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Social and market research


Social and market research are used to gain a better understanding of society and to identify the perceptions, attitudes, behaviours, needs or emerging concerns of members of the community.

It may be used to assess the public's response to proposals or to possible changes or initiatives; to assess the effectiveness of policies, programs and services; to measure progress in service improvement; to inform a course of action; or to inform marketing decisions.


Social research is a process of gathering information about the social environment of a society and interpreting it to make a sound decision on a course of action.

Market research is the process of collecting and analysing data obtained from a sample of individuals or businesses relating to their characteristics, behaviour and attitudes.

Monitoring refers to the ongoing process of assessing whether communication activities are proceeding on target in accordance with the communication strategy.

Evaluation is carried out at the end of a specified phase of a communication project to assess whether the goals and objectives of the communication strategy have been met. NB: Monitoring and evaluation are not addressed in this section of the policy. For more on monitoring and evaluation please see section 7.1 Communications planning and evaluation.

Personal information is defined in the Personal Information Protection Act 2004.

Policy requirements

When contracting social and market research for the purpose of quantifying, qualifying or evaluating the views, attitudes or perceptions of a given population, agencies must:

  • comply with the requirements of the Treasurer’s Instructions and the specific requirements for the procurement of communications goods and services (see section 7.2 Communications procurement)
  • ensure the contractual or procurement arrangements adequately protect any personal or confidential information collected as part of the social and market research.

Copies of final reports of social and market research if published must be deposited with the State Library of Tasmania as well as with the National Library of Australia. A disclosure period of 90 days applies for all reports. Electronic submission of final reports is acceptable.

Commercial in confidence information must be appropriately managed and stored.