Ideal Client Profile: Three Dimensions of An Architect ICP

February 11, 2024

Tyler Suomala

Founder of Growthitect

It’s impossible to find something if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

That seems obvious, right? It might be obvious in theory, but not so much in practice.

There are thousands of architecture firms that haven’t defined their Ideal Client Profile (ICP). And then there are thousands more that think they’ve defined an ICP only to realize that “business owners” doesn’t quite cut it.

Broad strokes. Wide nets. Too general.

The heart of the matter?

Lack of detail.

The repercussions of an ill-defined (or non-existent) ICP are far-reaching:

  • Time mismanagement: Countless hours are wasted pursuing leads that are not a good fit, diverting attention from more promising prospects.

  • Inefficient marketing spend: Marketing budgets are squandered on campaigns that fail to resonate with a well-defined audience, resulting in low ROI.

  • No premium fees: Without a clear understanding of who values your unique offerings, it's challenging to justify higher prices.

  • Internal disarray and client confusion: Teams lack clear direction on whom to target, and potential clients are unsure whether your firm meets their needs.

Today, I want to share how to define an ICP that removes any confusion, targets high-quality clients, and allows you to deliver premium projects (for premium fees).

A three-dimensional ICP

Your ICP doesn’t have to be complicated. It just has to be detailed.

And it’s a lot easier to produce a detailed ICP once you break it down into three dimensions: demographics, firmographics, and psychographics.

Here’s how to define each dimension:

Demographics: The foundation

Demographics are the 'Who' of your audience—age, gender, marital status, and income. Think of it as the basic sketch of your ICP, providing clear lines around who they are on paper.

For example, an architecture firm specializing in luxury residential projects might target high incomes couples aged 40-60. This demographic is more likely to invest in bespoke architectural services.

Defining demographics can be done in less than 10 minutes. Review data from your top current and past clients to identify common characteristics. Use the Client Value Matrix to ensure that you’re identifying your best clients.

Firmographics: The context

Firmographics are the 'Where'—industry, size, and location of businesses. It's like demographics but for companies. This helps you understand the playing field of the organizations you aim to serve.

(Note: Firmographics are not necessary for firms that don’t target other companies or businesses.)

For example, an architectural firm focusing on commercial projects might look for businesses within the retail sector, with multiple locations, and less than 100 employees. This helps the firm tailor marketing efforts to attract businesses seeking to expand or redesign their spaces.

Firmographics can also be defined in less than 10 minutes. Keep that Client Value Matrix nearby and analyze market trends to determine which business characteristics align with your most successful projects

Psychographics: The emotion

Psychographics are the 'Why' behind behaviors—values, goals, and lifestyle. It dives deeper, painting the color and texture onto your client sketch, revealing what truly motivates them.

For example, if your firm prioritizes sustainable and eco-friendly designs, your ICP might include clients who value conservation, seek to reduce waste, and prefer to live off the grid. This depth of understanding helps to relate and speak directly to your ICP in marketing and sales.

Psychographics can be more challenging to identify. Conduct surveys, review notes from discovery meetings and client preparation, and use social media analysis to understand the motivations behind your clients' investments in you.

Bring it together

Altogether, you can have a highly refined and intentional ICP with 30-45 minutes of focused efforts. Here’s a simple template to consolidate your ICP:

  • We serve [firmographics]. Our decision makers are [demographics] that care about [psychographics].

For example:

  • We serve retails brands in North Carolina with under 100 employees. Our decision makers are high income business owners aged 40-60 that value luxury products and want to standardize expansion of their business into other regions so they can increase revenue.

Boom! Imagine how much more effective your ICP will be for evaluating leads, building a content marketing strategy, and connecting with your clients. It’s a huge upgrade from targeting “business owners”.


A specific and targeted ICP will ensure your marketing efforts are efficient, your projects align with your expertise and values, and your firm is positioned as the ideal choice for your favorite clients.

To define a targeted ICP, identify the demographics, firmographics, and psychographics of your best clients.

Then distribute your ICP internally and use it to:

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