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Dr. Gemma Mackman

Research Director
Co-founder and Research Director of the Mackman Group

I am a co-founder and Research Director of the Mackman Group, incorporating Mackman Research and Mackman. My passion for all things research started many years ago and has been inspired by my academic studies and my early working life.

My professional career has given me a broad knowledge of business practices, an appreciation of good customer service and experience of a diverse range of sectors. I have worked within the veterinary profession, the financial services sector, in publishing and advertising, in retail, in the homelessness charities sector, as an academic teaching criminology, and as an independent researcher.

As a member of the Market Research Society and having completed research training provided by the Economic and Social Research Council, my research expertise has been built upon over 20+ years. As well as writing methodologies and designing research for Mackman Research clients, I have tried and tested research methods in a number of academic field studies relating to marginalised and deviant social groups. Here I have developed as a skilled ethnographer and I was awarded a PhD in Sociology at the University of Essex in early 2020.

In 2003 I, along with my husband Paul Mackman, launched Mackman and Mackman Research. Paul's marketing expertise complemented my research knowledge and together we merged our professional experiences to establish a business ethic firmly grounded in the ethos 'Together we Grow'.

Today I continue to develop my broad business and research knowledge. I am driven by the premise that good research enables valuable opinions and experiences to be expressed that would otherwise go unheard.

What has been an inspirational motto or quote for you in your career?

Dr Jane Goodall is an idol of mine. Of course her work within ecology and conservation is crucial. In my work, and in life, I am aware that I speak to many different people each and every day. Every contact that people have (with anyone) can make or break a day so I believe it is important to be positive and understanding. Importantly, this quote makes the point that every single person is valued and can make a difference. My job is to make people heard and to bring their thoughts and experiences to the foreground. "Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference. The greatest danger to our future is apathy. The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves."

What has been your favourite client project and why?

The best client project for me has to be Chelmsford Borough Council's Parks and Gardens piece. The project was designed to test an existing theory into the 'types' of people that use open spaces. We discovered that the theory did not apply to Essex residents and our findings provided a new set of criteria as well as recommendations for educating future users. The project involved a lot of walking, face-to-face interviews and meeting some amazing members of the public, the team at ECC were delightful and the research won an award! 

Gemma Mackman - Mackman
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