Personas are built on the true thoughts and actions of ideal prospects and capture motivations, assumptions, expectations, pains and goals. Offering much more than a one dimensional view of customers, personas provide a human perspective and allow you to market to your audience on a personal level, becoming an invaluable source in determining what content to deliver, where to deliver it, how to deliver it and when to deliver it.  

There are a number of ways to develop effective personas for your organisation – where possible, we’d always recommend using a combination of the three listed below:  

Method 1: Market research

A simple Google search can bring a range of insights on both B2B and B2C personas straight to your screen. This method is ideal for rudimentary research and getting an initial understanding of your personas.  

Method 2: Persona workshops 

Your team will have a great understanding of your personas as they likely to deal with them every day. The benefit of conducting persona workshops means you’ll gain insights into how the customers that fit into your persona categories currently interact with your brand.  

Method 3: Consumer surveys 

Validating your personas through consumer surveys means you can strip out assumptions and get a true representation of your personas. We’d always recommend sending out surveys to a small proportion of each persona group to get insights directly from your core audience.  

This guide focuses on method 2 – persona workshops. Here you’ll find all of the information and tools you need to deliver a successful workshop so you can successfully leverage your team’s existing knowledge on your core personas.  

Who should attend? 

Your workshops should be attended by the team members who frequently deal with the persona of focus. It may be that each workshop has different attendees as various divisions of the business will have touch points with different types of customers. Sales teams will have an alternative experience to delivery teams, so it’s useful to include a combination of all the people who interact with your customers in each workshop 

If you have a good relationship with a current customer who fits into your persona profile, don’t be afraid to involve them in the process. One thing to consider here however, is that this may not encourage an open discussion, so only include those you feel will be honest and open with what they say.  

We’d recommend involving no more than 10 people in the workshops to ensure the group remains focused throughout.  

What do you need to conduct a persona workshop? 

  • A Flipchart 

  • Pens 

  • Someone taking notes 

  • Snacks! 

  • Lots of tea and coffee 

Step by step guide to running an effective persona workshop: 

The persona workshop is where you can really get to grips with what your personas face on a daily basis. It’s where you get the emotive insights that will help take your marketing strategy to the next level.  

Each workshop should focus on an individual persona and could last up to two hours, comprising of the following 12 segments 

Workshop introduction  

Each workshop should start with a quick introduction, defining your wider business objectives, a brief introduction of what personas are (for those who don’t know) and introducing attendees. This is important as it allows you as the facilitator to understand what sort of experiences each attendee has with the persona you are focusing on.  


You should start by establishing your persona's demographics. You should include age, job title, marital status, gender and education. While this information is important in creating a human persona, you won’t get any comprehensive details here so you should try and define this section as quickly as possible so you can get started on development. 

Finances (B2C only)

When constructing a B2C persona, it’s important to get an understanding of disposable income and what budgets they have to spend on your product or service. This can help to inform your pricing strategy and how you market to specific audience types. 

Day in the life

Here you’ll focus on the persona's day-to-day activity. This will help you define content topics later down the line and which times are best to market to the persona. By understanding what your customers face on a daily basis, you’ll be able to empathise with them to build meaningful relationships and create content that resonates.  

Hopes and aspirations

In this segment, you will look at the hopes and aspirations of the persona. This can be extremely beneficial for internal teams who communicate with the persona you are focusing on, as it allows them to get a good understanding of their motivations and what makes them tick.   

Pain points 

Often, this ends up being the most thorough segment – what aspects of their working or personal life frustrates them most? This is integral and will help inform your value proposition and all future communications. Once you know what problems the persona faces, you can craft content that lets them know exactly how your product or service can solve them.   

Knowledge and learning

This section is where you will establish what tools and platforms your persona uses to expand their knowledge. This step is crucial in defining where you place your content and collateral. If the persona isn’t known to be active on Twitter, it would be a waste of time to develop a social media plan that focuses on this platform. Remember your goal is to get results – you need to make sure that all of your carefully crafted content is going somewhere your persona will see it.  


Here you will focus on who, or what, could influence your persona to purchase (or not purchase) your product or service. This will give you the knowledge of who else you need to convince and which obstacles you may face when marketing your product or service. 


A trigger is a compelling event that leads to a purchase. While you may not have control over triggershaving an awareness of what they are means you will be ready to react accordingly. If the persona is likely to be on the lookout for a new supplier after a legislation change – you need to push out marketing materials on the lead up so you're already on the persona’s radar when they come to decide. 


Barriers focus on what will prevent your persona from purchase. Is cost an issue? Does the persona fear disruption? These often can be incorrect perceptions, so much like pain points, you can use these to your advantage to push out collateral that will reassure your persona otherwise.  


The aims focus on what your persona wants to get out of your product or service. This segment is crucial as it can prompt you to reshape products and services in line with what the customer needs.   

Core aims

Though all of the insights gained during these sessions will be key to your strategy development, core aims are the top three key things the persona wants to achieve from purchasing your product or service. By placing focus on the top three, you can ensure your marketing is strongly directed towards fulfilling those needs. To define core aimsyou should ask each attendee in the workshop to pick what they believe to be the persona's main aim. Following this, you should reach out to your personas through surveys or interviews to validate which aims are most important 

Workshop conclusion

Here you should conclude the workshop – by this point attendees are often all questioned out – so thank them for their time and advise them of the following next steps. Once you’ve completed all the workshops, you will share the finished personas for approval. These can be circulated amongst the team to get any feedback or amendments.  

Tips for success:  

The team at Fabric have ran hundreds of persona workshops for different organisations across all sectors. Over the years we’ve learnt a few tips and tricks that will make your life a little easier when facilitating a persona workshop.  

Stick to an agreed timeframe

Anything over two hours and attendees can lose interest. The workshops require a lot of involvement so keep them focused and on time.   

Do your research

Make sure you have an understanding of the persona, our handy guide on using research to determine personas can help with this. Whilst you may not have any direct experience, you need to be able to spot when attendees are getting a little lost, which brings us to our next point… 

Keep your attendees on track

Your attendees will have a great deal of knowledge and experience when it comes to your personas. However, it’s your job to ensure they remain on track. Sometimes team members can fall into putting their own opinions forward instead of the persona's. For example, they can suggest what they want the persona's aims to be, however we need to remind them to get back into the mindset of the persona.  

Put your attendees at ease

Remind attendees that there are no right or wrong answers so they should be vocal about their own experience. The purpose is to build a clear understanding so if people have different opinions, it’s important to take them all into consideration.  

Have someone else take notes

As facilitator, it’s your job to keep everyone engaged and involved – this means you need to be in front of everyone asking the questions. If you can, bring somebody else into the workshop to take notes. This means nothing will be missed and you can dedicate your full attention to running the workshop.  

Use a Flipchart

To keep everyone engaged, stand up and use a Flipchart to write down everyone’s suggestions. This will give attendees a visual prompt and will also prevent repetition. Dedicate a page to each segment of the persona to keep everything neat and organised and make sure you have plenty of spare pens! 

Provide snacks and lots of refreshments

The workshops require a lot of participation meaning attendees can get tired towards the end. Provide snacks to keep energies high and offer refreshment breaks throughout.  

Use prompt cards

Prompt cards can be key to keeping you on track and helping the workshop remain in full flow. 

Before running your persona workshops, we recommend you download our buyer persona templates so you can explore exactly which information you need to extract to develop detailed personas. Don’t forget, there are two additional methods we’d recommend you use to ensure the personas you develop are as accurate as possible. Learn how to use market research to develop personas and check out our guide to conducting consumer surveys.