IN-PERSON FOCUS GROUPS: TRADITIONAL
Focus groups are a gathering of roughly 8-10 respondents for discussion on a particular topic. The purpose of focus groups is to explore in-depth different messaging, language and test respondent detailed reaction to certain stimuli or informational materials. By their very nature focus groups add a depth of understanding to any research question – they tell a skilled researcher “why,” “how,” and “what.”
Focus groups are a good starting point in the research process, because language matters – and focus groups provide invaluable insight into how to structure information and help determine what is working or not working. This type of research is a core step in developing effective and successful messages or products. We use a number of unique focus group techniques to test messaging, language, informational materials, and creative executions, which aid in eliciting interesting ideas and concepts from respondents. We also use multiple levels of emotional-psychological projective exercises and deep-dive probes in our groups.
Focus groups are generally two hours long and are conducted in professional focus group facilities. These facilities provide the client with an interactive opportunity to view the groups as they take place via a one-way mirror. This also allows for interaction with the moderator and provides for spontaneous probes and questions during the groups. All groups are audio and video recorded, and we have the capabilities for groups to be webcast to help alleviate travel for the client to multiple cities.
In areas without a professional focus group facility, we reserve adjoining conference rooms in a conveniently-located local hotel or conference center. One room is used to hold the focus group discussion, while clients discreetly observe on closed-circuit TV in the adjoining room.
Focus groups are highly customizable and can be tailored to both constituency (business leaders, customers, health care providers, investors, patients, purchasers, seniors, swing voters, uninsured, etc.) and topic area (corporate image, education, health care, local issues, politics, technology, etc.).