. B2B: Number of employees, revenue, customers, etc.
  2. B2C: Income, education, household size, phase of life, etc.


Are there market segments that are ideal or not ideal?


  1. B2B: Industry, vertical, etc.
  2. B2C: Occupation, interest, lifestyle, etc.
  3. Are there geographic locations that are ideal or not ideal?
  4. Are there legal standards that are required to purchase your product or services?
  5. Are there any other attributes that make a buyer ideal or not ideal?


If you’re a B2B company, your ideal customer profile might look like this:


  1. Industry: Manufacturing
  2. Size: <1,000 employees
  3. Location: UK or France
  4. Other: NOT publicly traded


If you’re a B2C company, it might look more like this:


  1. Age: 65+
  2. Income: <$75,000
  3. Location: Miami, Florida, USA
  4. Family situation: Married, no kids at home


[video] Learn How Automotive Companies Can Survive the Future


We’ll start by building a Profile to broadly describe your target market


Start by completing the Make My Persona form to understand basic demographics


  1. Company size and turnover
  2. Industry


Then we’ll get into the Persona research to define the people you sell to


We’ll create one persona for each of your different decision makers. For example, if you’re a fire extinguisher manufacturer and your Ideal customer is a vehicle manufacturer, you will have different personas for 1) Chief engineer, 2) Purchaser, and so on.

For each persona we’ll survey 15 customers (this helps you get 80% to 90% of all insights)

And we’ll ask them questions about:

  1. Their job title
  2. Who do they report to
  3. Who do they manage
  4. Responsibilities
  5. How are they measured
  6. What tools/software do they use for their job
  7. How do you prefer to communicate
  8. Their goals
  9. Their challenges
  10. Where they do their research (favorite websites and social media)
  11. How do they decide to buy the types of products and services you sell


We’ll also look at the reasons why they buy your products and services


The last step of your Ideal customer research is to uncover the job they’re hiring your product or service to do. This is different to your persona research so at this stage we take a workshop approach to piece together the ‘story’ that summarises your decision makers in relation to purchasing your products and services. The questions we consider at this stage are:

  1. Why did they buy?
  2. How long did they think about it before making a purchase?
  3. What made them decide?
  4. Had they thought about buying before and decided not to?
  5. Were they making do with something else (or not at all)?
  6. When did they realise they didn’t have to make do (or needed to change)



Once your personas are complete

If you’re using HubSpot Marketing, we’ll add your persona details into the Personas tool to help track sales performance with your different decision makers.

Then, we’ll check your personas every 6-months, or sooner if required, to make sure the information is fact based and to continually evolve your Ideal customer research as your business grows.

Once your Ideal customer research is complete, we follow the agile approach of 1) theory, 2) action, 3) outcome, 4) learn...


Next, Step 5. Hero and positioning statements...

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