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Strategy & Insights

Insights In Action: Understanding The Discovery Process, Part One

February 23, 2017

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At the heart of every successful project lies a discovery. A discovery allows an agency better insight into a client’s needs and its audience’s wants, laying out a foundation for all areas of a project to follow, from creative to content through to development. Much like a trusted recipe, discoveries encompass an intricate balance between art and science and are designed to give guidance to clients.

Three years ago, Noble Studios created its Strategic Planning department in order to start regularly inserting formalized discoveries into our work, and today discoveries have become an integral component of every project we’re involved with. In this two-part series, we’ll explore the discovery process in-depth and explain why we love it along with why you need it.

What is a Discovery?

To begin, it is essential to understand what a discovery is. In a nutshell, a discovery starts by identifying a client’s goals, gathering inputs and research and building a plan to accomplish them in the most impactful manner possible.

It is common for companies to be unaware of, or to even assume, what their audience needs and wants. Instead, by using specific research methods, discoveries help companies learn more about themselves through both their audience as well as internal stakeholder’s displayed behaviors. By incorporating the discovery process into every project, regardless of the end goal, most companies have the ability to avoid wasting time and money pursuing the wrong ideas.

Why Are Discoveries Important?

Discoveries provide value to a client by allowing us to develop robust insights which ultimately leads to tangible outputs designed to achieve their overall goal. The results of a discovery serve as a common language for both client and our team, promising success for the project to come.

The Discovery Process


Through a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, our Strategic Planning team identifies the needs and motivators of the audience, the information necessary for them to make a conversion as well as learning how to create the smoothest path to that conversion.

  • Qualitative Research – provides an understanding of underlying reasons, options, and motivations (i.e. stakeholder interviews and focus groups)
  • Quantitative Research – provides a numerical and objective interpretation of activities and behaviors (i.e. surveys, Google Analytics, website heat-mapping)


The planning portion of a discovery is where the information collected through research gets turned into true insights. Through the analysis and synthesis of collected information, as well as the organization of derived insights, our strategic planning team is then able to frame its findings into a workable solution used to achieve the client’s goals.


With a clear plan in place, the discovery now has what it needs to begin incorporating other departments into the problem solving process. Contrary to popular opinion, projects do not just happen. They are guided, tested and finalized all by one leading entity. You guessed it. The discovery.

  • Strategic Planning – leads the entire discovery process, from executing research to devising a plan and ultimately making sure the client’s goal are being meet
  • Strategic Services – examines the company’s SEO activity and identifies its keywords
  • Creative Services – assesses the preexisting content and optimization
  • Technical Services – performs a technical audit resulting in future recommendations

Providing team members with an integrated plan they can reference not only makes working on projects smoother and more efficient, it also leads to a successful outcome.

“The seeker embarks on a journey to find what he wants and discovers, along the way, what he needs.”

Wally Lamb


As the project advances, the results of the discovery are continually referred back to in order to enable continuous progression towards the client’s goals and to ensure a successful outcome is ultimately achieved.

Why You Need The Discovery Process

By this point, you have probably learned a few things about the discovery process:

  1. It aligns client and agency
  2. It provides a multi faceted lens of project and an integrated plan
  3. By building a solid foundation, it provides security and promises success
  4. It is fundamental to your next project

Join us for our next blog post where we’ll discuss why you need to make sure you incorporate the discovery process into your next project, and how discoveries have helped our clients overcome some of their most daunting digital marketing challenges.

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