How ICP, Market Size, and LTV Shape Best B2B Strategies

In the cutthroat world of B2B marketing, understanding the intricacies of your strategy is not just beneficial—it’s essential. This article delves into three fundamental pillars—Ideal Client Profile (ICP), Market Size, and Lifetime Value (LTV)—that are crucial for every marketer to master. By grasping these concepts and understanding how they are linked, you’ll be equipped to craft winning campaigns, make informed strategic decisions, and ultimately, stand out in the competitive B2B landscape.

Main Takeaways:

  • Pinpointing Your Ideal Client Profile (ICP): Understanding ‘who’ you’re targeting is the cornerstone of your strategy, influencing everything from platform choice to content direction and how you communicate. 
  • Understanding Your Market Size (TAM, SAM, SOM): The breadth of your market dictates the degree of personalization and automation in your marketing efforts.
  • Assessing Your Lifetime Value (LTV): Knowing the revenue a client generates over their lifetime is key to making informed decisions on ad platform selection, budget allocation, and growth strategy (PLG vs SLG).
  • ICP, Market Size and LTV are linked: Understanding the connection between these pillars is vital for an effective B2B strategy.

Quick Table: The Three Pillars To Focus on For a Powerful B2B Marketing Strategy

PillarDefinitionHelps to UnderstandExample
Ideal Client Profile (ICP)The ‘who’ you are specifically targeting in your marketing efforts.Ad platforms to choose, communication style and content types.If you are a small business owner, you need to choose Facebook ads. Large/small businesses should choose LinkedIn ads.
Market SizeThe total potential reach within a market, segmented into TAM, SAM, and SOM.Scope for personalization and scale of outreach.If your market size is small (around 1000), choose hyper-personalization. If the market size is large (10K) focus on automation with no personalization. 
Lifetime Value (LTV)The total revenue a business can expect from a single client over time.Platform selection, customer acquisition cost, and growth strategies.A high LTV of $50k suggesting a sales-led approach.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    • Navigating the B2B Marketing Maze
    • Why Understanding These Three Pillars (ICP, Market Size, LTV) is Vital
    • Your Roadmap to Mastery
  2. The Ideal Client Profile (ICP): Understanding Your ‘Who’
    • Defining the Ideal Client Profile (ICP)
    • The Importance of Specificity in ICP
    • How a Well-Defined ICP Can Guide Your Marketing Strategy
  3. Understanding Market Size: The Scope of Your Potential Reach
    • Defining Market Size
    • The Three Key Metrics of Market Size – TAM, SAM, SOM
    • The Critical Role of SOM
    • How Market Size Influences Marketing Strategy
  4. Understanding Lifetime Value: The Revenue Compass
    • Defining Lifetime Value (LTV)
    • LTV in Different Business Models
    • How LTV Influences Your Marketing Strategies
  5. Dynamics Between the Three Pillars and Their Impact on Strategy
    • The Link Between LTV and Market Size
    • The Link Between Market Size and Personalization
  6. FAQs: Unraveling B2B Marketing Mysteries
  7. Conclusion


Navigating the B2B Marketing Maze

Embarking on a B2B marketing journey can often feel like navigating through a labyrinth. With a plethora of strategies, platforms, and metrics to consider, it’s easy to lose direction. Amidst this complexity, three core elements stand out as guiding beacons: Ideal Client Profile (ICP), Market Size, and Lifetime Value (LTV).

Why Understanding These Three Pillars (ICP, Market Size, LTV) is Vital

Understanding these three pillars—and the interplay between them—is crucial for any marketer aiming to master their B2B marketing strategy. 

These elements are the keys to unlocking decisions about ad platform selection, whether to lean towards Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google, and understanding the rationale behind each choice. They guide you in choosing between inbound and outbound marketing, determining the level of personalization versus automation, and deciding whether a product-led or sales-led approach suits your business best. Grasping the nuances of your ICP, market size, and LTV allows you to make these decisions in a more informed and effective manner.

