Our ongoing collaboration with an innovative research agency MESH, initially as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), has produced outstanding results for both the company and our marketing academics.

Key Facts

    • We jointly applied for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with MESH The Experience Agency in 2010.

    • MESH had developed an innovative research method known as Real-time Experience Tracking (RET). This method helps businesses gain valuable and real-time customer insight about customer experiences across multiple touchpoints using just an ordinary mobile phone. Users assign a positive or negative emotional rating each time they interact with a product or brand via any touchpoint.

    • As well as creating a new market for real-time experience tracking and establishing the company as a global leader in experience tracking, the KTP also generated recognition for our marketing academics with conference prizes and articles in the influential Harvard Business Review (HBR).

    • The completed KTP was a finalist in two categories – Best Partnership and Best Research Impact – at the Innovate UK Awards 2015, the UK’s flagship event funded by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), last November in London.

  • Funded by Innovate UK and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Impact of our research

Our Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with innovative research agency MESH, which we successfully jointly applied for in 2010, saw the small UK-based agency grow five-fold in just three years. It has won an impressive list of new clients along the way including Sky, the UK’s largest advertiser, and enabling its expansion into the US and Latin America where clients include LG Electronics and Delta Air Lines.

The initial two-year KTP was followed by a second KTP (now completed) to integrate data sources. The MESH-Cranfield partnership remains active with an ongoing full-time Cranfield doctoral study conducted by statistician Shane Baxendale.

Why the research was commissioned

The UK-wide Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme links commercial organisations with academic institutions to help support and shape the future of British business. It aims to strengthen the competitiveness, wealth creation and economic performance of the UK by enhancing knowledge and skills, and stimulating innovation through collaboration.

MESH was a small UK-based research agency with a great new method (Real-time Experience Tracking or RET) that had been developed by its CEO, Fiona Blades. This new method was an innovative new insight gathering approach using mobile phones. MESH knew that what they offered was unique but did not have the analytical know-how to capitalise on it. They also needed help convincing clients to switch from their traditional research providers to a completely new way of gathering insight. 

Why Cranfield?

We set about addressing the needs of MESH, firstly through piloting the analytics and then recruiting statistician Shane Baxendale to join the project. The analytics that he developed quickly provided the case studies needed to convince larger clients to sign up with MESH and created a whole new market for experience tracking research in the process. Buoyed by this success, MESH CEO Fiona Blades set up a US office in 2012 and she continues to travel between New York and London as the business grows.

After four years with MESH, Shane is now studying for a doctorate with us. He is working on a project supported by MESH to go deeper into the analytics around Real-time Experience Tracking (RET) to help companies better allocate their marketing investments.

As well as some prestigious research outputs, we have developed content for the classroom which has been delivered to multiple MSc and doctoral level programmes as well as in executive training in the UK and abroad. This includes a popular two-day Customer Experience Strategy programme for executives developed by Dr Emma Macdonald.