About meaning

meaning is a consulting company which provides a range of advisory and facilitation services in the application of technology in the workplace, in the management of change and in leadership within organizations.

meaning is the specialist independent source of support for software dedicated to market research, survey research, data collection and analysis. Operating as a totally independent consulting company, we do not develop software products ourselves, but help a wide variety of clients to get the very best out of the software that they use.

We provide a range of consulting services, working mainly at the uneasy interface between technology and the human being. Many of our clients draw on our expertise to select and procure software, carry out comprehensive user-led technology reviews, or project manage the implementation of new tools.

We write user guides and manuals for producers of software or for in-house systems with the aim of making technology clear, approachable and understandable to all – especially non-technical users. We also write compelling content for press and publicity purposes, including news or magazine articles, news releases and case studies. We fully embrace new media such as computer-based documentation and web publishing.

At meaning, our aim is to make technology approachable and interesting to those who need to use it in their profession. Our independence means you can be assured our advice is unbiased and our approach is discreet and confidential.

Meet the people at meaning

Tim Macer

Tim Macer

Managing Director

MR Software, implementation, project management

Tim Macer is the founder of meaning ltd and is the company’s principal consultant. He has worked for over 25 years in the field of information technology for marketing and opinion research. Prior to forming the company in 1993, he was Director of Customer Services for a research software firm and before that, a software programmer and a data processing specialist.

Tim has established a reputation internationally as an authoritative, independent analyst and commentator on software for survey research, and is often called on by industry bodies to provide an independent perspective on the subject. He is a member of the editorial advisory board for the International Journal of Market Research, a full member of the Market Research Society (MRS), serves on the committee of the Association for Survey Computing (ASC). From its inception in 2003 until 2006, Tim was presiding judge for the annual ASC/MRS Technology Effectiveness Award.

As a writer, Tim contributes regularly to two industry-respected magazines – Research magazine in the UK and Quirk’s Marketing Review in the USA – on the subject of software and technology in research, and has published numerous papers and articles on the topic. In 2006, Tim was appointed Visiting Senior Fellow at the University of Southampton, where he is involved in research in the field of marketing analytics.

His work with the internet bank Egg, presented at the MRS Golden Jubilee Conference in 2007, recived the Best New Thinking award in the Research Excellence and Effectivenes Awards. In 2008 he jointly edited the market research reference textbook “Marketing Research: Critical Perspectives” with David Birks, published by Routledge.

Alan Taylor

Alan Taylor


Leadership, human resources, action research

Alan Taylor has recently completed his PhD in leadership and organizations with the SOLAR Centre at the University of the West of England, and prior to that, a Masters in Voluntary Sector Management. From 2005 to 2007, Alan was a Teaching Fellow at the University of Southampton – teaching, coaching and mentoring voluntary sector managers at postgraduate level, and was recently awarded PG Cert in Higher Education.

Drawing on theories of social constructionism, psychodynamics and postmodernist approaches to management, Alan undertakes short-term intensive systemic interventions with voluntary and public sector organizations. His work is informed by his training in psychosynthesis and group therapy, as well as twenty years experience in senior management.  He develops courses in human resources, designs assessment centres for the recruitment of senior executives and facilitates team workshops using methodologies that bring to the surface the hidden issues that can thwart our best laid plans.

He also provides financial direction to the company, and advises clients on human resources, implementation and management issues.

Sheila Wilson

Sheila Wilson


Marketing, writing, research and inquiry

Sheila is an international marketing specialist with particular experience in the market research software marketplace.  She worked for over ten years in high-tech multinational organizations – including SPSS, Toshiba and Xerox.

Since becoming a meaning associate in 2003, Sheila has turned her hand to a range of writing projects, including customer success stories, newsletters and websites. She is also instrumental in the fieldwork, analysis and reporting for quantitative market research and assists with our software selection and evaluation services. 

Working at Toshiba in the early 1990s, Sheila developed her marketing skills in technology as she advanced through three different marketing roles within the laptop computer division in Germany. 

Moving to Quantime in 1994, and subsequently, SPSS, when it acquired Quantime in 1998, Sheila was instrumental in transforming the company’s marketing materials in its market research software division to make them customer- and solution focused. She became editor of the customer newsletter, with an international circulation of over 15,000.  She was also responsible for PR and a large proportion of the firm’s international marketing materials.

Sheila graduated with an honours degree in International Marketing from Thames Polytechnic (now University of Greenwich) and is a proficient German speaker.

Our work

Find out more about what we do and how we have helped our clients – take a look at our services and examples of our work.

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