Summary Table: The Importance of Understanding the Three Pillars
Aspect Importance
Ad Platform Selection Facilitates informed decisions between platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google.
Marketing Approach Guides the choice between inbound and outbound marketing strategies.
Personalization vs. Automation Determines the balance between personalized outreach and automated processes.
Growth Strategy Influences the decision between a product-led or sales-led approach.

Your Roadmap to Mastery

This article is your roadmap to understanding these pillars and also the interplay between them and how these pillars affect your B2B strategy. We’ll dive deep into each element, unpacking their nuances and providing actionable insights. By the end, I am sure that you’ll have the ‘Aha!’ moment and be equipped with the knowledge to transform your B2B marketing strategy and achieve unparalleled success.

Now, let’s delve into what these three pillars are and how they help you build a robust marketing strategy.

1. The Ideal Client Profile (ICP): Understanding Your ‘Who’

The first pillar to understand is the Ideal Client Profile (ICP).

Defining the Ideal Client Profile (ICP)

At the heart of any successful B2B marketing strategy lies a well-defined Ideal Client Profile (ICP). The ICP is the ‘who’ you are specifically targeting in your marketing efforts. 

It is a detailed description of the company or individual that would reap the most benefit from your product or service. It’s not just a broad category but a specific, almost personified version of your perfect customer.

The Importance of Specificity in ICP

Getting super specific with your ICP is a game-changer.

A vague or broad ICP is akin to shooting arrows in the dark, hoping to hit the target. Specificity in your ICP means understanding not just the industry and company size but diving deeper into the psychographics and pain points of the decision-makers within those companies. 

How a Well-Defined ICP Can Guide Your Marketing Strategy

Once you have a crystal-clear picture of your ICP, it becomes the guiding star for all your marketing efforts. Here’s how a well-defined ICP can help you:

Choosing the Right Advertising Platforms

Different platforms cater to different audiences. With a specific ICP, you can identify where your ideal clients spend their time and focus your advertising efforts there.

Table: Ideal Client Profile (ICP) and Suggested Ad Platforms
ICP Attribute Suggested Platform
Small Business Owners Facebook
CTOs & Medium to Large Businesses LinkedIn

Crafting Tailored Communication

Knowing your ICP allows you to speak their language. Whether it’s the tone, the jargon, or the values you emphasize, your communication can resonate deeply with your target audience.

Content Creation That Hits the Mark

Understanding your ICP’s challenges, interests, and behavior informs the type of content you create. It’s not just about what you say but ensuring that the content is relevant, engaging, and, most importantly, useful to your ICP.

In summary, your ICP is not just a part of your marketing strategy; it’s the foundation upon which all your marketing decisions should be built. The more detailed and specific your ICP, the more targeted and effective your marketing efforts will be.

Summary Table: How a Well-Defined ICP Can Guide Your Marketing Strategy
Aspect of ICP Understanding Impact on Marketing Strategy
Choosing the Right Advertising Platforms Enables precise targeting by identifying where your ideal clients are most active. Small businesses should advertise on Facebook and medium/large businesses on LinkedIn.
Crafting Tailored Communication Facilitates the creation of resonant messaging that speaks directly to the needs and language of your ICP.
Content Creation That Hits the Mark Informs the development of relevant, engaging, and useful content tailored to the challenges and interests of your ICP.

2. Understanding Market Size: The Scope of Your Potential Reach

The second thing you need to understand is your market size.

Defining Market Size

Market size refers to the total potential demand or the number of potential customers for a particular product or service. It’s a measure of the breadth and depth of the market you’re aiming to serve and is a critical factor in shaping your marketing strategy.

The Three Key Metrics of Market Size – TAM, SAM, SOM

To accurately gauge market size, it’s essential to understand three key metrics: Total Addressable Market (TAM), Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM), and Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM).

  • Total Addressable Market (TAM): This represents the total demand for a product or service across all segments and geographies.
  • Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM): This narrows down TAM to the segments and geographies you actually plan to target with your products or services.
  • Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM): This is the portion of SAM that you realistically expect to capture, given your current resources, competition, and market conditions.

The Critical Role of SOM

Your SOM is the true north of your marketing strategy. It’s a realistic assessment of the market share you can capture. Knowing your SOM helps you tailor your marketing efforts to the size of the market you can actually serve.

