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





So far in 2018, we have been interviewing high end escorts and top sex therapists, to drive KY NPD; we have used ethnography and extended focus groups to map the UK’s soft drink market, for Britvic and Clearly Drinks; we have filmed trips into consumers’ social lives in London’s hipster enclaves, for Bulldog Gin; we have undertaken the most extensive study of broadband usage and needs in rural England for Gigaclear and for Gillette and Procter & Gamble we have run a U&A/NPD project comprising a 2 week long online community and an extended film trip into consumers lives, in order to highlight new need states and opportunities



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, expert sessions 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

We get the job done

whether the timeline is 2 months, or 2 days

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

In 2017 we undertook a huge ethnographic study into media consumption and engagement with attendant communications, for the Royal Mail, immersed ourselves into the area around Waterloo in order to ascertain its essence, for the developers responsible for the £600 million regeneration of the station area, helped Havas win Rekorderlig on the back of strategic development research, spent 5 weeks with millennial males to generate insights which enabled Havas to win the Carling pitch and immersed ourselves into the world of rescuing and rehoming pets, in an extended qualitative research project for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home


Mark Ratcliff

Mark Ratcliff

Senior Researcher

More about Mark

Lamis Harper

Lamis Harper

Researcher & Recruitment Manager

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

Alistair Ingle

Alistair Ingle

In-house Filmographer / Researcher

More about Ali


  • I have worked with Murmur research in three continents over the last twenty years. Our business gets tougher and tougher, more platforms, more segments and yet the methodology of finding the insights that feed them all have hardly changed in the last thirty years. Mark and his team are amongst the very few who look at a problem and come up with a new and interesting way of finding a deeper and more meaningful context which helps us develop a stronger and more edgy solution for our clients. Without giving away too much , we recently employed Murmur to help us go beyond the typical understanding of our targets in one of our core growth markets. The result has been a body of work that has served to better our briefs, given us a stronger and more respected opinion for our clients and has led to numerous new business meetings, I sincerely hope he does not share this methodology with any of you:-) In short if you want some research which tells you what you already think you know and what your clients almost certainly do know, well don't hire Mark. If you want thought provoking, ideas before their time, stimulus for real creative thinking then Murmur is your team..

    Poran Malani, President

    Ogilvy & Mather

  • ...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

    Droga 5

  • 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


  • 4Mark 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

  • 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


  • 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

    Havas Worldwide

In 2016 we cracked communications strategy for a major FMCG brand working with Karmarama, helped Havas win the pitch for Huawei, assisted New Balance designing the retail store of the future, identified opportunities for Halifax to behave like a consumer champion and put the UK hospitality sector under the microscope, for Whitbread




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 a case study:

In 2015 we managed the biggest millennials study that’s ever been undertaken in India, for Ogilvy & Mather, uncovered fresh insight into End of Life Care for Marie Curie, built and managed an international forum among opinion forming women on the future of feminism for a major FMCG brand, assisted Debenhams in optimising their offering for women and helped Netflix in evolving their future communications strategy across Europe


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


(click the arrows either side to scroll right or left)

We are renowned for being able to access the types of respondent who are either extremely niche, or reluctant to participate in research – whether they  be high class prostitutes, people with terminal illness, individuals responsible for allocating NHS budgets, drug dealers, or Chinese migrants

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 - whether we are talking high class prostitutes, top hedge fund managers, the country's most esteemed washing machine designers, or pop stars

Online Forums

In recent years, we have increasingly found online forums to be a cost effective yet incredibly fruitful way of getting savvy consumers to live with and think about relevant issues for weeks at a time

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, savvy consumers... and a strategist or 2 to translate ideas into action


In the early 90s we could be found immersing ourselves into underground rave culture and we still immerse ourselves in cultures today, for brands as disparate as Timberland, Maserati and Aldi


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 and at great rates, is utilisation of interesting methods to elicit the most rich and layered findings. We have been on the winning side in 13 out of 15 pitches we have worked on, in the last 2 years.

Communications Checks

Our approach to communication checks involves the most senior researchers undertaking 20-30 depth interviews, recruited in-situ by our specially trained recruiters, in 1 day - avoiding dominant respondent syndrome and enabling incredibly fast turnaround.

Focus Groups

Clients as disparate as Adidas, Coca Cola, Ogilvy & Mather and Mother have regularly told us that we run the best moderated focus groups they have ever seen. We are flexible over group numbers and interview duration - there's nothing wrong with speaking with 10 people over 3 or 4 hours, as long as they are offered decent food, drink and the occasional break.


(click the arrows either side to scroll right or left)



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 / September 27, 2016

Focus groups as therapy

We’ve found ourselves recently running focus groups on health-related matters, some of which involve very personal emotions and feelings. We’ve...

Read More
By murmurstaff / August 2, 2016

Lamis at Murmur receives Masters Scholarship

Lamis has been awarded a scholarship for her part-time Masters in Creative Practice at Goldsmiths University. Congratulations!  

Read More
By murmurstaff / August 2, 2016

Mark Ratcliff (aka Rude Audio) new EP

We’ve made a record! Rude Audio Rudest EP – and it’s being played on Radio 6, as well as by...

Read More
By murmurstaff / July 4, 2016

Murmur Appoints In-House Filmographer

Murmur welcomes Alistair Ingle as our new in-house filmographer, to the team. He’s got the first film under his belt...

Read More




Read more news




Office: +44 (0) 20 7733 1706

Mark’s Mobile: +44 (0) 787 949 1716

Mark’s Email: mark@murmurresearch.com

send message
Your Name*
© Copyright 2014, Murmur Research