“We’ve been working with Square Holes for many years, across several projects, with their team working alongside our team to deliver project success. The outcome of their work acts as an internal bible and has provided powerful insights into our customers and markets.”

- Tennille Reed

Square Holes' market and cultural research has explored much of Australia's urban, regional and remote areas. Indigenous populations, to Australia’s rich tapestry of different cultures and immigrants, from the average to the advantaged and disadvantaged. We have explored the world from Australia to Africa, Asia, North and South Americas, Europe, and wider Oceania.

We have met so many fascinating people, in such eclectic places.

Our work informs curious and inspired human-centred decision makers and innovators in business and government. Inspiration built on ISO 20252 certified quality standards (International ISO standard for market, social and opinion research).

We believe research is holistic, beyond surveys towards immersion.

Evidence-based consulting

Square Holes provides evidence-based insight and strategic consulting based on extensive research since 2004.

Cultural trends

Opportunities in this ever-changing world, diverse cultures, evolving society. Tech, and other trends, globalisation, pain-points.
'What next?'

Behaviour change

Application of behavioural psychology and behavioural economics models, including cognitive bias and heuristics to drive change.

Market entry and growth

Assisting market entry and growth, including sizing the market, finding product-market-fit and optimising price and wider strategy.

Evidence based marketing

Ensuring marketing is based on fact more so than fantasy as to impact on brand growth, and optimising marketing effectiveness.

“A delightful team delivering business and research insights, with thought and care.”

- Jessica Vonthethoff

Three core research services

Most of our research work is in three key areas to help achieve client objectives.

Illumination studies

Understand the stories, beliefs and behaviours of key markets, customers and population segments.

Concept testing and development

Involve prospective users and audience in testing and refining new products, marketing and other concepts.

Performance monitoring

Define and monitor key performance indicators, and identify priority strategy adjustments to enhance impact.

“A fresh and innovative agency providing a valuable alternative to traditional research approaches."

- Nathan Hubbard

Illumination studies

Getting the foundation right from the start is essential to ensure strategy success. Some of the evidence based stories we tell ...

Culture and community

Brands and markets

Customer journey maps

Economic impact

"Client is their first priority."

- Jacqueline Bowden

Four steps to drive change

We recommend and provide support in following four steps to drive change …

Problem definition

Taking time to pause and unpack the 'BURNING DECK', hypothesis, barriers, gaps and opportunities prior to taking the next step.

Insight collection

Gather evidence to understand the STORIES, beliefs and behaviours of key markets, customers and population segments.

Ideas prioritisation

Filter the many ideas as to strategic value and ease of implementation. More simple strategic ideas. Plan the complex BIG IDEAS.

Agility and action

The biggest impediment to strategic growth is inaction, so IMPLEMENT. Then monitor, listen, observe, adjust and set priorities.

“The research we undertook with Square Holes informed our strategy and focused our resources.”

- Angelo Russo

Case studies

Three diverse examples of how we have helped decision makers can be found via the images below. Our work for brands, business, government et cetera is typically private and confidential. Yet we do conduct 100+ customised research projects each year, so please contact Square Holes to discuss case studies more aligned with your key markets, customers and population segments.

Quit smoking behavour change
Drug & Alcohol Services

Riverbank cultural revamp
Adelaide Oval + wider precinct

New market entry and growth
Emergency Services Health

Categories include youth, brands, arts and culture, government, business-to-business, education, technology and ageing.

A few of our favourite long-term clients ...

“The research gave us the confidence to build a range of facilities that could be sold and allowed us to price these in a manner that would maximise revenue for a sustained period.”

- Darren Chandler

Field team & research rooms

Square Holes is a full-service research agency - data collection to analysis and consulting.

All Australian based interviewing and recruitment for our social and market research is conducted by Square Holes via our in-house field teams. This includes on-line survey, phone survey (CATI) facility and face-to-face interviewing capacity for Australia. Focus group and other qualitative research is available in our research room in our Adelaide HQ, with client viewing room (including live streaming upon request). Partner research rooms are used in other locations.

Square Holes’ field work team (‘Round Pegs’) is also available for field work only projects, when strategic input is not required.


Some of the research methodologies we use ...

  • Affinity Discussions
  • ‘BIG’ Data
  • Digital Clinic
  • Ethnography
  • Focus Groups
  • In-Depth Interviews
  • Online Communities
  • Online Focus Groups
  • Semiotics
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Workshops
  • Surveys:
    • Telephone Surveys
    • Online Surveys
    • Face-to-Face Surveys
    • Hybrid Surveys


Below are three common frequently asked questions.

Q: What is the Return on Investment? A: Strategic precision and guidance, and minimising underperforming marketing and other spending waste. 1) Monitoring of trends, and brand, marketing and customer performance for Board and management reporting, and identifying strategic priorities. 2) Immersive market / population understanding to support decision makers to be innovative and gain competitive advantage. Strategic insight and a comprehensive, easy to read 30-100 page report is typically provided.

Q: How much does it cost? A: Generally $20,000 to $50,000, although budgets as low as $5,000 to up to $100,000 or more are common depending on the complexity of the project and other factors. Preliminary proposals tend to offer 2-3 options with alternative methodologies and costs, with prices quoted as fixed value total cost, i.e. all-inclusive no-surprises cost to achieve objectives, rather than per hour or add-on pricing. Government Grants may be available to subsidise the cost of research.

Q: How long does it take? A: Research projects tend to take 3-8 weeks, depending on complexity and other factors. Our skilled, organised and experienced team carefully project manage to ensure budget and timing targets are met. Many of our clients work with Square Holes on an on-going basis, and others on an as needed project-to-project basis. We pride ourselves on building medium to long term trusted, candid and friendly partner relationships. Many of our partnerships are 5-10 years or much longer.

Please contact Square Holes with further questions.

The key output from Square Holes research is publishing a comprehensive report visually illustrating strategic insights

ISO 20252 Quality

Square Holes is ISO 20252 certified International ISO standard for market, social and opinion research. Please beware of cowboys and cowgirls cutting corners and creating unreliable research findings. Square Holes has always and will always invest and commit to working to the highest privacy, quality and ethics standards. Square Holes is endorsed by AMSRO Trust Mark for Privacy, Quality and Ethics. Square Holes abides by the privacy standards of The Privacy (Market and Social Research) Code 2014. Our research team are members of AMSRS. This ensures that the information gathered is accurate, ethical and goes beyond minimal privacy regulations.

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