Stuart Knapman, formerly Head of Pan-BBC Audience Research has left the corporation to join new agency Essential Research. Essential was founded by two former senior researchers from the BBC, Luca Antilli and Alex Charlton.
Most recently, Knapman led the audiences work for the BBC's Creative Future project launched by the Director General in 2005. He joined the corporation in 1998 after working in advertising and brand research, working agency-side and handling accounts including Carphone Warehouse and Mars Confectionery. Initially a market analyst in the World Service, he set up a new audience insight team in BBC New Media in 2000, and in January 2004 was appointed Head of Pan-BBC Research, with a brief to support the BBC's drive to 'put audiences at the centre of everything we do'.
In ten months, Essential has built a client roster including Channel 4, Starbucks, BskyB and Heart 106.2 as well as their former employer. Projects have included qual, quant, the setting up of online panels and running 'customer immersion' workshops with clients such as James Murdoch and Michael Grade.
Knapman says leading the projects he has at the BBC at a time when audience insight was becoming more central to its thinking had been 'truly fascinating'. However, he adds that he is 'excited by what Essential Research has already achieved, and thrilled to have an opportunity to develop and shape their business.'
Essential Research's contact details are at www.essentialresearch.co.uk
All articles 2006-20 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.