Knowledge and insight provides context, the opportunity to develop strategy and the ability to create a tangible, measurable and successful outcome to any piece of work. From marketing projects to planning applications to developing a business strategy – having a clear understanding of the perceptions surrounding the marketplace or a certain project will provide the foundations of a successful campaign, document or venture.
Valuable qualitative and quantitative data with in-depth analysis and commentary can now be more beneficial than ever. Following a global pandemic which had disastrous implications for many businesses, budgets are being monitored closely, many organisations have lost staff and resources, all while the threat of a recession looms over our economy. Having these guidelines minimises room for mistakes, ensuring time and resources are well spent on creating whatever it is your business needs to yield the best results.
This is exactly what MMC Research & Marketing, Sunderland based specialist market research and strategy agency, offers its clients – the ability to create communications on an empathetic, emotional and highly effective level. At the top of its website homepage are two lines which perfectly sum up its purpose:
– “Research that makes sense. Marketing that makes a difference.” The team promises to “find out what your audiences are thinking, what it means, and what to do about it by providing clear insights through intelligent research so you can make informed decisions to shape your future.” And that is exactly what they deliver. MMC Research and Marketing was founded in 2015 by Natasha McDonough and has become a highly reputable market research and strategic marketing agency known for high quality, transforming work.
Its group of senior and highly experienced experts have worked across in-depth local authority projects to help engage communities, through to helping to grow fast-paced global software companies and supported publications such as ours to understand their readers by fusing market research intelligence with commercial acumen.
Natasha McDonough, the company’s Founder and Managing Director, has lived and worked in some of the most infamous cities in the world, London, Sydney and Los Angeles. She settled in Sunderland after meeting her now husband in London when she was visiting home. Natasha now also proudly chairs the Sunderland committee of the North East England Chamber of Commerce, and is part of a business group which collaborates on supporting the city’s ambitious development plans.
Natasha’s experience and true passion for business and the local economy has created an organisation which truly cares for its clients and the local community. Her involvement with local business support groups showcases that perfectly. The team takes a fully comprehensive approach to research; conducting surveys, in depth interviews, one-to-one fact finds and focus groups. They find that different themes emerge in different circumstances or when speaking to different people.
The results and analysis created by the team can influence systems and processes as well as communications and marketing; creating a direction towards beneficial business development, the right relationships to build and collaborations to strike up for a business. The information provided from the research then helps an organisation to understand what their strengths and weaknesses are, and which opinions to influence and challenge to create the desired results.
Powered by its substantial experience in supporting local authorities and related projects, MMC is now hoping to support the vast development projects which are planned for our local cities and towns by helping those who are creating planning applications to understand the perceptions of our local communities. By gaining a knowledge of local opinions on the areas surrounding their home, it is possible to understand in advance what the objections to planning applications may be. When plans are submitted to a local committee, the local constituents usually influence what their assigned councillors think of the proposed development, some of which could be misguided or untrue. If a clear communications strategy can be implemented beforehand, this may create a more efficient planning process with no objections or refusals, supporting the efficient execution of many exciting redevelopments across our region.
Not only has Natasha and the team created an outstanding service for clients, but also a fantastic working culture too. Since its inception seven years ago, Natasha has promoted a flexible and family-focussed approach for all of the team – prioritising the wellbeing of everyone who is part of MMC. The team is also supported with their mental health and during the pandemic staff were provided with counselling vouchers, supporting a happy and healthy lifestyle – which is part of the reason why the company made it into the top 50 places to work in the North East.