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Which method should you use? focus group or in-depth interviews?

Which method should you use? focus group or in-depth interviews?

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Which method should you use? focus group or in-depth interviews?

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  1. Which method should you use? focus group or in-depth interviews?

  2. How to begin designing a focus group project

  3. How to begin designing a focus group project

  4. Checklist of Key Questions and Additional Probes • What is the issue/marketing problem? • Why are we ? • What needs to be known? • What are the critical issues? • What are the secondary issues? • What do we already know about the situations? • Have we done any related studies before? • Who requested the research? • Who is the primary recipient of the report? • Who else will read the report? • How important in general is the project to the client? • Who is paying the research?

  5. Checklist of Key Questions and Additional Probes • What decisions will be made from the research? • Who will make the final decision? • Who else will have the inputs to the decision? • What are the alternatives? • Are any alternatives expected/favored ? • What are the specific criteria for a decision? • Are there any hidden agendas/political issues? • When will the decision be made? • What deadline do we face? • What are the consequences of failing to meet the deadlines?

  6. Project Management Flowchart for a Typical Focus Group Study Client Request for information Determine Research Objectives Write RFP: Background/Purpose/Research/objectives /Action Standards/Costs/Schedule Client/Moderator Meeting Review RFP and Project Elements

  7. Project Management Flowchart for a Typical Focus Group Study Develop Screener Locate Facility and Monitor Recruiting Develop Moderator’s Guide Groups Conducted Debriefing Report/Presentation

  8. Locating a Focus Group Facility • Professionally designed room • Hotel conference rooms and restaurant meeting rooms, • Advantages • Recruiting. Well-recognized location and prestige may increase cooperation • Execution. Less formal atmosphere may enhance group performance • Flexibility. Greater size permits more flexibility, e.g. breaking groups into subgroups, running large sessions, • Disadvantages • Recording. Increases obtrusiveness of audio and especially videotape recording devices. • Observations. Forces viewer into group room permitting distractions and potential moderator loss of control

  9. Locating a Focus Group Facility • How to Determine Which Facility • Recruiting • Accessibility to respondents and moderator • Creature comforts • Selecting the appropriate Room Configuration • Living Room • Conference Room

  10. Seating Arrangements • Very little attention is paid to seating arrangements in groups, because moderator generally have no control of the situation. Group facilities usually provide either round, boatshaped, or rectangular tables, and the moderator is forced to accept what’s available. • Use the rectangular tables does pose some problems. In addition to the obvious problems due to the lack of eye contact, social psychology researchers have noted the following: B C D A E H G F A & E are most likely to emerge as leaders B, D, F & H are likely to be less frequent speakers than A,C,E &G

  11. What to Look for in a Moderator • Moderators come from variety of backgrounds • Marketing/Advertising • Social Sciences • Technical • Theater • Not one specific “type” • But some common characteristics of “good” moderator • Personable/develops rapport • Pleasant • Attentive/Listens/Remembers • Curious • Empathic

  12. What to Look for in a Moderator • Perceptive/Analytical • Flexible/Creative • Energetic • Necessary business background (general marketing category specific) • Good written/verbal communication

  13. The Flow of the Focus Group Introduction Moderator/participant introduction. Participants given Procedural rules/rational for session Warm-up/Reconnaissance Low anxiety questions, e.g., product use/frequency. Moderator gets picture of group assembled. Participants learn group demands In-Depth Investigation Transition of discussion to focus on critical issues. Product group may involve introduction of client concept/prototype. Issue group may involve movement from concrete to abstract thinking Closure Sifting of attitudes discussed to determine how group stands on issues. Summarization to permit clarification. Appeal for additional information.

  14. Stage I – Opening a Session • Sample Group Opening • Example B: “Since we are not here to make a commercial, you must still be wondering why we asked you to join us. That can best be explained by telling you a little more about the type of business that my company does. Marketing research firms serve as an information links between consumers and manufacturers. We are frequently hired to find out what customers would think about a product if it would be introduced. Since tonight we are talking about instant toilet bowl cleaners, we brought a group of people together who all said that they were frequent bowl cleaners

  15. Stage I – Opening a Session “In the course of our meeting, we only have a few guidelines. First, feel free to comment on whatever other people in the group have to say. Second, remember the company I work for is a independent firm, and that I am not representing a particular product. Therefore , be complete honest here tonight—if you like the concepts we will discuss, feel free to say so, and when you dislike a concept also let your feeling be known. “Now I’d like to get started by…….”

