David Spenser - Direct Dialogue


Qualitative research and consultancy, in UK and internationally.

Through Direct Dialogue, I can offer the full qual toolkit – including  f2f; online; communities; co-creation; ethnographic and immersive approaches. I am method-neutral: each has its benefits and drawbacks. I use whichever approaches are most suitable; often a hybrid approach is best.

I take on only one project at a time, so when I’m working on a brand, that’s all I focus on.

Around half of my work is UK-only, half international. I have particular expertise across Europe, North America, South Africa, SE Asia and Australasia. (I’m still waiting for that elusive first project in Antarctica.) I have long-established networks of global research partners, ensuring a consistent, high-quality and seamless resource. I usually take a lead role in co-ordinating international qual projects but I also enjoy working in a market-specific role on global projects.


Progressive research. Most of my work is developmental – innovation, NPD, brand, strategic, creative, packaging, design, communications. All of it is based on moving the thinking forward, as far and as fast as possible.

I am a collaborator, by nature and choice. I collaborate with clients, their agencies, other researchers and outside specialists. It’s enjoyable and it makes us all smarter.

I have broad experience and offer particular expertise in FMCG, food and beverages, alcoholic drinks, automotive, retail, hospitality and charity/NGO categories.


I am a vastly experienced qual research consultant. I have worked in small and full-service agencies, am the founder of 3 agencies (all thriving) and in recent years have relished being an indie.

I pioneered co-creation approaches in the late 80’s (heretical at the time) and have continued to develop this method for over 20 years. Honestly, I know this stuff.

I have tutored the Brand Managers’ Development programme at Ashridge Business School, and been a speaker/tutor on numerous conferences and courses. I’m a member of AQR, QRCA and a certified member of the MRS.

What sectors do you most often work in?

  • FMCG
  • Advertising & Media

What are the main types of research/research specialisms you conduct most often?

  • Qualitative

What regions within the UK do you cover?

  • Northern England
  • English Midlands
  • London/South East England
  • South West England
  • N. Ireland
  • Scotland
  • Wales

Which international regions do you cover?

  • Western Europe
  • North America

Where are your offices in the UK?

  • London/South East England