Gemma Mackman heads up Mackman Research and is one of the founding members of the Mackman Group. Gemma’s research expertise and thorough analytical skills have earned the company an excellent reputation for social research, mystery shopping, customer satisfaction surveys and other forms of research.
Q: What is your working background?
A: My work has always fitted around and complemented my academic studies. I’m currently studying for my PhD, and it was my BA (in Sociology, Communications and Media) which really gave me the bug for research. Mackman Research was a natural progression from the work I was doing when Paul and I started the Mackman Group, sitting at our kitchen table back in 2003.
Q: What excites you about research?
A: In sociology, you’re taught to discard what you think you know and base your knowledge only on what you see and hear first hand. To have a theory is not enough. For businesses any decision making should be based on evidence – not guess work. Social research really inspires me: face-to-face interviews and really getting to the heart of the issue.
Q: Is research changing?
A: Of course, just as business is changing. Social networking and on-line research often means you can reach a wider target audience, but the qualitative nature of the research is reduced as a result. There are still great benefits to be had from telephone and face-to-face interviews. You can gauge a lot more.
Q: How do you spend your time outside work?
A: Going for long, exploratory walks around the Suffolk countryside with our dog, Neave and spending time with our children, I’m keenly aware of the importance of our environment and I love sharing my enthusiasm and wonder of nature with them.
Q: What are your passions?
A: As well as my family and the natural environment, I’m driven by my academic studies. I’m fascinated by marginalized groups in society and my academic career reflects this. I read a lot, particularly anything about social subcultures and I’m fascinated to learn more about how society operates outside the ‘normal’ parameters.
Q: What are your future goals?
A: To finish my PhD and to see my children grow and flourish. I want to keep life peachy!