Negative Buyer Personas: Do They Matter?

By Ryan Howard | September 15 2016 | Personas | 0 Comments

Buyer Persona TipsIf you’ve been keeping up with our blogs, you might remember that we recently defined buyer personas as a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer.

But for every positive, there must be a negative. And as you might have guessed, an exclusionary (or negative) persona represents who you do not want as a customer. Simply put, a negative persona is a representation of your less than ideal customers.

We can all agree that it makes a lot of sense to put time and effort into defining a target audience with buyer persona research, but investing the same resources into your less than ideal customers might feel a little backward. Here’s why negative personas bring your business value:

Breaking Down Negative Personas

Buyer personas provide you with clarity and detail, and in the same way, you can use buyer persona research to build negative personas.

If you know what your negative persona looks like, you can stop putting marketing dollars into the wrong people and stop spending valuable time on strategies that won’t convert leads.

To develop your own less than ideal customer, look out for these examples of negative buyer personas:

  • Avid fans who consistently engage with your brand but are not customers
  • Students who download content for research and knowledge
  • Potential customers that might be too expensive to acquire
  • Professionals that are too advanced for your products/services
  • Personality types that aren't a good fit with your company and your values

Determining a negative persona is a positive step for you to make your marketing stronger. Buyer personas help you understand your ideal and less than ideal customers, and ultimately allow you to focus your efforts on the audience you’d like to attract.

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