The University of Bolton has linked up with a firm that finds out what children and young people are worth to the business world.

The University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Insights People to develop a new Digital/Social Media Customer Behaviour degree course. The firm will help the university gain a greater understanding of consumer behaviour and trends, especially among children, aged between three and 18.

Nick Richardson, chief executive officer of The Insights People said: “We have clients including the BBC, Disney, Hasbro and Random House. The University of Bolton is our first academic client.

“We are delighted to be collaborating so closely and I am sure there will be huge benefits for both parties.”

Nick set up The Insights People, based in Lever Street in Manchester city centre, two years ago after gaining an Executive Masters of Business Administration qualification at the university.

He said: “The main area of our business is understanding the needs and interests of children, aged between three and 18 years old.

“The children, with the full agreement of their parents, complete a survey and all the research data is gathered and can be used by companies who subscribe to us.

“All the data is completely in line with the legislation. It tells us what the children are consuming, learning about, buying, what their favourite things are.

“This sort of information is invaluable to any business that wants to understand its customers and remain ahead of the game.”

Nick added: “This relationship with the University of Bolton will see students come to us for work placements and work-based projects.

“We aim to work closely with relevant departments that will help to keep our business growing and innovating, such as technological development and psychology analysis.

“Marketing intelligence and data is critical to the next generation of business leaders.

“They need to gain a comprehensive understanding of what is going in the world of their future customers and it is then up to them to use that data however they wish, to respond to it in the most effective way.

“Firms are using the data to inform future content or product development or to plan their advertising strategy.”

The University of Bolton’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Kondal Reddy Kandadi, said: “We enjoy a great relationship with The Insights People, in particular in our Institute of Management.

“We want to capitalise on this for mutual benefit, introducing digital, social media and psychology academic expertise to Nick and his team, to help enrich our student experience, providing hands-on experience of the workplace

“This will enhance student employability, as well as bring academic insight to The Insights People.”