My early career shaped my belief that research has to be useful to be worth doing. 


Saatchi and Saatchi: invaluable grounding in the principles of media (communications) planning across all ‘traditional’ media for clients including P&G, Wimpey Homes and The Samaritans.


Reflexions Market Research: set up by former BMP/JWT/CDP planners and one of the first research agencies to apply this thinking to creative and strategic communications research. A great place to learn. Some memorable projects including strategic and creative development with the straight and gay community for the government’s first AIDS campaign, ‘Don’t Die Of Ignorance’.


Still Price Court Twivy D’ Souza: an agency which disappeared into Lowe by way of Lintas. I worked with some truly inspirational characters. Bachelors Soups, Boddingtons, RPR Rorer (healthcare) and Callard & Bowser.


Navigator: I formed Navigator in 1988 following a period of freelance with a roster of direct clients, joining forces with John Cronk (RIP and sadly missed) and Rob Ellis. 

Navigator’s been through a few iterations over the years. Highlights have included projects won and led for AFC Wimbledon, BARB, Conran Design Group, DECC, MetOffice  Novartis Pharmaceuticals, RAF, reed.co.uk, RNIB, Royal Navy, talktofrank.com, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Virgin Media, Virgin Money, VW Audi, and many more.


I’ve helped with strategic and creative communications, branding/identity, staff/stakeholders/clients, NPD, recruitment, reputation, service experience, target/audience exploration and understanding and others.


Still my best experience of working with a proper research partner! I often use it as best practice! Thanks John.”

Caroline Pay
Joint Chief Creative Officer
Grey London



I believe each situation is unique. Deep and detailed understanding at the outset is an essential foundation for designing an approach that makes a positive difference.

Research needs to have a clearly stated purpose and objective; it is easy to go off-course if it doesn’t — hence the name of my company, ”Navigator”.


Research design should be bespoke and not confined by a proprietary model. I don’t set out to be innovative for the sake of it, nor do I stick rigidly to ‘traditional methods’; the former is as much a trap as the latter. 

Everything should flow from the needs of the project and I use my judgment and experience to determine that in partnership with you.


I personally conduct every stage of a project. If I do bring in extra heads for a larger project they are my equals in terms of experience and ability. I believe in being thorough, for example, I will listen to recordings and watch videos of face to face fieldwork prior to analysis. 


I also believe that my clients should feel they’ve had value for money. So I’m big on experience and delivery but competitive on fees, especially when compared against the large agencies.






I‘d be delighted to hear from you

If you’d like to hear more, please get in touch. 

Better still, give me an outline of a problem or an issue  — either past, current, or future and I’ll come back with some thoughts. 


Much better that we talk about you rather than me!  

And, I think that will give you more of an idea of what you can expect from me and how I can make a difference.


M + 44 (0) 7785 771302

T  + 44 (0) 208 868 7753

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“If you are contemplating substantial and complex change, and you need help working out how that change will play out across multiple stakeholder groups, give Navigator a call.”  


Nick Keppel Palmer
Head of Strategy
Wolff Olins


I’ve 30 + years’ experience of delivering actionable insights through market research, with an emphasis on qualitative methods.

I’ve had thousands of hours of conversations on all sorts of subjects with all sorts of people – and worked in many different sectors, on many different subjects.


In truth, there’s no substitute for experience, especially in this area.


I’ve found (and happily my clients agree) that this means I add considerable value in exploring the business issues – even before we begin to discuss research, and thereafter, helping think through next steps.





“John is an extremely experienced researcher and we believe he brings real value to our customer research process.”

Paul Lloyd
Marketing Director
Virgin Money

…the delivery of fresh clear insight into the direction that our brands need to take  has been critical in helping us to craft our marketing communications strategy.”

Andrew Pumphrey

Marketing and Content Director


Navigator's strengths as a qualitative agency lie in having a strong understanding of both traditional and new media relationships combined with an ability to identify how both advertisers and media owners can exploit these to their best advantage.”

Mark Barber
Planning Director
Radio Advertising Bureau