Social Research

Bespoke social research for the third sector and academia
Our social research services cover a comprehensive range of skilled research methodologies. We treat each social research project as unique, crafting our approach according to the study's objectives.

Social Research

Social research is the study of human interaction or situation and often relates to a place and time.

Working with charities, housing associations, county councils, government departments, and academics, we have produced award winning social research.

Social research is commonly used in the social science and anthropology disciplines, and ranges from overt research to covert participant observation, the latter requiring specialist skills and knowledge relating to GDPR and ethics.

Our research methods ensure there is a deeper understanding of the subject(s), and can take into consideration human interaction and behaviour, life stories, decision making, motivation, habit and consumption. Social research often employs qualitative, ethnographic methods of data collection such as semi-structured interviewing or situational observation in order to get close to the participant or respondent and gather rich and detailed information. This data may be supported by quantitative statistics and secondary research in order to achieve a broad and thorough set of findings.

Participant engagement is key to the success of any piece of social research. At Mackman Research our researchers are experienced in interviewing and working with people from high demand, sensitive or even marginalised groups. As with all of our research, we adopt a humanistic approach which has been adapted over many years of research experience 'in the field'. 

Social Research, as a broad yet in-depth term, can cover a wide range of study types. We have expanded on the most popular, but if you have something specific  or more specialist in mind, please read our bespoke research page or get in touch to discuss your objectives.

Social Research Projects

Where every opinion counts...

At Mackman Research, we have extensive experience of delivering social research services for the third sector, working with schools, HE colleges, universities, charities, and housing associations.

Our bespoke social research projects are designed to get to the heart of any substantive issue. We work with organisations and individuals to design research that is considered and innovative. Our expertise in ethnographic methods coupled with our understanding of both academic and third sector requirements means that we are able to meet your sector's standards and expectations, delivering projects to a consistently high standard.

We work with our clients to identify research participants, and advise on the best methodology to use to achieve quality data whilst being ethically minded. In many instances, our social research services are collaborative; we can work on either small components of an entire project, or design, conduct and deliver a project from start to finish.

As ever, our flexible approach enables our social research projects to follow themes that may emerge during the course of data collection. With feedback from us, you may also wish you change direction and we will work with you to maintain a clear and concise research focus. Whilst social research predominantly calls upon primary data collection, it often requires secondary data to support original findings. At Mackman Research, we perform relevant literature reviews and trend analysis to complement quantitative data where applicable, ensuring that our social research projects are grounded in theory, are robust, and fit for purpose. 

Whether you have an existing hypothesis that you wish to test, or would like to explore a social or cultural field, then we would be happy to talk through our social research services and ways that we can work with you.

Alternatively, you may have a project that has already been approved and funded, and are looking for a research partner to help you to conduct research and deliver findings. Get in touch with us today to find out more about how we can work with you.

Contact Mackman research today 

For an initial informal discussion with a senior member of our team either complete the contact form or call us on 01787 388 038. We would be interested to discuss your requirements in more depth and how best to move forward.

Brand Perception & Awareness

Connecting with audiences and end users...

As brands compete in highly globalised and often crowded markets, brand awareness is a key indicator of a brand's competitive market performance. Brand awareness is defined as the degree to which consumers recognise or are familiar with a brand by its name. At its most basic, for a brand to do its job, people must be aware of it, along with any elements that make it stand out from other similar brands.

Measuring brand awareness is particularly important for companies whose products or services are situated in a crowded marketplace among similar brands. Unless consumers are loyal to a particular brand, they are more likely to select brands that are more familiar to them due to connotations of quality. Brand awareness is made up of two distinct elements - brand recall and brand recognition. Brand recall tests consumers by asking whether they can correctly generate a brand from memory when prompted by a product category, whereas brand recognition focuses on whether consumers can recognise a brand upon presentation. For instance, a customer at a supermarket might not be able to recall the name of a product without prompting, particularly relating to a product that they do not usually buy, but when presented with multiple options, it is probably that they will have been exposed to one of them and will therefore recognise the brand. Healthy brands will have high brand awareness along with a positive association.

Brand awareness can help to increase your brand's health by driving consumers' decisions and distinguishing your offering from that of your competitors. Applying insight from brand awareness surveys can contribute towards crafting more effective marketing messages, targeting marketing campaigns, or selecting the most effective advertising channels.

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User needs analysis

How to make sure you are meeting the needs of your users.

Many organisations believe that their product or service is suitable for their end users. This theory is often based upon assumptions surrounding the original product or service design, or simple demand, but the only way to truly establish whether or not you are meeting the needs of your users is to ask and engage with them.

Conducting a user needs analysis is a great way to make contact with those people who are 'using' your product or services. User needs analysis is designed to measure the effectiveness of a product or service by 'drilling' down into specific needs. Questions that may occur when conducting a user needs analysis include who your likely users are, what they're trying to do, the solution they currently use, any pain points that exist, and ultimately what users could benefit from by using your product or service. User needs analysis also aims to identify gaps in product or service provision, and these can include services by postcode, for example, as well as physical product.

At Mackman Research, we provide user needs analysis services by surveying actual or likely users to provide insight on how their experience could be improved. This should always encompass the needs of every potential user, including those who may not have been considered before. We also specialise in reaching and connecting with hard to reach groups, where our plain speaking and humanistic approach means that we can gather data whilst being respectful of need and culture.

Our user needs analysis deliver results that are segmented by user personas. This way we create meaningful findings that can be easily digested and, importantly, acted upon.

Find out how our social research services can help you to realise the true needs of those who use your product or service.

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