How Market Size Influences Marketing Strategy

Understanding your market size, especially your SOM, can significantly influence your marketing approach. Here’s how:

Personalization vs. Broad and Automated Strategies

Knowing your SOM helps determine whether you should adopt a more personalized approach or a broad and automated strategy. For example: 

  • In a small market with a SOM of around a thousand, a hyper-personalized Account-Based Marketing (ABM) approach is ideal. You’d focus on creating bespoke experiences like personalized videos for each prospect or multiple stakeholders within the same company.
  • Conversely, with a larger market, such as hundreds of thousands, automation becomes more practical. For example, my company Marketing Hero, an elite freelancers service in the marketing industry, operates in a large market and can afford a less personal, more automated approach.
  • My other company provides services for LinkedIn ads and has a market size in the tens of thousands thus a blend of personalization and automation is optimal. This approach allows for a more targeted outreach while still leveraging the efficiency of automation.
Summary: SOM and Its Impact on Marketing Strategy
Market Size Suggested Strategy
Small (e.g., 1,000) Hyper-Personalization (ABM)
Medium (e.g., 10,000s) Balanced Personalization with Automation
Large (e.g., 100,000s) Broad and Automated
Massive (B2C Scale) Full Automation

In summary, understanding your market size, particularly your SOM, is crucial for developing a marketing strategy that’s both effective and efficient. It informs whether you should invest in personalized experiences or leverage automation to reach a broader audience.

3. Understanding Lifetime Value: The Revenue Compass

The last thing you need to understand is lifetime value. 

Defining Lifetime Value (LTV)

Lifetime Value (LTV) is a measure of the total revenue a business can expect from a single customer throughout their relationship. It’s a crucial metric that helps businesses understand the long-term value of their customer base.

LTV in Different Business Models

The calculation and implications of LTV vary depending on the business model:

  • Recurring Revenue Models (e.g., B2B SaaS): LTV is the sum of all revenue generated from a customer during their tenure with the company. For instance, if a customer subscribes to a service for six months, the LTV would be the total revenue accrued over those six months.
  • One-Time Purchase Models: If a business operates on a one-time purchase model, the LTV is the revenue from that initial sale unless the customer makes additional purchases or is upsold on other services.

How LTV Influences Your Marketing Strategies

Marketing Strategies: Choosing the Right Platform and Budgeting Wisely

Lifetime Value (LTV) is a critical metric that influences various aspects of marketing strategies, particularly in choosing the right advertising platform and budgeting for customer acquisition:

Platform Selection

Different platforms cater to different LTV ranges. 

LinkedIn, for instance, is more suited for businesses with a higher LTV, typically around $10K or more. This is because the cost of advertising on LinkedIn is generally higher, and a substantial LTV is needed to justify the investment. 

If your LTV is around $2K, LinkedIn might not be the most cost-effective choice. Instead, platforms like Meta, which are more accommodating to lower LTVs, could offer a better return on investment.

Summary: Aligning LTV Range with Recommended Advertising Platforms
LTV Range Recommended Platform Rationale
10K or more LinkedIn High LTV aligns with LinkedIn’s cost structure, ensuring a better return on investment.
Around 2K Meta (Facebook, Instagram) Lower LTV matches Meta’s more affordable advertising costs, making it a cost-effective choice.
Customer Acquisition Budget

Your LTV directly influences how much you can afford to spend on acquiring a new customer. 

For a business with an LTV of $50K, spending $10K on customer acquisition might be reasonable. Such a budget opens doors to platforms like LinkedIn, where the higher cost is offset by the potential for high-value client acquisition. 

However, if your LTV is around $2K, your CAC should ideally not exceed $500-$600. In such scenarios, platforms with lower advertising costs, akin to Meta, become more viable. Exceeding this CAC threshold, especially on platforms like LinkedIn, could lead to a negative return, where the cost of acquiring a client surpasses the revenue they generate.

