Discovery & Insights

The Discovery process is a foundational fact-finding exercise that allows our team to develop a deep understanding of your team’s needs. We find that this phase of work is critical to establishing any new relationship. Learning about one another builds trust, credibility and often solid friendships. We take pride in our ability to partner with our clients, often building the kind of rapport that makes us feel like an extension of the team. This is a great way to work together–and we think you will agree. These fundamental partnerships go a long way towards project success.

Now that we’re friends, we will take a deep dive into assessing your objectives, understanding your challenges and defining your goals. We find out which marketing initiatives are successful for you– and which ones aren’t. Together we will tease out the desired results for your efforts and the strategies needed to reach your goals.

The beauty of working with us on a Discovery effort is that it can be a smaller commitment for your budget and your team. Our clients typically combine Discovery with a larger scope of work, that includes Strategy, Digital or Creative but we’re flexible. Higher Education clients often need time to evolve their marketing, gain buy-in, and determine the right course. We get it.

For teams that require more guidance and planning, our Discovery-to-Roadmap package might be the right fit. Let’s chat, we’ll help you determine the right-sized approach.

Listening + Empathy = Our Process

The Discovery experience is led by our director of strategy, and supported by key members of the Rowland team. You’ll come to understand that this process is built around curiosity, understanding, and empathy. We’ll meet with you and your stakeholders to listen. We always listen to you first.

Then it’s our turn. It’s our job to ask the right questions. Using a survey or our intake process we’ll ask you to define your goals, your competitors, the audiences you seek, and the marketing activities in which you currently engage. Next we’ll ask you to provide any assets or data that you may have. We’ll talk to your team, look at your website, and any other materials that are part of your marketing landscape. Our goal is to learn as much about you as we can. It’s fun, challenging, and rewarding–for you and for us.



Our analysis is meant to lead you to clarity and purpose. You should feel like you can approach other stakeholders in your organization with a vision, a plan to move forward, and an enhanced strategic outlook. We’ll document our findings along the way and provide you with several key deliverables that will help support your new-found sense of direction:

  • Survey Report: We’ll share our findings so that everyone is on the same page and has a baseline understanding of your world and what you’re asking us to consider.
  • Website Audit: Website Health / Content / Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    We’ll analyze your website based on industry best practices.
  • Digital Audit: Search Engine Marketing (SEM) / Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
    We’ll review your site for digital marketing readiness, and analyze any digital marketing campaigns you’re currently running.
  • Competitor Benchmarking: We’ll report on your competitors’ websites, identifying who their audiences are, how they talk to them, and what brand strategies are at play.
  • Personas: We’ll craft fictional representations of key audience members, carefully identifying the nuances that make these individuals important to reach.


What comes next?

What comes next is up to you. Long-term relationships are what we are used to around here. We find that clients typically stay with us after a Discovery phase. By this point, we know so much about each other that future work comes naturally. Translating Discovery work into Strategy is the goal, and continuing our relationship with you only makes the work stronger. Here’s to statements of work filled with expertise, collaboration, and meaningful partnerships.

Quotation marks
Higher Ed clients come with a wealth of complex challenges. We understand how to navigate the culture, and how to work with cross-functional teams in ways that feel extremely productive.

Dan Rowland President