Market Sensing research cluster

What is market sensing?

Market sensing is all about finding depth of meaning - some research finds out what is happening, but depth research uncovers why and how things happen. Researchers in this area are interested in discovering deep insights rather than quick answers. These deep insights demand qualitative and innovative approaches to ‘sense’ meaning.

Application in practice

The deeper insights gained from market sensing allow a fuller understanding of the drivers and motivations in the behaviour of customers, clients and employees. The results of research conducted using these methods are therefore applicable in a range of contexts including marketing strategy, branding, communications, social media management, internal marketing, services improvement and customer relationship management.


Methods used in market sensing are generally qualitative in order to seek deeper insights. These methods include the following.

The researchers encourage students at all levels to find the deepest meaning in their work through using these methods, sometimes alongside quantitative methods. The richness achieved through qualitative methods can provide important insights for businesses looking to improve their services and relationships with customers.

Integration with teaching

Marketing research is one of the cornerstones of the University of Derby’s undergraduate and postgraduate marketing programmes. The research undertaken by the market sensing cluster informs curriculum development and is used to provide up-to-date examples in teaching. Students at all levels are encouraged to use research in assignments, particularly in their Independent Study module. Research methods are taught as an integrated part of understanding customer behaviour, services development, strategy formation and media planning.

All our staff use their research to inform their teaching, enriching the students’ experience with up-to-date literature and research data, and inspiring students to try different research methods.

Additional market sensing information