innovation and continuity since 1992


McDonnell-Phillips has been designing and undertaking specialised market research projects for more than twenty years. This includes:

  • business to business research
  • stakeholder research
  • consumer research
  • community and social research
  • policy research
  • staff research.

We also use thorough and robust research as the foundation for our consulting projects - it is an essential prerequisite to effective review/evaluation, marketing, planning or change management.

With research, we focus on working with our clients to clearly identify and delineate the core research or management issue. From this, research objectives are defined and the most cost effective and appropriate research method is planned and then implemented by our expert team.  This saves our clients' time and money. We will not pursue research projects that will not deliver what our clients need.

We differ from other market research firms in that we have a broad understanding of industry and organisational drivers and we use this to design research tailored to deliver strategic knowledge rather than just data. Our research provides more than just information – it gives us the foundation for ways to change awareness, perceptions or behaviour.

Qualitative research

Qualitative research provides in-depth information from a relatively small number of people and is most useful in complex situations, exploratory research, new product development and forming the basis of larger quantitative studies. Our qualitative research techniques include:

  • facilitated focus group sessions with recruited participants, representative of the target audiences
  • implicit research - which uses projective techniques to identify underlying attitudes and perceptions that do not normally surface in interviews or traditional focus groups. The results enable you to map perceptions of your organisation or product against psychographic profiles, experimental products and your competitors
  • executive in-depth interviews - which are often the only way to explore complex issues with key stakeholders whose time is limited. Using senior consultants ensures the quality of feedback needed for this type of research.

We are also exploring the use of social media in gathering qualitative feedback on products, services and community issues.

Quantitative research

Quantitative research provides validated facts about a known group of customers, staff or public that can be used for projections and decision making. This often incorporates sophisticated techniques drawn from the disciplines of psychology and economics. We use a sensitive approach with respondents and advanced statistical tools to:

  • create customised customer and staff satisfaction indices
  • identify market segments requiring particular attention
  • pinpoint critical areas for issue management purposes
  • gauge needs and expectations
  • measure trade-offs customers or the community are willing to make.

We use a range of data collection approaches and the specific approach is selected in line with the client's needs. Approaches can include participation by invited online surveys, pop-up surveys, face-to-face interviewing, phone interviewing and panel studies.

We have a track record of successfully undertaking a broad range of research projects for a wide range of public and private sector organisations across many different industry sectors. This ranges from insightful stakeholder consultation to large-scale quantitative community studies.

Research Capabilities


  • Qualitative studies - interviews & focus groups
  • Quantitative studies
  • Environment scans
  • Desktop research
  • Industry analyses
  • Customer/community satisfaction (and drivers)
  • Staff morale and satisfaction (and drivers)
  • Loyalty, reputation & corporate image research
  • Market segmentation studies
  • Customer/community trade-offs
  • Product attribute trade-offs
  • Business relationship research
  • Stakeholder consultation
  • Pricing studies
  • Location studies


Our quality assured process for planning and conducting research includes:

  • clearly identify and delineate the core research or management issue
  • define research objectives
  • identifying published materials, key themes and most significant potential implications for the research issue
  • analysing sampling (based on potential error and client risk tolerance)
  • investigate collecting data options (i.e. face-to-face, focus groups, phone interviews, online studies) and plan for the most cost effective and appropriate research method – this is discussed with clients and then approved
  • implementation and field work analysis (including theme generation, frequency tables, significance testing, factor, cluster and conjoint analyses etc)
  • reporting – all of our reports are prepared by our senior team. Our reports are of the highest quality – thorough, strategic and integrated. We focus on distilling the few key management levers to help strategy development. We also personally present and discuss our findings with Boards and management teams.


  • Automotive
  • Biotechnology
  • Charitable / Not-for-profit
  • Chemicals
  • Computer Software and Hardware
  • Construction
  • Creative Industries
  • Digital Design
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Engineering
  • Financial Services
  • Government – Local, State and Commonwealth
  • Health and Life Sciences
  • ICT
  • Mining and support industries
  • Leisure and Sports
  • Professional Service Firms
  • Software
  • Telecommunications
  • Tourism