How to plan Discovery interviews

1. Deciding who to interview

Within your target market segment, determine which companies and job functions to interview.

Before beginning your Discovery interviews, your team will need a clear picture of your target market segment, also known as a “cluster of customers with similar needs.” This segment should be a) consistent with your business’s strategic intent (where you are going), b) attractive in terms of size, growth, etc., and c) properly resourced for rapid interviewing and front-end-of-innovation work. For more, see the BlueHelp articles, How to segment markets and How to select your target market segment.

Next, consider which companies and which job functions in those companies you will interview. For the companies, consider the entire ecosystem… any player that can influence market decisions or provide you with valuable insight. This typically includes potential customers, customers’ customers, industry consultants, regulatory bodies, co-suppliers, etc.

Then consider the job functions within these companies, e.g. management, marketing, design, technical, production, and so on. When you conduct your initial round of Discovery interviews, you’re trying to avoid errors of omission. In other words, you want to uncover all possible customer outcomes, even those that are normally unarticulated. This won’t happen if you fail to interview all the relevant job functions.

For more, see e-Learning Module 10: Interviewing Fundamentals at > e-Learning. For more on interviewing fundamentals, check out the 2-minute video, B2B Interviewing fundamentals, part of the B2B Organic Growth video series by Dan Adams.


Keywords: Discovery interview, New Product Blueprinting, market segment, companies to interview, job functions to interview, ecosystem to interview, charter customer