Host: Jen Spencer

You probably know how important it is to use buyer personas. 

But your work doesn’t end there. It's actually really important to consider customer personas, negative personas, and micro personas. Each of these personas can be helpful when it comes to increasing the success of your marketing efforts.

On the latest episode of SmartBug on Tap, I talked through how to use each of these three personas. 

So, let's start with customer personas. 

All About Customer Personas

When a lead becomes a customer, is their journey over for your company? 


Your job isn’t over just because you’ve made a sale.

You continue to work to delight them in the hopes of turning them into a brand evangelist. 

But a lot of times, companies make the mistake of not staying connected with a customer after the sale — they don’t seek to continue understanding their customer's concerns and their customer's motivations.

Yet it's important to put in the effort to follow up with each customer to not only gauge his or her satisfaction levels, but also help gain some valuable feedback. 

And these insights can be leveraged to inform your persona building process.

Creating customer personas can really help your team know what drives people after they convert into becoming a customer. 

Here's some examples of questions you might want to ask to dig into what's happening after the purchase:

Have they ever had any support issues?

What are their experiences with your product and your services so far?

What do they wish your company was giving them more of?

By talking to current customers, not only about their buying experience, but also about their experience as a customer, you can begin creating customer personas that are really going to help you delight those current and future customers. 

All About Negative Personas

While buyer personas really help teams understand their audience and reduce costly interactions, it's equally essential to bolster your strategy with negative personas. 

If buyer personas represent your target customer, negative personas are pretty much the exact opposite. 

Negative personas save organizations a lot of time and money by helping them identify the archetypes of whom you don't want to sell and market to. 

I'm sure you can think of customers who just won't work well with your business. They probably end up costing you far more — time, money, staff contentment, and reputation — than they're going to give you. 

Negative personas really enables your team to segment out the bad apples by proactively identifying which types of prospects are a potential drain on your resources. 

The other benefit of having negative personas is, when you can identify them, it gives your team a reason to cut ties with certain prospects. So, disqualifying people out of your sales process can be equally as important as qualifying them. 

Overall, successfully segmenting out negative personas can result in a lower cost per lead, lower cost per customer, and improve your sales productivity. 

All About Micro Personas

While standard buyer personas differ based on high level goals, challenges, wants, or needs of an organization's customers or users, micro personas differ based on much more subtle features — like a preferred means of communication. 

You can have one standard persona that may have many different micro personas. But each micro persona can only be a subset of one macro, or standard, persona. 

Let me walk through an example. 

A standard persona might be Marketing Mary. Let’s say she's a marketing manager at a company with 50 - 200 employees. Her main goal is to get more leads and prove the ROI of her efforts. But it feels like she just doesn't have enough hours in the day to accomplish everything she needs to. 

Now, let's break that down into four different micro personas. 

Young Mary is highly tech savvy and wants an automated solution for everything. She's not afraid of using technology to get the best results. 

Mature Mary is not as tech savvy and she's intimidated by new technology. It takes a longer time for her to warm up to new systems. 

Leader Mary has a large team, so she delegates things like content creation tasks. She's really only in charge of high level strategy or budget and hitting those numbers.

Tactical Mary has maybe one or two people below her, and she's responsible for doing many marketing tasks herself. 

In this example, the micro personas speak to a situation where there's an overarching persona with a common story. 

Something to keep in mind is that you can write one content piece for a macro persona, but you could also write a much more targeted piece for someone who fits the mold of one of the micro personas. Doing this will really help you improve the relevancy and the personalization of your content offer. 

So, that was a quick lesson on how to use advanced personas. By taking your persona development to the next level, you’ll hopefully find greater success in your marketing efforts, as well. 

Tweet me or SmartBug about your journey at
 @jenspencer or @smartbugmedia.

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Jen Spencer

About the author

Jen Spencer leads SmartBug's sales, marketing, and brand strategy. Over her career, Jen has built several demand generation and sales enablement programs from the ground up and has experience working within tech startups, publicly traded companies, mid-market organizations, and the not-for-profit space. Jen subscribes to the notion that “we’re all in this together,” and great communication leads to great partnership. She loves animals, technology, the arts, and really good Scotch. Read more articles by Jen Spencer.

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