Murmur is a dedicated qualitative research agency delivering research insight and foresight to help agencies and clients crack problems

We are renowned for doing 2 things really well:



This year we have cracked communications strategy for Maserati, helped Havas win the pitch for Huawei, assisted New Balance designing the retail store of the future and put the UK hospitality sector under the microscope, for Whitbread


We get under the skin of brands or sectors and their attendant issues



Our experience has been profound, global and progressive. We solve problems, we do not deliver mere reportage


We have a reputation for utilising innovative research and analytical methods – which means we avoid assembly line approaches and reject the process orientation of the biggest research agencies


We believe that research which delivers foresight as well as insight offers brands and agencies the opportunity to squeeze much more value out of the research process

We apply innovative research methodologies

to solve marketing dilemmas and help direct long range thinking

We use immersive methods

such as ethnography, supported by follow up depth interviews and focus groups, to really get under the skin of sectors, ranging from supermarkets, via financial services, to alcohol… and even, for Durex, sex

We run the best recruited and moderated interview sessions

whether they be depths or focus groups, that clients such as Samsung, Mercedes and Nestle claim to have seen

We formulate and refine strategies

by utilising expert and savvy consumer input, to help brands and agencies uncover fresh insights about what they do and extrapolate from this to help planners and marketeers plan for the future

We help agencies to win pitches

from Saatchi & Direct Line and Marie Curie, to Havas & Huawei, by squeezing more value out of the pitch research process. We burrow deeper and uncover emotional insights that drive distinctive and motivating ideas

And we do all of the above swiftly, at great rates

whether the timeline is 2 months, or 2 days, we get the job done



Mark Ratcliff

Mark Ratcliff

Senior Researcher

More about Mark

Lamis Harper

Lamis Harper


More about Lamis

Miles Matthews

Miles Matthews

Senior Researcher / In-house Filmmaker

More about Miles

Amanda Wasielewski

Amanda Wasielewski

Researcher / Technical and Web Expert

More about Amanda

Karen Savage

Karen Savage

Purse Strings

More about Karen

Alastair Ingle

Alastair Ingle

In-house Filmographer / Researcher

More about Ali



  • ...From quickly getting to grips with the brief and research objectives, recruiting the right people – demographically and attitudinally on-brief, articulate and vocal - writing discussion guides that work to unearth new consumer and or category insights, considering and implementing the best qualitative methodologies, exploring socio-cultural contexts prior to and post fieldwork, to presenting to clients, creative’s and various stakeholders with an easy aplomb and professional integrity. Mark possesses a fundamental empathy for what we do and how we do it; he’s always been my partner along the strategic and creative development process rather than just a supplier. During our many creative development projects he’s demonstrated a brilliant cultural and creative literacy that both facilitates a sensitive but thorough exploration of an ideas merit and optimise its potential to engage with and get noticed by consumers... (Read full testimonial)

    Damian McKeown, Planning Director

  • Other researchers pale into insignificance compared to Mark. I have always felt confident introducing him to new clients as I know he will not let me down. He has a God-given talent for seeing things that others miss and because of his history with creatives and agencies his work is always useful. I have known clients to use his debrief as the holy grail for a long time after it was given as he has uncovered so much valuable insight -stuff that challenges, enlightens and facilitates creativity. I have used him for anything from creative development research through to really high end opinion former work - he has some of the best recruiters and manages to speak to your wish list. Oh and clients like him and trust him - which is always good.

    Farhat Zaheer, Senior Planner

    Meerkats (Australia)

  • Mark and his team at Murmur have given us two of the biggest strategic breakthroughs of the last year in planning. The most notable was on our recent £60 million Dulux global account win. In a world of qual researchers that seem unwilling to get stuck into the meaty strategic stuff, Mark is total refreshment.

    Rebecca Moody, Planning Director

    Ogilvy & Mather

  • Mark ran a global consumer insight research project for me, at Timberland. Mark was a great partner who brought tremendous passion, enthusiasm and insight to the project. He was able to anticipate and get in deep to understand and provide fresh insight. The research was critical to our consumer understanding and positioning for Timberland, bringing rich insight that continues to inform strategy and communications. I’d highly recommend Mark and the Murmur team, and hope to have the opportunity to work with them again.

    Tracey Stokes, Marketing Director


  • Mark is unquestionably one of the greatest researchers and thinkers in the advertising and communication business. In my 20 years of knowing and working with Mark he has made me and the business I have worked on infinitely better. Marks greatest asset is his ability to understand people and culture and knowing how to interpret that understanding in a way that not only benefits the brands he works on, but more importantly benefits the people the very insight came from. But above all else Mark is just one of those people you love spending time with. If you can get time in his incredibly busy life then you and / or your brand will be better for it.

