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With over 25 years of providing clients with actionable insights, we are full service agency offering a suite of quantitative and qualitative methodologies including online communities digital and agile research solutions. Our experienced team is committed to providing bespoke consultancy that is focused upon facilitating enhanced understanding.

Education/Training, Fashion/Clothing, Finance/Investment – Personal, Government/Local Authority, Healthcare, Online, Public Services/Utilities, Retail, Transportation
Deliberative Research, Depth Interviews, Group Discussions/Focus Groups, In-Home/Doorstep Interviews, Online Communities, Online Surveys, Qualitative, Quantitative, Telephone Interviewing, Tracking
Behavioural Change, Brand/Branding, Business-to-Business, Communications/PR, Concept Testing, Consumer, Customer Communities, Customer Loyalty, Customer Satisfaction, Employee Research, Online Panels, Social Research
Anti-social/deviant behaviour, Disabled People, Ethnic Minorities, Hard-to-Reach, High Net Worth, Kids, Mothers/Parents, Senior Citizens, Unemployed, Youth/Teens
Senior Contacts

Rebecca Crinson (Research Director)
Kim Davis (Managing Director)
Emma Hopkins (Research Director)
Holly Shiel-Redfern (Commercial Director )

Breakdown of Personnel

Admin/Support staff: 3
Executive/Research staff: 15
Non-research: 2
Data processing: 47
Field interviewers: 200
Field managers/supervisors: 5
Spec writers: 12
Telephone interviewers: 45
Telephone managers/supervisors: 5
Total Number of Employees: 51 to 100


48 Leazes Park Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear
Tel: 44 (0)191 261 5261
Establishment date: 1993

Online Communities


Originally developed in 2010 Explain’s innovative online community platform underwent an extensive upgrade this summer to better meet the needs of clients and end users. As a result Explain has experienced a substantial increase in uptake for the online platform, with the launch of ten new online communities in the last six months

Organisations in a range of sectors, including utilities, education, healthcare and manufacturing, have chosen Explain’s innovative platform as it provides a unique and extremely cost-effective method of research and engagement to suit any budget. 

An online community, in the simplest form is a form of social and digital engagement; they offer a bespoke members-only digital space in which to directly engage ‘in the moment’ with a desired audience – for example, customers, stakeholders, or internal staff. Communities are currently being used to monitor perceptions of customer service, develop new products, and engage with vulnerable and ‘hard to reach’ consumer groups.  

Along with the build of each community, Explain provide an ongoing management and moderation service which sees users encouraged to actively participate in conversation, providing a qualitative two way conversation. Views and opinions are gathered through discussion threads, polls and online surveys, with fresh and relevant content uploaded frequently to ensure high levels of engagement, providing a 360 degree view from customers. 

Explain’s online communities range in scale and scope, each community is individually designed to deliver the needs of clients, Explain currently host and manage online communities ranging from bespoke projects with 50 members, running for a limited time to deliver immediate insights, to long term strategic models with thousands of members, that will run over a number of years as an engagement tool. As examples, Explain’s clients are using online communities to test marketing campaigns, understand customer priorities, and track levels of awareness and to test business plan commitments.

The recently launched Version 3 of the platform offers enhanced design and media capabilities, along with greater usability to improve user experience for members.

Kim Davis, Explain Market Research’s Managing Director commented “Our newest release has stimulated and converted interest from those who see research as an on-going investment in product and service refinement. Any industry that is serious about customer and stakeholder engagement should consider an online community, as an extremely cost effective way to carrying out on-going research.  It breaks down barriers such as location, accessibility and timings. We are seeing a significant shift towards this type of research, particularly in regulatory environments, to demonstrate consistent engagement, and also in manufacturing for product innovation and development.”

Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Explain has provided full-service market research solutions to a range of organisations for over two decades, with specialist knowledge and expertise in the utilities, education, healthcare and financial services sectors. Delivering innovative insights is at the forefront of their culture. Explain’s online communities are part of the company’s wider suite of innovative solutions to research and engagement, which also includes mobile app surveys, collecting ‘in the moment’ data and insights. 

With a shift towards ongoing and digital research, to demonstrate consistent engagement, Explain continues to work with clients to find solutions to their needs. The new online community platform is yielding results for existing clients and has attracted a number of new clients to Explain, illustrating the companies continued commitment to innovation and growth. 

Get in touch with Explain to understand how your organisation will benefit from an online community.


Source: Explain Research

Over the past seven years, I have worked with Explain on all sorts of research projects and feel that the dedication of the team and their partnership approach drives the delivery of a good value service and high quality insight. I have developed a strong relationship with the team and know they will always provide honest advice when something is not achievable and sound solutions to research issues.

Claire Riley, Head of Communications, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust


SES Water worked with Explain for a large part of our PR19 business plan customer engagement programme. This was a significant and complex piece of work with demanding timescales but they rose to the challenge, providing expert advice and producing high quality outputs. I would suggest you could say that about a lot of research agencies, but the difference I found with Explain was that I genuinely enjoyed working with them and knew that they were as committed to producing a high-quality business plan as we were. Their organisation and prioritisation skills were excellent, so much so that we have since asked them to help us with another important piece of customer research and we plan to continue our relationship with them going forwards. 

Catherine Holland, Communications Manager, SES Water


Northumbrian Water has a long and trusted relationship with Explain. Explain provides a professional service and helps us to maximise the impact of customer insight to help us drive our business forward and deliver great results to our customers. The team at Explain is very easy to work with and regularly go the extra mile to ensure that we have the right information and robust customer insight to help us make business decisions with confidence. We have been very pleased with the service we've received from Explain and would recommend them to anyone. 

 Jennie Collingwood, Marketing Manager, Northumbrian Water 

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