Guides and Templates

Agency guide: client discovery

What is client discovery and how to do it

How will this guide help me and my business?

This guide is a companion to support our Excel client discovery checklist. This guides agencies through 9 areas of activity that could form ‘discovery’. This guide is an update of that, with some additional narrative. It will firstly, help you create or review your process for learning about clients and their customers’ needs. It will then let you identify the right questions to ask and thus improve proposal win rates or deliver a better outcome for existing clients by proposing more relevant solutions.

The term discovery is synonymous with ‘research’ but also overlays that research with the reflection (from individuals or in teams) that provide insights – those eureka moments, where you resolve something that perhaps the client hasn't seen and that helps you create effective web solutions and / or digital campaigns.

Our guide shows you:

Discovery involves collating and interrogating insights about a prospect or client businesses, their brands, their competitors and most importantly, the characteristics, beliefs, behaviour and perceptions of their audiences. Including the creation of draft personas if in a pitch situation. Our guide shows you:

  • How to carry how client discovery
  • Best practices
  • and much more...

It's a practical and actionable guide which takes you through each step.

Who is this guide for?

Client side marketers may also find this guide useful as a way of reviewing their own digital marketing endeavors in relation to their market, brand and campaigns.

How is this guide structured?

The guide is structured based on 9 steps you can follow to client discovery excellence.

  • Introduction
  • Discovery work streams
  • 1. Define client goals and objectives
  • 2. Review the market
  • 3. Website data
  • 4. Content audit
  • 5. Competitor audit
  • 6. Customer and Stakeholder audit
  • 7. Influencers in the market
  • 8. Specific media and link audits
  • 9. Additional Research
  • End point of discovery
  • Charging for discovery
  • Recommended Resources

Resource Details

  • Authors: Mark Kelly
  • Format: Online long form to help you discover your clients needs better
  • Related guides: Client discovery checklist – a detailed Excel spreadsheet for team members to use with their clients

About the author

Mark Kelly

Mark KellyMark Kelly is a freelance digital marketing consultant working with agencies and direct clients of Mark Kelly digital consultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.



Business memebrship badge icon Professional Membership is required

Access this resource now

Professional members get full access to this and other resources in the Agency growth and management Toolkit.

Learn more about Professional membership Already a Professional member? Login here Guide cover

The Agency guide: client discovery is included in the

Agency growth and management Toolkit

Business members can access this and 224 other guides and templates in this toolkit

Learn more about business membership Already a Business Member? Login here

...or take a look at the other Guides and Templates in this Toolkit

Look inside content

Trusted by marketers all over the world

Since 2009 our toolkits have helped thousands of marketers in over 170 countries to hit - and exceed - their targets.
Will you be next?

Globe illustration
Smart Insight partner logos over 165,000 consultants, agencies, entrepreneurs and SMB's in over 170 countries.

Get better results

Make your job easier

Tenfold improvement

Learn more about business membership
Smart insights logo