Research-Based Personas for UX, Design & Product Teams

Our small agency specializes in ongoing user research programs for enterprise and mid-size companies. Through these partnerships, we help teams develop research-based personas that drive design and product decisions. We also lead a small number of standalone persona projects for new clients.

Iterative Personas Through Recurring User Research

Of the many types of user research projects, personas are the one that disappoints teams most often. Countless companies invest significant time and dollars to create personas only to forget about them a year later.

There’s a better way: just as user research should be an ongoing process, so too should persona development.

If you work with Marketade on a continuous research program, we can help you draft initial personas for your products. Then we’ll work with you to regularly test audience assumptions and update living personas.

Whether you’re doing a usability study or a set of discovery research interviews, we can use part of the research to revisit and improve your personas. Over time, your teams will build a deep understanding of their audience that guides design and product decisions.

Case Study:

Helping Thales Understand Enterprise Software Users & Buyers

Enterprise Software Leader

With 80,000 employees in over 50 countries, Thales sells products to governments and companies around the world. Its annual revenue is over $20 billion USD.

Hard-to-Recruit Professionals

Product, UX, and innovation teams at Thales struggled to conduct research with actual users and potential buyers of its enterprise security software.

2 Years of Consistent Research

Over 2 years, Marketade led recurring studies to guide critical product and design decisions — from journey mapping to concept/MVP testing to UX testing.

Standalone Persona Projects

Because creating actionable personas through a one-time study is so difficult, we take on very few standalone persona projects. Yet we’re always happy to speak with you if you’re considering a persona study.

Below are some examples of past persona projects.

Herman Miller — Furniture Buyers

To guide a website redesign, we helped Herman Miller create personas for its Design Within Reach furniture brand. Moderated 10 customer interviews and facilitated a 1-day persona-building workshop. Learn more: Creating Research-Based Personas for Herman Miller.

GEICO — Insurance Product Users

A GEICO team was eager to increase customer self-service for one of its insurance products. We created personas based on call center field research, a 150-customer survey, and 20 in-depth interviews. Learn more: Using Research-Based Personas to Boost GEICO Self-Service.

Tonal — Consumer Fitness Buyers

We led persona and customer journey research for this fitness technology company. Moderated 12 in-home interview/observation sessions in 4 cities. Facilitated a 2-day workshop. Learn more: How Tonal Turned Customer Journey Mapping into a Team Sport.

Travel Leaders — Agents & Travelers

Team-based persona research consisting of 3 travel company field visits, 10 travel agent interviews, and 30 luxury traveler interviews. Facilitated a 2-day workshop that generated 3 primary personas, a unifying 3-year experience vision, and a 12-month product roadmap.

Humentum — Global NGO Executives

We partnered with the marketing team at this global nonprofit to create 3 primary personas and 2 secondary personas. Before creating the personas, the team observed 1:1 interviews with their target audience: country managers and directors of large global NGOs.

Coin Cloud — SMBs & Bitcoin Buyers

Coin Cloud is the world’s largest network of two-way digital currency kiosks. We conducted 20 interviews and led 2 remote workshops to help this team advance its mission of “bringing digital currency to all.” Created personas for customers and businesses.