Summary: LTV Range, Recommended Platform, and Suggested CAC
LTV Range Recommended Platform Suggested CAC (Client Acquisition Cost)
10K or more LinkedIn Up to 10K
Around 2K Meta (Facebook, Instagram) No more than 500-600

In essence, your LTV doesn’t just reflect your revenue—it’s a critical factor in determining where and how much you should invest in acquiring new clients. It’s about finding the sweet spot where the cost of acquisition aligns with the potential revenue from a client, ensuring a healthy and sustainable growth strategy.

Growth Strategies: Navigating Between PLG and SLG

Understanding your Lifetime Value (LTV) is not just about choosing the right platform or setting your Client Acquisition Cost (CAC); it’s also about deciding on your growth strategy. Should you focus on Product-Led Growth (PLG) or Sales-Led Growth (SLG)? Your LTV can provide valuable insights into which path to take.

Product-Led Growth (PLG)

PLG is a go-to-market strategy that relies on the product itself as the primary driver of customer acquisition, conversion, and expansion. It’s particularly effective for businesses with a lower LTV, where the cost of personal sales efforts might not justify the return.

  • Ideal for LTV: 50 bucks a month
  • Approach: Customers can understand your product’s value through marketing and sign up for a free trial or a low-cost entry point. If they find value, they gradually move up to paid tiers.
  • Sales Involvement: Minimal to none. The product and marketing efforts do the heavy lifting.
Sales-Led Growth (SLG)

SLG is a strategy where personal sales efforts play a crucial role in acquiring and retaining customers. It’s suitable for businesses with a higher LTV, where the return justifies the cost of a dedicated sales team.

  • Ideal for LTV: 50K, 10K and even 2K plus 
  • Approach: For services priced at 2K or more, customers often expect to interact with a sales representative before making a commitment. The higher the LTV, the more personalized the sales process becomes.
  • Sales Involvement: Significant. Sales representatives are crucial in guiding the customer through the decision-making process due to the high costs of service. 
The Link Between LTV and Growth Strategy
LTV Range Growth Strategy Sales Involvement
50K or more Sales-Led Growth (SLG) High – Multiple interactions
Around 2K Transitioning between PLG and SLG Moderate – Possibly one or two interactions
50 bucks a month Product-Led Growth (PLG) Minimal to none

Summary Table: Leveraging Lifetime Value (LTV) for Strategic Marketing Decisions

LTV Platform Selection Client Acquisition Cost (CAC) Growth Strategy
High LTV (10K or more) Suitable for LinkedIn Ads Higher CAC is acceptable (up to 10K) Sales-Led Growth (SLG) with significant sales involvement
Moderate LTV (Around 2K) Meta platforms are more suitable CAC should be moderate (around 500-600) Transition between Product-Led Growth (PLG) and Sales-Led Growth (SLG)
Lower LTV (A couple of thousand over time) Meta or other cost-effective platforms Low CAC is crucial Product-Led Growth (PLG) with minimal sales involvement

Dynamics Between the Three Pillars and Their Impact on Strategy

In the intricate dance of B2B marketing, the interplay between the Ideal Client Profile (ICP), Market Size, and Lifetime Value (LTV) is akin to a well-choreographed ballet. Each element influences the other, shaping the overall strategy in profound ways. Let’s delve deeper into these dynamics and uncover the “aha” moments that can redefine your marketing approach.

The Link Between LTV and Market Size

Imagine a scenario where you have a low LTV coupled with a small market size. This is a recipe for a business model that’s likely unsustainable. 

For instance, if your entire market is a thousand people, and you’re only charging $50 per client, the math simply doesn’t add up. Even if you miraculously captured 100% of your market, the total revenue would be underwhelming. This is why understanding the relationship between your market size and LTV is crucial.

A small market necessitates a higher LTV to make the business viable. Conversely, with a massive market size, you can afford a smaller LTV because the volume compensates for the lower per-client revenue.

Table: The Link Between LTV and Market Size
Market Size LTV Requirements Business Viability
Small High LTV Necessary for sustainability
Large Lower LTV Volume compensates for lower per-client revenue

Key Takeaways:

  • Low LTV + Small Market = Unsustainable Business
  • Small Market Size requires High LTV for viability
  • Large Market Size allows for Lower LTV due to volume

The Link Between Market Size and Personalization

The size of your market also dictates the level of personalization required in your marketing efforts. 

