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Katherine Bourne  

Katherine Bourne

Katherine Bourne qualified with a BSc (Hons) from Nottingham University specialising in Nutritional Biochemistry. CIM qualified with more than ten years commercial marketing experience, Katherine has worked in a number of areas including the food, pharmaceutical, laboratory and science sectors. 

Published in Market Research

For companies to survive in the long term, they need to sell products and services that customers want.

Technological improvements mean that companies run the risk of quickly being left behind if they don’t engage with their customers to truly understand their wants and needs.

Many of our customer satisfaction survey clients are companies that are ISO9001 registered – or aiming to achieve ISO registration.

Among the benefits of being ISO 9001 certified, The International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) comments that the 2015 version of the Quality Management System “ensures that by putting customers first, organizations can make sure they consistently meet customer needs and enhance customer satisfaction. This can lead to more repeat custom, new clients and increased business for the organization.”

In addition, ISO states that ISO 9001 registered organizations will be better equipped to expand into new markets, as some sectors and clients require ISO 9001 before doing business.

Customer Satisfaction Surveying is a vital tool in the ISO 9001 process. From small scale UK-only surveys to international customer satisfaction survey projects, Accelerate’s customer satisfaction survey services provide medtech and lifescience companies with a rich opportunity to learn from, and listen to, what their customers have to say; ensuring that they stay ahead of the competition.

Central to ISO 9001 is demonstrating that the customer voice has been heard. From continual feedback systems to bi-annual customer surveys, measurement of performance against critical KPIs can help measure and demonstrate when defined action and strategies have been implemented in response to customer requests; and whether that response has resulted in improved customer satisfaction.

Read on here to learn more about customer satisfaction surveys by Accelerate Associates.

Published in Blog

Recent research has seen the team at Accelerate Associates looking at flooring in healthcare facilities. The aim of the research was to better understand items that are regularly wheeled throughout hospitals and any potential for the spread of infection and dirt tracking that this might cause.

One of the team here at Accelerate has previously worked as a product manager for a manufacturer of contract interior flooring and matting and so we had a keen interest in what the research might highlight.

The main respondents in the primary research phase of the project were Infection Prevention and Control personnel; working for a range of NHS Trusts throughout the UK. Most infection control employees are nurses who have then gone on to specialise in infection control – a key issue for all healthcare facilities in an age of increasing antibiotic resistance.

The research highlighted some interesting facts about the spread of infections and how this is to be prevented. With regards to flooring within hospitals, while the respondents where very keen to stress that it should be disinfected and cleaned regularly; it is not viewed as a significant risk with regards to the spread of infection. 

For the most part it was felt that although shoes and wheels can walk and track dirt through a hospital, if the floors are cleaned and disinfected thoroughly and regularly then the risk of infection is minimal. The rationale for this is that, for bacteria and viruses to spread, people have to touch the infected area and then put their hands in their mouths. As floors are not a common ‘touch point’ there is little risk of any microbes infecting patients and visitors; especially in buildings with strict cleaning regimes.

Published in Blog

There are many ways in which people learn and how they are taught. Of increasing popularity is the use of e-learning.

Here at Accelerate we regularly participate in live online tutorials from various marketing and training portals to support our CPD. We have also engaged with online teaching packages which are modular and can be completed at our convenience. The latest was a ‘GDPR for the Marketer’ course offered by the Chartered Institute of Marketing; a three hour training package to ensure marketing strategy and campaigns are compliant with the GDPR.

The market research undertaken here at Accelerate has also highlighted opportunities for e-learning. Some of our University clients offer courses which lend themselves to this manner of teaching. The advantage is that participants, who may be in full time occupations and cannot spare a full day in the classroom, are able to undertake useful learning programs at their leisure.

It also allows potential participants, who may be remote from the University or teaching establishment, the opportunity to engage with the very best and latest guidance on certain topics and subjects.

The research Accelerate Associates has conducted suggests that many healthcare practitioners and academics within the scientific community welcome this style of studying and many engage with different courses on a regular basis.

While nothing will replace the benefits of the teacher, the classroom and the possibilities for interaction that this provides, variety, as with all things, really is the spice of life!

Published in Market Research

Any company or organisation involved with market research has to have a good understanding of statistical sampling in order to be able to claim an accurate representation of any given population. Typically, the larger your sample size, the more likely it will be that your respondents’ answers will reflect the whole population.

Usually the population size (the total number of people who may potentially need your new product or service) of any given clinical specialty or academic research area is large and therefore it is impossible to ascertain the opinion of the entire group. Therefore it is necessary to obtain the opinion of a proportion (sample) of the population in order to provide a statistically reliable result.

Often it may not be possible to know the exact population which is not a problem when looking at the maths of probability as the size of the population is irrelevant i.e. a sample of 500 people is as equally useful as examining the opinions of 100,000. Population size only becomes a factor when you work with a relatively small, known respondent population.

In 2016, Accelerate Associates were tasked with completing an exercise to research the global commercial bumblebee production market. The market is small and, although truly global, there are only a small number of companies operating in this area. This made the possibility of gathering the opinion of the entire market much simpler.

Published in Case Studies

Bumblebees have been reared commercially since 1987 for the pollination of a range of soft fruits grown in poly-tunnels and glasshouses.

The bees are delivered in cardboard hives to the soft fruit growers and are currently fed honeybee collected pollen. There are approximately 30 producers of bumblebees worldwide with 3 of the largest producers based in Europe.

The challenge

Newcastle University wished to commission a piece of research to ascertain the need or willingness of the bumblebee producers to use a pollen substitute as supposed to the current honeybee collected pollen.

The University wanted to know the size of the market, current feeding regimes, any issues with honeybee collected pollen and the willingness of bumblebee producers to adopt a new pollen substitute.

The approach

A small amount of secondary research was conducted to identify and build an appropriate database of bumblebee producers. Primary research was then used to interview commercial bumblebee producers with particular focus being paid to the top three bumblebee producers.

Producers of bumblebees are located all around the world and therefore Accelerate Associates interviewed respondents in their native language to ascertain the most conclusive answers to the questions posed.


As part of the research Accelerate Associates was able to interview some of the key producers of bumblebees worldwide, including two of the largest based in Europe.  Both companies expressed a strong interest in the research being undertaken at Newcastle University and their work in the development of a pollen substitute.
Accelerate Associates was able to identify unique intelligence with regards to the size and growth of the commercial bumblebee market, including details on the most commonly produced bee species. Information was provided to the University as to the volume of honeybee collected pollen used globally by bumblebee producers and the cost thereof.
The research also highlighted the main customer groups for the bumblebee producers and the legislation that governs the production and export of bumblebees.

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