  16. Stage II – Warm-Up/Reconnaissance • Content • Low anxiety questions • Generally discussion on product use – frequency, brand preference, etc. • Purpose • Permits respondents to speak • Identified process for group members • Permits “grouping” • Provide moderator with picture of group present, affecting later questioning. • Permits respondents to identify others present

  17. Stage II – Warm-Up/Reconnaissance • Behavior to be demonstrated by moderator in Stage II • Genuine interest—a demonstration of a real interest in what the participants have to say • Unconditional positive regard—appreciation of the participants as individuals, a respect for their opinion no matter how bizarre they may seem Example: the group just begun to discuss their brand selection concern common cold remedies. Participants have mentioned use of Contac, Comtrex, and Coricidin. While others in the group have compared and contrasted these products, Participant “X”, who has sat in silence to this point, now decides to enlighten the rest of group y telling them, “all these products are the same. I saw it on ’60 Minutes.’ Diane Sawyer said they’re all the same. It’s nothing but a conspiracy to rip us all off”

  18. Stage II – Warm-Up/Reconnaissance • Behavior to be demonstrated by moderator • To indicate that all members of the group have an equal opportunity to express their opinions, the moderator must show respect for the participant’s opinion without reinforcing it. • Probing for clarity—assuring that participants comments, particularly those that provide background , are clearly understood before proceeding.

  19. Stage II – Warm-Up/Reconnaissance • Structure maintenance—keeping the group on a fairly narrow course to assure that essential background facts are learned before proceeding to more divergent topics. • Moderator must realize that, in his/her desire to get an accurate picture of the group assembled, many questions may appear to be foolish to the respondents.

  20. Stage III - In-Depth Investigation • Content • Typically involves transition from descriptive, concrete discussion (e.g., product use) to mare abstract, more cognitive level (e.g., product image, attitudes) • More difficult, possibly threatening issues covered • Frequently involves introduction of client product, concept, problems • Purpose • Investigation of true issues at hand • Provide in-depth information on attitudes behind product selection

  21. Stage III - In-Depth Investigation • Behavior to be demonstrated by moderator in Stage III • Sensitivity—an ability to determine depth of discussion at any given time Example: group is in early part of Stage III discussing the feeding habits of their pet poodles. Moderator does not quickly open a new, more sensitive subject with, “For those of you without children, do you think that a poodle takes the place of a child?” • In-depth probing—the trademark of qualitative research, the probing for reasons underlying consumer behaviors/attitudes

  22. Stage III - In-Depth Investigation • Behavior to be demonstrated by moderator • Reweaving—bring information noted earlier in the session, perhaps in Stage II, into the Stage III discussion. Reweaving indicates to the participant your interest in previous statements made, provides a smooth transition to a new topic, and helps make the session a continuous discussion rather than a series of disjointed segments. • Flexibility—demonstrating the ability to discuss issues relevant to the research topic regardless of their location on, or absence form, the moderator’s outline,

  23. Stage IV - Closure • Content • Discussion of strength of attitudes discussed • Summarization of issues discussed • Purpose • Aids in understanding of group proceedings for both moderator and respondents • Permits respondents opportunity to alert/clarify positions • Allows moderator to test his/her hypotheses, conclusions, etc. for accuracy. • Permits moderator to identify the strength of the feeling that arose in the group • Behavior to be demonstrated by moderator in Stage IV • Sorting/identifying of disparate attitudes • Respect for individual differences • summarization

  24. Moderator Traits/Behavior Conducive to Effective Moderating • Ability to convey warmth/empathy • Creates non-threatening, accepting atmosphere • Optimum result is internalization of this attitude by other participants • Attention to speakers • Essential that he/she pay close attention to foster behavior in others • Common group trait: minimal attention to others Result: speakers tend to press point or withdraw • Attention given by several means: paraphrasing, head nodding, murmuring, definite statements such as, “I think that’s interesting…….” • Understanding meanings and intents • Listening closely, searching for latent content • Probing/rephrasing to get at latent content • Non-assumption of meaning

  25. Moderator Traits/Behavior Conducive to Effective Moderating • Unconditional positive regard/conveying acceptance • Demonstration of acceptance of divergent opinions • Difficult in group setting due to respondent introduction of irrelevant information • Linking function • Connection of comments by various members in cohesive thought, group meaning • Novice moderators rarely demonstrate linking ability • Lack of linking ability causes “dizzying spin” feeling moderators often report after groups

  26. Moderator Traits/Behavior Conducive to Effective Moderating • Incomplete understanding • Ability to project a need for greater information while not appealing to be artificially ignorant • Encouragement • Ability to project a need for greater information while not appealing to be artificially ignorant • Flexibility • Ability to vary from topic outline in order to demonstrate genuine interest and capitalize on leads • Sensitivity • Ability to determine appropriate level of depth in a discussion