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

Most persona projects fail. A big reason: teams treat it as the persona project — a one-time effort that’s meant to produce actionable personas that last for years.

That’s a tall order. Even if your research and process are rigorous, it’s very rare that teams nail personas in one pass.

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 create initial personas for your products. More importantly, we’ll work with you to regularly test your audience assumptions and make frequent adjustments to living personas.

Whether you’re doing a usability study or a set of discovery research interviews, we use part of the research to revisit and improve your personas. Over time, your teams will truly build an understanding of your personas and make user-centered design and product decisions.

Standalone Persona Projects

Because it’s so hard to create useful personas through a one-time study, we turn down most requests for standalone persona projects.

In rare cases, we like our chances to succeed and take them on. Either way, we’re always happy to have a conversation 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.

“Working with Marketade has been an amazing experience. I highly recommended them to anyone!”

Hung Ngo

Senior UX Designer, PenFed Credit Union

Our Process for Persona Studies

While we customize every persona research project, here’s an overview of our standard process.


We align with your team on your persona goals, product, audiences, and KPIs.


We send you a report that digitizes your new personas and captures the supporting research, findings, and next actions.


We facilitate a 1-day persona generation workshop with your team. Currently all of our workshops are remote.


We conduct a rigorous recruiting and screening process to find persona research participants.


We moderate customer interviews, observation sessions, field studies, and/or other user research.

“A new and better way to look at and leverage user personas.”

Caraline Visuri

Digital Product Designer, Herman Miller