Relative Insight

The Organisation

Relative Insight, based at Lancaster University's InfoLab21, was started by Lancaster University School of Computing and Communications graduates Dr James Walkerdine and Dr Phil Greenwood. It has commercialised analysis technologies that were originally designed to find and track criminals online for child protection and other government agencies, and now applies them to turn language into data to give brands contextual intelligence on consumers and competitors.  It currently employs ten people with offices in both Lancaster and London.

Why They Formed

Brands need to constantly evolve to maintain a competitive edge and understanding the language of their domain is vital to helping them achieve this. By understanding consumer language brands can develop more effective engagement strategies and track their effectiveness; by absorbing competitor and industry language brands can ensure a competitive advantage. Whilst commercialising the crime-fighting technology, Relative Insight saw there was significant potential in re-applying the technology to help brands analyse language and extract richer insights into their consumers and competitors.

Expertise Offered

  • Expertise in consumer insight extraction, advanced language analysis technologies and contextual intelligence mining.

Company Feedback 

"The law enforcement aspect of our business is still alive and used by police around the world, but certainly our focus is currently on developing the marketing application. We have built a strong relationship with Lancaster University’s world-leading marketing department, which has been very supportive and has helped introduce us to a number of key agencies and brands. We have been very encouraged by the feedback we have received from the interesting companies we have worked with so far, and we look forward to working with more in the years to come.” Dr James Walkerdine, Chief Operating Officer, Relative Insight.

Collaboration With The University

"The exciting technology that Relative Insight has adapted for the marketing world has the potential to revolutionise the field. This technology enables marketers to really make sure their communications are coordinated, relevant to their target audience, and different to their competition. These are all highly advantageous elements for a brand to possess. It is great that the technology has been developed here at Lancaster University and we hope to be able to help further refine the marketing adaptation in the future." Dr Peter Lenney, Lancaster University Management School's Department of Marketing.

Successes So Far

Relative Insight has already secured contracts with brands and marketing agencies, including Microsoft Mobile, Saatchi & Saatchi, Havas helia, and Ogilvy.

Relative Insight has received significant funding from the North West Fund for Venture Capital (managed by Enterprise Ventures) to expand their team, which includes Lancaster University marketing graduates.

Unilever has recognised Relative Insight as a top 50 global tech marketing start-up and chose them from more than 3,000 start-ups in marketing, research and data science, to be part of their Foundry50. All the start-ups had to meet the following criteria: be innovative and distinctive from competitors already in the market; relevant and interesting to the brand and marketing industry; established within the past five years, and raised less than $10 million in equity funding.

Relative Insight won a commendation at the Big Chip awards 2015, for the Most Innovative Application of Technolgy.

Their work has been showcased to Prime Minister David Cameron, Home Secretary Theresa May, and delegates from more than 50 countries as part of the WeProtect programme.