Richard Webber



Career Overview

Since March 2002 he has been Visiting Professor, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University of London. Visiting Professor, Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Portsmouth. Geodemographic consultant operating in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. Responsibility for the design and implementation of segmentation courses for the UK Institute of Direct Marketing.

Previously, from 1986 – 2001, he was Manager, Experian micromarketing applications, rising to the position of Director, Experian International Ltd and Managing Director, Experian Micromarketing Division, Nottingham. 1990 – 1997 Managing Director position included responsibility for Lifestyle, List Rental, Database Marketing and Data Management operating areas.

Academic and professional qualifications

  • MA, Economics (Cambridge)
  • MTD, Transportation Design (Liverpool)
  • Elected Fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing
  • Member, Resources Board, Economic and Social Research Council
  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Interactive Marketing
  • Member, User Advisory Group, 2001 RAE (Geography panel)

Key research specialisations, interests and achievements

Software design and analytic modelling:

  • Developer of a computer package for the efficient clustering of geographic areas based on census and other statistics. Recognised as the originator of geodemographic classification systems (ACORN, MOSAIC), both in the UK and overseas (MOSAIC has been constructed in 16 other countries). Have been personally responsible for the formation of business relationships enabling ACORN and MOSAIC to be introduced into these markets and for the technical design of the cluster solutions built for them.
  • High level strategic design of the pc software package ‘Micromarketer’, used by some 200 blue chip organisations for customer segmentation, direct marketing and local market planning (at Experian)
  • Overall design of multimedia systems which enable key features of geodemographic classification systems to be communicated to non specialist users (for example with the multimedia guide to MOSAIC)

Methodological innovation:

  • Expertise in the evaluation of alternative indictors of deprivation
  • Developer of methodologies for use of area classification systems in tackling inner city (Liverpool) and rural deprivation (Cumbria) (whilst at the Centre for Envikronmental Studies)
  • Development of methodologies for optimisation of retail site location using geodemographic and retail location data and their implementation via gravitational modelling systems (particularly since the acquisition of Goad by Experian)
  • Development of methodologies for the application of segmentation to CRM (customer relationship management) and to contact strategy management based on multiple distribution and communication channels (as evidenced by the design of the Institute of Direct Marketing’s ‘segmentation for profit’ course
  • Development of person and household level consumer segmentation systems (such as Fizz) based on a combination of small area statistics and public domain data at the person and household level.
  • Design of methodologies which enable operational performance statistics to be benchmarked against realistic targets for a delivery team taking into account the geodemographic profile of the client base and the territory covered by local operational units


  • Formation and leadership of sales and consulting organisations successful in commercialising the application of geodemographics among private sector organisations (built up the team at CACI to 50 persons and the team at Experian to 200 persons)
  • Management of the entry of Experian into the ‘Lifestyle Database’ market


  • Liverpool Social Area Study, 1971 data’, PRAG Technical Paper No 14, Centre for Environmental Studies, 1975
  • The National Classification of Residential Neighbourhoods : An introduction to the Classification of Wards and Parishes’ PRAG Technical Paper No 23, Centre for Environmental Studies, 1977
  • Making the most of the census for Strategic Analysis’, Town Planning Review, Vol 49, Nos 3 and 4, July and October 1978
  • Socio economic classifications of Local Authority Areas’, jointly with John Craig, OPCS Studies on Medical and Population Subjects, no 35, HMSO, 1978
  • Parliamentary constituencies : a socio economic classification’, OPCS occasional paper 13, 1978
  • The Social Structure of Haringey’ (1977),
  • Census enumeration districts: a socio-economic classification’, (1979),
  • The Use of Census-derived Classifications in the Marketing of Consumer Products in the United Kingdom’, Journal of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 1, Number 1, April 1985
  • The 1992 general election ; constituency results and local patterns of national newspaper readership’. Chapter in ‘British Elections and Parties Yearbook, 1993’, Editors – Denver, Norris, Broughton and Rallings, Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1993
  • Geodemographic segmentation : you are where you live’, jointly with Jim Hodgkins. Chapter in ‘Forensic Marketing’, Editor – Gavin Barrett, McGraw-Hill, 1995
  • Geodemographic Profiling : MOSAIC and EuroMOSAIC’, jointly with Nick Evans. Chapter in ‘The Marketing Research Process, 4th edition’, Editors – Margaret Crimp and Len Tiu Wright, Prentice Hall, 1995
  • Developments in cross border standards for geodemographic segmentation’. Chapter in ‘European Geographic Information Infrastructures’, Editors – Ian Masser and Francois Salge, Taylor and Francis, 1998
  • Fusion of market research and database marketing’, jointly with Peter Sleight, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Vol 1, Number 1, July 1999
  • Implementing segmentation in service firms : Contact strategy management, a step forward for the new millennium’ jointly with Agnes Nairn, 0 Journal of Database Marketing, Vol 7, Number 2, November 1999
  • Adapting DM analysis and segmentation practice to the challenge of one-to-one marketing and multi-channel communications’. Journal of Targetting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing, Vol 7, Number 3, 1999
  • Adopting share of wallet as a basis for communications and customer relationship management’, jointly with Nick Pompa, Julian Berry and John Reid, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Vol 2, Number 1, July/Sept 2000
  • MOSAIC: From an area classification system to individual classification’, jointly with Marc Farr, Journal of Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing, Vol 10, Number 1, August 2001
  • Customer Recognition Systems : A prerequisite for effective CRM?’ Interactive Marketing,Vol 3, Number 4, April / June 2002