Yup, you heard us - the Big D-Trizzle is exactly your target audience. He might be loathsome, abrasive, offensive in every possible way, but he’s your audience. He might go against everything you represent, but he’s your audience. He might represent the greatest threat to humanity the 21st century has encountered, but – you guessed it! – he’s your audience.
Or – okay, maybe he’s not your audience. Not Donald Trump specifically. But, you’re bound to have an equally dislikable section of your audience – those customers that pick holes in everything you do, aren’t a good fit with your existing buyer personas, and yet inexplicably just keep on coming back. Your own personal Donald Trump.
We’d love to believe that having an excellent marketing strategy with built in buyer personas means you’ll only ever attract the perfect audience for you, but sadly that ain’t the case. Haters – as they say – gonna hate. Which is why you need to build yourself some negative buyer personas, too.
Negative buyer personas are the fictional, generalised representations of your less-than-ideal customers. You can have a go at creating the right personas for your business using Josh's template, below. Not sure you need 'em? Have a read of this.
Oh, and by the way if you don't agree that "The Donald" is loathsome, abrasive, offensive, consider yourself now a negative persona for Noisy Little Monkey, please Click Here, you idiot.
Are negative personas really worth the time and effort?
Yes! Not only does building negative personas make you feel a bit better, there’s real value in marking out your less-than-ideal customers. This practice can help:
1. Sharpen your focus
Adding a negative persona to your buyer personas will improve your marketing efforts. In the same way that your buyer personas make your life easier by having an image of your ideal customers in your head, negative personas sharpen your focus by having those unwanted customers in your thinking. Or maybe you do want them, they’re just always really difficult. Only you can decide the negative persona for you!
2. Save you time and money
Working out what categorises those who will never buy your product or service, but who will waste your time, will help you achieve a lower cost-per-lead and cost-per-customer, and see higher sales productivity as a result. Having a negative persona by your side will ensure you quickly stop pursuing those scamps who give the impression they’re your biggest fan, but are really only interested in the stuff you’re giving away for free.
3. Boost sales
It’s not just the marketing team that will benefit from having negative personas for reference – the sales team will, too. They’ll quickly be able to weed out the fans from the customers. For example, from a quick conversation they’ll be able to decipher if they sit within a lower income bracket than can't afford your product, and drop them instantly, because sales people are so nice like that.
The four types of negative persona...
As we see it, there are four types of negative persona:
- Those that will never buy your product or service, and will bitch and moan about everything you do. Trolls.
- Those that may become a customer, but are bloody expensive to acquire.
- Those that may become a customer, but will make an effing great dent in your budget because of a low average sale price, their propensity to churn, or their unlikeliness to purchase again.
- Those that will never buy from your business, but comment and share your content.
The last group can stay. In sharing your content, they’re extending your reach, which might result in someone else buying your product or service – especially if they’re an influencer.
However, having a negative persona which documents their unfavourable characteristics will ensure you don't spend significant sales and marketing budget trying to convert them into leads and customers.
Are we making ourselves clear?
Based on conversations with clients, buyer personas are easier to get your head around than negative personas. It seems to be how to put negative personas into action that causes the confusion.
With buyer personas it’s easy: you complete our buyer persona template (wink wink, nudge nudge) and apply the personas throughout your marketing efforts.
Negative personas work a bit differently. You’re not going to be writing content with your unwanted customers in mind – that would defeat the object somewhat.
Instead, your negative personas act as ‘Warning!’ message for the sales and marketing team. They’re a reminder that this person, who likes all your content, has signed up to your newsletter and spends a fair bit of time on your website, might not be all that they seem.
So, before you spend a shed-load of time and money trying to reel them in, see how they compare to your negative personas. If they seem to share many of the characteristics with your negative personas, the alarm bells should start to ring. It stops us from trying to convert the Donald Trumps of the world.
Wanna know more about buyer personas - bad and good? We've got a couple of blogs you might like to read - just click here and have yourself a browse. Otherwise, follow us on Twitter for the latest updates (and gifs).
Image Credit: Gage Skidmore