Survation boosts Insight and Strategic Communications offer with senior hires of Carl Shoben and Madhur Mehra

Carl Shoben, a communications and strategy specialist with 15 years leading change, public health campaigns and crisis communications in the NHS, and former Downing Street special adviser, has been appointed to lead a strengthened strategic communications arm of polling and research firm Survation.

Madhur Mehra, a seasoned consumer insight professional, brings 20 years of Market Research expertise and has been appointed as Survation’s Director of Research. Madhur, most recently a Senior Director at Ipsos Mori, having been at the firm for 6 years prior was also Head of Consumer Insights for Nielsen UK & Ireland 2016-2019 and began his career in India for NFO, GfK Mode before joining Kantar in the UK.

He brings in-depth experience in quantitative consumer insights, brand tracking, market understanding and innovation & new product development and has worked across sectors ranging from CPG to Finance, Telecom and Luxury.


Carl and Madhur join forces with Survation’s existing Strategic Qualitative Consultant Jane Carn, who formerly led YouGov’s qual team, and previously, a director at Ipsos Mori and ICM Research.

The new hires will join founder and Chief Executive Damian Lyons Lowe, to boost Survation’s insight, branding and Strategic Communications services – targeted toward companies and organisations that need to make evidence based decisions that are driven by accurate data and insight.

This “full suite” of senior professionals leading teams internally will ensure campaigns and programmes are fully integrated and delivered through data analysis, strategy and message development to on the ground deployment to multi audiences and channels.

Madhur Mehra,  Survation’s new Director of Research said,

“Survation is an innovative and creative mixed method market researcher, best known for being the only company to predict the 2017 hung parliament using all methods – telephone, online polling as well as using advanced data science – multilevel regression and poststratification (MRP).


Their data science offering – led by Professor Chris Hanretty and the team at Royal Holloway was a particular draw for me, especially following up their 2017 success in 2019 by providing the most accurate MRP election seats forecast ever conducted.


I will be bringing my 20 years of working with large international companies on their commercial research and branding experience to create new tools and services to leverage Survation’s leadership in advanced data science methodology to provide clients a deeper understanding than at present of their brand and core target audience.“



Carl Shoben, Survation’s new Director of Strategic Communications said:

“After two decades advising public service and political leaders in strategic communications,  and working in the NHS to bring about better engagement both internally and with the public and patients, it’s very exciting to be linking up with one of the country’s leading polling and research companies.

I’ve joined Survation at a time when the UK’s focus needs to be coping with the Covid-19 crisis, and we have therefore made a start in pulling together all of our skills and experience to help the NHS, companies and organisations deal with the crisis in a way which protects the health of their staff and public, and manages business continuity as well as is possible in the circumstances. I have written a guide, which is an open access resource to help companies and services with their internal and public communications and are offering support to anyone who wants further advice.“

Survation Chief Executive and founder Damian Lyons Lowe, said:


“Given the unprecedented challenge facing the UK’s businesses, workers, vulnerable groups and society as a whole at the current time, we are very fortunate to have assembled such an experienced leadership team. This is of course an important time for research organisations who are trusted sources of opinion based statistics, data but what is more important is that genuine insight is gained from that data to help direct actionable strategic decisions.”


The team has hit the ground running, providing open access resources which are listed below.


  1. Initiation of segmented UK population tracking on COVID-19, with a specific focus on the degree of preparedness of UK businesses. We are also tracking general population attitudes, workers including the self-employed, HR professionals, self employed professionals and students (including students who work)



Further information

In one of his previous roles at Nielsen, Madhur Mehra headed the Consumer Insights department and was a member of Nielsen UK & Ireland management board.

Carl Shoben has led communications campaigns and change management programmes across the NHS for 15 years. Between his NHS experience, Carl has also advised political leaders in strategic communications, including five years as a special adviser in Downing Street to Tony Blair, and he more recently returned to politics to direct Labour’s polling and messaging operations.

Covid-19 workplace surveys and business continuity communications

Carl and Madhur have been working on COVID-19 related projects for Survation in the past week since they joined Survation. At this time of crisis, they have focussed on what they can do to support business and organisations understand the needs of their workers and customers and design communications plans for business continuity and staff well being. Below, direct link to reports, please contact Survation for any further information.



Survation’s strengthened research and strategic communications services will include:

  1. Segmented strategy: The Survation team develops strategy based on detailed analysis of quantitative and qualitative surveys,  segmenting a strategic communication plan and campaign, which recommends realistic outcomes, messaging and channel outputs, including advice on persuading key audiences to change behaviours and to influence attitudes.

  1. Message Development: Survation designs multi audience/cohort messaging to use in campaigns which have been tested using the whole range of survey tools, including MRP, focus groups and rapid intensity testing to ensure messaging is effective and has necessary salience among target audiences.

  1. Change management: Survation has an experienced team to develop and lead employee and stakeholder focussed strategic communication programmes to deliver complex change programmes in the public and private sectors. This includes the initial carrying out of detailed segmented data insight of different staff groups, stakeholder and public audiences, message design for each audience, followed by implementation including engagement with the range of audiences to persuade on the benefits of change. Survation’s new Director of Strategic Communication has led complex change management programmes across the NHS, delivering service changes and complicated restructuring of services.

  1. Content design: Survation oversees and designs creative content to deliver the desired messaging to multiple target audiences. The team has vast experience at creating all forms of content from paid and organic digital materials, to face to face and community engagement message delivery.

  1. Deployment: Survation will deliver on the ground management and resourcing of campaigns and change management programmes to make sure agreed strategy,  messaging and content plans are deployed effectively to the correct audiences.


Survation. is an MRS company partner, a member of the British Polling Council and abides by their rules. To find out more about Survation’s services, and how you can conduct a telephone or online poll for your research needs, please visit our services page.

If you are interested in commissioning research or to learn more about Survation’s research capabilities, please contact Harry Mason on 020 3818 96612 or John Gibb on 020 3818 9661 email researchteam@survation.com or visit our services page.

For press enquiries, please call 0203 818 9661 or email media@survation.com

BPC Statement: All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error. On the basis of the historical record of the polls at recent general elections, there is a 9 in 10 chance that the true value of a party’s support lies within 4 points of the estimates provided by this poll, and a 2 in 3 chance that they lie within 2 points.

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