A smaller market, say around a thousand potential clients, demands a highly personalized approach, often referred to as Account-Based Marketing (ABM). In such cases, you’re looking at a high LTV, possibly in the range of $100,000 or more per client. 

The larger your market, the less personalization is necessary. For example, with my company Marketing Hero, I’m exploring strategies that involve zero personalization because of the relatively large market size. This allows for a broader outreach, casting a wide net with the expectation that a small percentage will respond positively.

On the other hand, for my LinkedIn agency,, a more balanced approach is warranted. Here, a mix of personalization and automation is key. For example, tools like ChatGPT can be invaluable for generating personalized cold email first-liners at scale, which can then be incorporated into cold email automation tools like or Instantly. This blend of personal touch and automation is crucial for markets that aren’t large enough to rely solely on volume.

Table: Link Between Market Size and Personalization
Market Size Level of Personalization Strategy Example
Small High Personalization ABM, high-touch sales
Large Low Personalization Broad outreach, automated marketing

Note: You can check my article here to see how you can generate tons of personalized first-liners easily with ChatGPT. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Small Market = High Personalization (ABM)
  • Large Market = Less Personalization, Broader Outreach
  • Balance of Personalization and Automation for Mid-sized Markets

FAQs: Unraveling B2B Marketing Mysteries

Q1: What is an Ideal Client Profile (ICP) and why is it crucial?
A1: An ICP defines the specific type of client your business targets. Understanding your ICP helps tailor your marketing strategies, choose the right platforms, and create resonant content.

Q2: How does understanding market size impact my marketing strategy?
A2: Knowing your market size, especially your Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM), informs the degree of personalization in your marketing efforts and helps determine the scalability of your strategies.

Q3: Why is Lifetime Value (LTV) important in B2B marketing?
A3: LTV helps you make informed decisions about platform selection, customer acquisition costs, and whether to adopt a product-led or sales-led growth strategy.

Q4: How do I choose the right advertising platform based on LTV?
A4: Platforms like LinkedIn require a higher LTV for a good ROI. If your LTV is lower, platforms like Meta might be more suitable.

Q5: What is the relationship between market size and personalization?
A5: A smaller market size necessitates a higher level of personalization, while a larger market allows for broader, more automated marketing approaches.


In the intricate dance of B2B marketing, the interplay between the Ideal Client Profile, Market Size, and Lifetime Value is akin to a well-choreographed ballet. Each element, a dancer in its own right, moves in harmony with the others, creating a performance that captivates and converts.

Main Takeaways:

  • Precision in ICP: A laser-focused ICP is the compass that guides your marketing ship, steering it towards the right platforms and content strategies.
  • Market Size Matters: Your market size whispers secrets about personalization levels and scalability, shaping your outreach.
  • LTV’s Strategic Weight: LTV isn’t just a number; it’s a strategic beacon illuminating the path to platform selection, budget allocation, and growth strategies.

As you step back from the canvas of B2B marketing, the picture becomes clear. The three pillars, ICP, Market Size, and LTV, are not standalone structures but interconnected beams supporting the edifice of your marketing strategy.

Further Reading

To elevate your B2B strategy jump into our easy-to-follow guides, where we cover smart strategies around lead generation, LinkedIn advertising, effective cold emailing, successful LinkedIn content, and how to craft a robust demand generation strategy. Kickstart your journey to business success now!

Check Out:

  1. Top 5 Lead Generation Strategies for 2023: A Comprehensive Guide
  2. LinkedIn Advertising Strategy in 2023: Shifting from Demand Capture to Human-Centric Demand Creation
  3. 5 Must-Know Strategies for Cold Email Success (Backed by Real-World Data)
  4. 4 Proven LinkedIn Content Strategies for B2B Marketers
  5. Inbound Demand Generation: A Comprehensive Guide to Building a Powerful Strategy
Philip Ilic

Philip Ilic

B2B Growth Specialist

Phil helps B2B SaaS companies with growth marketing and is a deep specialist in Linkedin advertising and paid social more generally (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). He runs a paid social agency called and is the founder of


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