Social market research company

Acumen is an award-winning consultancy and outstanding social market research company. We excel at finding hard-to-reach participants for all kinds of public policy and societal research to give customers the insights and data they need.

Our social market research team combines years of experience and knowledge with dedication and fresh thinking to ensure we meet and even exceed our customers’ briefs.

Work with our market research agency

If you’d like to talk to us about market research insights and data we can provide, and find out more about our services range, get in touch on 0161 234 9940 or email

We drive innovation and deliver outstanding results in market research for public sectors and business organizations alike – in the UK and globally.


Why Acumen for social policy research?

Social market research frequently involves finding members of the public who are either exceptionally hard to identify and recruit, or extremely disengaged with research. In many cases they may even feel disenfranchised by the very institutions we are working for. It’s used in both the private and public sectors, and it may involve sensitive topics.

Extensive experience

Acumen is a leading social market research company with a proven track record working in this field. Our social market research specialists have over 15 years’ collective experience in fieldwork. From the moment we receive an inquiry through to our regular updates at every stage of the project, we offer unparalleled expertise.

Outstanding fieldwork

We can find participants who match even the most niche requirements, using the outstanding fieldwork methods and resources at our disposal and overcoming challenges that might derail less established social market research agencies.

Trusted for high quality

As an agency, Acumen is committed to rigorous quality standards. We are members of a number of organisations which ensure we always deliver work to the highest standards. Our exclusive Acumonitor system – only available to our clients – screens for fresh and authentic participants.


Social market research agency in action

During the Coronavirus crisis, we were asked to look into how the pandemic was impacting certain communities differently. Specifically, we were asked to find out more about the provision of public services for people on the margins of society. 

Survey of consumer experience

Our client required more than 200 participants from backgrounds as diverse as members of Traveller communities, the LGB community, transgender men and women, people with life-limiting conditions, and victims of sex trafficking.

Insight into public opinion

The aim of the research was to gain a deeper understanding of the barriers faced by people who identified as belonging to marginalised communities when accessing public services.

Read the case study: Marginalised Voices.


Finding the right people for social research

Social market research fieldworkers need to work like detectives to pinpoint participants like the ones described above. Wnce we’ve identified suitable people, persuading them to take part to deliver data and insight for our clients calls for an entirely different set of skills.

Proven track record in recruitment

Our social market research company has a huge database of opt-in research participants as well as a strong and well-established social media presence. We have a proven track record of finding participants matching highly specific briefs from our clients. However, even this wasn’t enough to identify the 200-plus marginalised voices our client needed. 

Fully flexible and personalised service

So Acumen’s social market research team went further, developing a new set of contacts, researching extensively and making changes to our screening style. We never shy away from innovation, and we delivered a truly personalised service for our client.


How we recruited 200 hard-to-reach voices

For the Marginalised Voices project, we sought out community members and grass-roots campaigners to help with recruitment among wary asylum-seekers and trafficking victims.

Mindful around sensitive topics

To ensure transgender participants and victims of sexual harassment were included in the study, we screened respectfully, using indirect and conversational style questions.

Researchers with the right attitudes

We sourced elderly and homeless groups mostly through family members, providing IT assistance when needed to ensure they were able to take part. 

Innovative market research in practice

To persuade participants to take part, we used a combination of online outreach, long telephone discussions and sharing information on the goals of this important initiative. Building rapport and trust is an essential part of the recruitment in social research projects.


Marginalised voices research: the results

Through our perseverance, fully flexible and varied approach – combined with inspired thinking – we were able to provide views and experiences of people who are often stigmatised, marginalised or otherwise underrepresented in market research.

As a result of our fieldwork, our client held online focus groups and gathered feedback from hundreds of people from diverse communities about their experiences during the pandemic.

Respectful research culture

In addition, we were keenly aware of our safeguarding responsibilities during this project. So we created a policy on how to respond to disclosures of harm or trauma from some of the most vulnerable participants in the study. This is just one example of how our social research team goes beyond the brief to deliver valuable and thoughtful outcomes.

Award-winning consultancy

Acumen was nominated for an industry award for our work on this social research case. You can read more about our Marginalised Voices research and more of our case studies here.


Work with our social market research company

If you’d like to work with us on your social market research aim, or find out more about the market research we do, please get in touch with our Social Market Research Team. Our advisory services are a cost effective way of working out what data you need and how to get it.

Call 0161 234 9940 or email

Or use our online CONTACT FORM.

Full range of services

In addition to recruitment for social and public policy research, our services range from interviews to focus groups and much more, across quantitative and qualitative market research. These include questionnaires, focus groups (both online and face to face), workshops, interviews and user testing.

Our clients

Acumen’s clients include nationally recognised brands and market research agencies. We aim to create long-lasting partnerships, to develop and grow with grow with you while delivering the data you’re after.