Discovery Research Services

Marketade leads exploratory and generative user research that helps teams align on key strategic directions, such as which audience to target or what product to build next. Most of our discovery research studies are part of ongoing research programs for enterprise and mid-size companies. We also conduct a small number of standalone research studies for new clients.

Our consultants draw from a diverse toolkit to address a team’s research questions and goals, including:

  • Customer observation through field studies, contextual inquiry, and lightweight ethnographic research
  • Audience research through in-depth user interviews, persona development, and customer journey mapping
  • Product/market fit research including hypothesis/problem validation and concept/MVP testing
  • End-to-end design thinking engagements, from observation to prototyping to testing
  • Research-based product strategies, roadmaps, and value propositions

B2B Discovery Research Examples

Here are some recent examples of exploratory research we’ve led for organizations with professional audiences. Our B2B work includes user/market research with C-suite enterprise executives, small business managers, and highly technical professionals.

Strategic Research for Podium

We led discovery research for this 1,200-person B2B software company. We conducted 20+ interviews followed by a survey. We then ran a workshop to help their product team identify personas and new value propositions. Learn more: How Podium Used Mixed-Methods Research to Guide Product Strategy.

Contextual Inquiry for the UN

We led discovery research for a United Nations data platform suite used by government agencies in 200+ countries. After observing the workflows of economists and statisticians, we facilitated a 1-day workshop to analyze problems, generate opportunities, and sketch solutions. Learn more: Strategic User Research for 3 United Nations Data Platforms.

Enterprise Field Research for BI

We led a 3-phase discovery research project to inform an overhaul of BI’s enterprise software platform: 1) current state field study with 3 site visits, 2) concept testing with 3 user groups, and 3) design thinking training for product and engineering teams. Learn more: Discovery Research with Government Case Managers for BI Inc.

Product/Market Research for Thales

Discovery research with enterprise cybersecurity leaders to guide a product team in exploring a new type of security solution. Followed by a 1-day value proposition mapping workshop. Learn more: Helping Thales Understand Enterprise Buyers Through Value Proposition Mapping.

Commercial Personas for GEICO

We partnered with GEICO to help create research-based personas for a business insurance product. We interviewed 10 stakeholders, 4 sales reps, and 8 B2B buyers. We then facilitated a 1-day workshop that aligned the team on 3 customer problems and generated personas for each.

Concept Testing for CAS

We led enterprise software concept testing for this 1,000-person division of the American Chemical Society. Interviewed scientists to assess the value and usefulness of a potential new feature and to generate ideas for future innovation.

“I am always surprised about the great insights … It definitely helped build consensus between teams.”

Jean-Philippe Mailloux

Solution Designer, Thales

Consumer Discovery Research Examples

We have led early-stage strategic research with a wide range of consumer audiences, including those in financial services, healthcare, software/tech, nonprofit, education, and travel.

Journey Research for March of Dimes

We conducted discovery research to improve maternity care for women with low access to healthcare. We led 1:1 interviews followed by a journey mapping workshop with 12 managers and directors. Learn more: Helping March of Dimes Understand the Journeys of Women with Low Access to Maternity Care.

user journey interview

Strategic Research for Tonal

We started with in-home interviews and observation sessions with Tonal home gym customers in 4 cities. We then led a 2-day workshop to generate personas, journey maps, innovation opportunities, and a product roadmap. Learn more: How Tonal Turned Customer Journey Mapping into a Team Sport.

Product/Market Research for Statespace

We ran strategic research to help a digital health team understand their target audience and opportunities to achieve product/market fit. We led a 150-person survey followed by 12 in-depth interviews and a persona generation workshop. Learn more: Helping Statespace Move Toward Product/Market Fit with Mixed Methods Research.

Personas for Herman Miller

We conducted 10 contextual interviews with customers of Herman Miller’s Design Within Reach furniture brand. Later we facilitated a 1-day workshop to generate personas and innovation opportunities. Learn more: Creating Research-Based Personas for Herman Miller.

Journey Mapping for 1-800-PACK-RAT

We collaborated with this top player in the moving and storage container space to create research-based journey maps that informed a multi-year vision. We interviewed recent customers and led a 2-day workshop. Learn more: How 1–800-PACK-RAT Used Journey Maps to Start a Customer Experience Transformation.

Roadmap Research for Travel Leaders

We led “team sport research” consisting of 3 travel company field visits and 30 customer interviews. We ran 2-day workshop to generate personas and journey maps. The project drove a unifying 3-year experience vision and a 12-month product roadmap.

“The research seemed very thorough and the participants were awesome!”

Raechel Mackenzie

Designer, Herman Miller

Our Typical Process for Discovery Projects

While our consultants customize each project, many of our discovery research projects follow a variation of this 5-step approach.


We get up to speed and align on your project goals, audiences and KPIs.


We deliver a summary report with all findings, solution ideas and research artifacts.


We facilitate a remote workshop to analyze, align, and act on the research.


We conduct a rigorous recruiting and screening process to find representative users.


We conduct 1:1 interviews or observation sessions and sometimes supplement this with quantitative research.

“Fantastic. I loved the process to brainstorm at a very abstract level and then quickly distill that into real action items.”

Michael Cooke

Director of Software Engineering, BI Incorporated