Research consultancy Fiftyfive5 scales up in response to Covid

23 June 2021 2 min. read
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While Covid-19 has generally caused widespread business disruption, some businesses have found the wares in even greater demand – including Australian research consultancy Fiftyfive5.

Australian market research and growth consultancy Fiftyfive5 has increased its headcount by almost a third over the past twelve months, with the 45 new additions since June of last year taking the firm’s overall total to almost 150 professionals. The recruitment has been spread across the firm’s five regional offices, occurring not in spite of but due to the ongoing business disruption brought about by the pandemic.

“The changes in consumer and community behaviour through Covid-19 has seen significant investment from clients looking to better understand this change and the opportunities and risks it presents,” said Fiftyfive5 CEO Mark Sundquist. Investment in research and insight continues to grow and we have positioned for that growth by scaling up and strengthening our team.”

Research consultancy Fiftyfive5 scales up in response to Covid

Established in Sydney in 2010 by Sundquist and fellow former The Leading Edge executives Karen Phillips and Darren Kemp, Fiftyfive5 has since grown to include offices in Melbourne, Canberra, Auckland and Singapore. In 2018, on the back of an investment from Mercury Capital, the firm merged with another independent research agency GalKal, founded by ex-Oglivy Australia managing director and current fiftyfive5 executive director Brent Wallace.

Leveraging market insights to unlock opportunities for growth, the firm takes its name from an Einstein quote, which highlights the first step in its approach; “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first fifty five minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than 5 minutes.”

Now Fiftyfive5 is having to manage its own rapid growth, with new staff-members of all levels being onboarded across all of the firm’s locations. Indeed, having doubled in size over the past year, Fiftyfive5’s Melbourne team will now move to a new office as of next month to accommodate further growth. Also to support growth, Lisa Gray has been appointed as head of People & Culture.

Elsewhere, Fiftyfive5 has boosted its CX team with the addition of director Ben Vernon, its data science and analytics team through Damian Frankcom and Vanessa Hargraves, and has doubled its social and community team to 14. Under Fiftyfive5 partner Mathew Densten, members of the latter have been engaged in Covid-related work, including large programs to drive vaccination.

“Our team has been entrusted to work on some of the most critical social challenges facing the nation today, it has been a real privilege partnering with our clients and bringing the voice of the community to these challenges,” said Densten. “We are excited to see the social impact of the work we are doing today and are looking forward to what the future holds for the social and community team.”