Depending on size and scope, I ideally like to do focus groups or 30 minute user interviews with both internal and external stakeholders. In the case that the client does not have personal access to their target customers, I will craft a survey and use email, social media or survata to distribute it. Afterwards, using affinity mapping techniques, I will sort through the data to find patterns about that user. I use that data to create user personas and customer journey maps, to better understand what users are thinking and feeling, what barriers they might have to engaging with the brand or product, and ways we can overcome those barriers by understanding the users motivations. I create content lifecycle maps to distinguish what content or feature will move a user to the next stage in the marketing funnel. These drivers are based on the client's goals and objectives and should always map back to the higher-level digital strategy.