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Research Methods

Our research is based on sound and systematic methods and we treat every project individually.

The foundation of all market research is to figure out what kinds of people like what kind of things. The fancy jargon is ‘individual preferences’ but in reality, a lot of market research seeks to identify particular groups of people that share certain common attributes and then figure out their likes and dislikes. Other market research casts its net further to capture larger groups that are representative of the whole population.

What kind of people like deep pan pizza? When do they like to eat it? How much are they willing to pay for it? Where do they typically go to get their pizza? How often do they go out for pizza?

We do not use a templated one product fits all approach. Our tailored bespoke design approach ensures that our results are statistically sound and relevant to the needs of the client that has commissioned them. Careful consideration is given to the research methods employed and we will often use a blended approach. Our research methods include the following:



This typically involves selecting some kind of sample that represents the population of people that you want to know more about. Ideally the sample is representative, and the best way to guarantee this is to select them randomly. This means that each person that ends up in the sample had an equal probability of being sampled.

Interestingly, loyalty card users whose tastes and habits are tracked by the large corporations that have such schemes do not constitute a random sample, but a convenience sample, since these are (a) people who already shop at the store and (b) people who are willing to take part in the loyalty scheme.

At Mackman, research is based on methods that have greater validity and reliability that comes from random samples, focus groups, and in-depth interviews with high quality people from particular target groups. Using a sample calculator to determine the sample size, maintains a relatively high level of statistical confidence in the results.

Our customer satisfaction surveys can use random samples or specific people who fall within the market segment of interest. Random samples are drawn in ways that reflect the target population that is of interest (e.g. Essex County, East Anglia, or the whole of the UK). The size of the target population determines the size of the sample. For large samples, we use phone interviewing and automated data entry to facilitate statistical analysis of the data once they have been collected.

Segmented samples are different.

Say Mackman Research is keen to capture a particular group of people who are well-educated, living in the southeast of the UK, and earning between 25,000 and 45,000 pounds per year. Such a group is known as a segment since it combines a set of characteristics and identifies people that have all of them. A project can then sample from that segment and determine its preferences using survey techniques. The sample is thus small but well selected and allows us to carry out in depth interviewing in ways that yields high value information for our clients.

In the event that you are considering research then please do not hesitate to call us to discuss your needs or to request a quotation. Further information can also be found on our dedicated research website: