Susan Bell Research

We are a boutique research and message testing agency based in Sydney. We comprise a carefully selected set of researchers and insight partners to ensure that we can offer the full suite of research projects and methods to our clients.

We specialise in marketing and communications research for the older market – people over 60 generally – as well as message testing, and research about retirement.

We do this through customised research which we design and conduct with care and commitment. We deliver deep and rich insights to our clients.

Susan Bell Founder & Lead Consultant

Susan Bell, Founder and CEO

Hello. I am Susan Bell, the founder and CEO of Susan Bell Research, which I started in 1994.

  • I am a marketing and social researcher and conference speaker / webinar presenter.
  • I specialise in research about retirement and and helping government and businesses understand the new lives of older people
  • I also specialise in plain language communication testing

I have been called one of the prominent voices in qualitative research worldwide. It’s not that I only do qualitative research – it is that I bring qualitative research thinking to everything we do, including survey design and cultural analysis. 1t’s the ‘thinking’ word that is important here.

I have been a pioneer in bringing thinking (that word again!) about how language works. I hove studied language and technical communication extensively and have used that to develop our own unique content testing framework.

Susan Bell Research ABN and accreditations

Susan Bell Research is a division of Les Bell & Associates Pty Ltd.

Our ABN is the Bell Settlement ABN 44 350 636 020.

We have ISO 20252 accreditation and therefore have policies and procedures in place to protect and manage data. We have an information security management system compliant with ISO 227001 – though as a small business we are not certified against it. Nevertheless, we describe our security posture as ‘well above average’.

Please ask us for our Certicates of Currency for Professional Indemnity and Public and Products Liability Insurance.

Our Consultants

I have brought together a team of consultants who are trained in at least one of: anthropology, psychology, sociology, literature, linguistics, semiotics, marketing. behavioural science, and interaction and service design. Our team is across all research methods.

On any day, we could be doing a member test with investors over Zoom, conducting ethnography about take-away food use, running a focus group about tech adoption, designing a survey about a health app, or decoding images of wellness among older people – to give just a few examples.

l am the lead consultant. Suzanne Burdon and Jane Gregory hove worked with me as consultants for over two decades. We are all research dualists, in that we ore adept and experienced in qualitative and quantitative techniques. I also bring in specialist ethnographers, videographers, and quantitataive specialists when needed.

Suzanne Burdon Consultant at Susan Bell Research

Suzanne Burdon


  • B.A.Hons (Sociology)
  • LTCL (Effective Communication)
  • Experienced conference and webinar presenter

Our Values

Research with impact

Since we opened our doors in 1994 our aim has been to design research that helps our clients identify products, services and experiences that meet their strategic objectives and helps create a better world for the people that they serve.

Challenge the status quo

How do we do it? By fearlessly challenging client thinking and the status quo. The customer is always at the forefront of our thinking.

Seeking knowledge

Learning is part of our DNA, incorporating disciplines as diverse as semiotics, plain language and sensemaking. We do this because it gives our clients deeper and richer insights.

In the words of our clients

We take the time to understand
Susan took the time to really understand what we were trying to achieve, proposed workable solutions that fit our budget, brief and timelines, and was flexible, approachable and responsive throughout our project.
Government Agency
Unquestionably professional
“I have always found Susan to be unquestionably professional in her approach to the research assignment, sensitive to associated business information and the often confidential research themes that resulted.
Financial Services Organisation
Collaborative throughout
Susan thoroughly digests the client brief (and) is very collaborative throughout a project from beginning to end and I believe this is one of the reasons that the end research product delivers more than expected.
Marketing Consultant
Global FMCG and Healthcare
Sensemaking for qualitative insight
happy senior couple riding bicycles at summer park