    Andy Bellass, Partner and CSO

    Splendid Communications

We don’t trust branded research tools or research companies that peddle specific templates, or formulae – they smack of assembly line approaches which are intended to make the research company’s job easier


Our approach has always revolved around moving thinking forward

Over the years that has meant we have increasingly found ourselves helping to evolve, or even uncover, strategic insights

mini heading goes here

So, for example, when we work on pitches for ad agencies we often get involved at an earlier stage in the process where we elicit the input of experts and savvy consumers to help identify motivating territory that positioning statements and strategic propositions can be rooted in

Because we have experience in ad agency planning, we understand strategy. And because we understand the pressures involved in identifying distinctive and motivating strategies, we always work closely with the people who have to come up with fresh thinking in this area

Over the course of fieldwork we will continually feed nuggets and insights into planning or marketing departments, with a view to identifying territory that gets everyone sitting forward and excited

In essence, we evolve ideas by going back and forth between consumers and agency or client, until we have identified the most resonant and distinctive strategic ideas and propositions

Let’s illustrate the above with 2 case studies:


We believe insight comes from a bespoke approach, rather than a research template

At the most basic level, if we are charged to investigate a brand, sector, or campaign, with a view to identifying fresh insight, we think a judicious mix of

Savvy Moderators +

Intelligent Respondents +

Experts =

A Happy Client

That means moderators who have enough cultural nous and understanding that they can contextualise consumer responses. So that means our researchers have outside interests and skills.

Whether they be making credible and successful pop music
Creating acclaimed contemporary art
Making documentaries that appear on Channel 4
Or composing and performing classical music

Savvy Moderators

Intelligent Respondents

We believe very strongly in quota-ing for intelligence when it comes to recruitment. Researching anything more abstract or creative necessitates a certain type of respondent – bright, articulate and capable of creative thinking

Of course, our respondents are still representative of a sector.

Accessing more intelligent respondents involves ascertaining how engaged our respondents are with popular culture – evidence of engagement means respondents are more likely to be able to answer questions in a way that’s considered


We recruit in house, particularly when it comes to experts – recently, we have found ourselves speaking with respondents that normal recruiters simply cannot find, including the disparate likes of:

NHS Commissioners

the country’s top washing machine designers

experts in the way trends in the home are evolving

the top food buyers in Sainsbury’s

leading experts in Russian youth culture

dance music pop stars

the country’s leading experts on stress
the country’s leading experts on cultural revolution

users of very obscure credit agencies

high class prostitutes

the top personal trainers in the USA and UK

… and others



Research Tools

Opinion Formers

We believe opinion formers offer a short circuit to knowledge. We believe in speaking with people at the top of the adoption tree, the creators and trend setters in a sector

Online Forums

In recent years, we have increasingly found online forums to be a cost effective yet incredibly fruitful way of delivering foresight around creative and strategic development.

Co-Creation Sessions

Co-creation sessions are a way of moving communications thinking forward that harnesses the dynamic engendered by an intense, day-long session with a room full of experts.


Our reputation as a qualitative research company was forged in the early 90s when we could be found immersing ourselves into underground rave culture.


Co-operative research enables us to access environments and opinion that are beyond reach. We have utilised it to access disparate ethnic and demographic groups.

Winning Pitches

What we offer, within an absurdly fast turnaround, is utilisation of interesting methods to elicit the most rich and layered findings.

Communications Checks

Communication checks can benefit from one on one interviews because dominant respondent syndrome is avoided.

Focus Groups

There are 2 things we’re increasingly flexible about, in a focus group context: duration and number of respondents.



We think there’s a role for research to offer something more future-focused, to revolve around consumer foresight as much as consumer insight


Murmur Films

We are committed to producing research films which go beyond the market research norm – so, for example, we followed a number of middle aged men for a number of months, on behalf of VW and the resulting film – The Middle Men – ended up winning the Best UK Documentary Award at the 2010 London Independent Film Festival Awards

We use film to bring consumers vividly to life, in a way that adds resonance and meaning to debriefs


The Middle Men from Murmur Research on Vimeo.



By murmurstaff / July 4, 2016

News and Updates

We will now be able to update you on our latest news and activities.

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Office: +44 (0) 20 7733 1706

Mark’s Mobile: +44 (0) 787 949 1716

Mark’s Email: mark@murmurresearch.com

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