What are negative personas? Matthew Johnson - Head of Marketing & New Business by Matthew Johnson, Head of Marketing & New Business

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If you have read our post on Buyer personas defined in 15 seconds, you might be able to guess what negative personas are. 

Negative personas are fictional character representations of the type of buyer you want to avoid in your marketing efforts. Negative personas follow the same narrative as buyer personas, but they’re people you don’t want as your customers. 

This can mean different things for different businesses. Negative personas aren’t critical for building your inbound marketing strategy like buyer personas are, but they do reduce waste. They ensure you don’t squander your marketing budget/resources on the wrong people. Building a negative persona will further cement your understanding of your target audiences, so it is a useful exercise. 

The benefits of creating negative buyer personas:

  1. Reduces the average cost of acquisition
  2. Prevents wasted time/money targeting  the wrong people
  3. Eliminates people with the wrong demographics to buy
  4. Deepens your understanding of your existing buyer personas

You shouldn’t avoid negative personas like the plague. After all, if someone has high engagement with your site, you don’t want to shun them from your brand. If they become a brand advocate, they could turn their friends (with the right buying characteristics) into customers through referrals and content shares. 

Matthew Johnson - Head of Marketing & New Business by Matthew Johnson, Head of Marketing & New Business
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