Presentation on theme: "Which method should you use? focus group or in-depth interviews? A medical equipment manufacturer has developed a diagnostic home test kit for urinary."— Presentation transcript:
Which method should you use? focus group or in-depth interviews? A medical equipment manufacturer has developed a diagnostic home test kit for urinary tract infections and wants to explore consumer perceptions of this concept. A computer manufacturer wants to follow-up a recent customer satisfaction study with customers who expressed dissatisfaction. A toy manufacturer has developed a computer game for the pre-school set and wants to understand how these children will respond to them. A pet food manufacturer has some ideas for reformulating their cat food and wants to get pet owners’ reactions to their ideas.
How to begin designing a focus group project Must AscertainWhat Is It?Example BackgroundWhat led to the decision to conduct focus groups? Although readership of our magazine remains at consistently high levels, subscribership has fallen. The magazine has decided to explore subscription offers to attract this base PurposeWhy are we doing this study? What decisions will be made based on the study? This study is being designed to help us to decide whether or not to start offering premiums for subscriptions.
How to begin designing a focus group project Must AscertainWhat Is It?Example ObjectivesWhat questions will it answer? What information will it provide? Are consumers attracted to premiums? What premiums/offers are attractive to consumers? Which offer elicits the most interest? Action Standards How will the research results will be used ? What is the linkage between the information obtained from the study and the decisions to be made? The premiums which are most appealing will be put into a quantitative study.
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?
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?
Project Management Flowchart for a Typical Focus Group Study Client Request for information Write RFP: Background/Purpose/Research/objectives /Action Standards/Costs/Schedule Determine Research Objectives Client/Moderator Meeting Review RFP and Project Elements
Project Management Flowchart for a Typical Focus Group Study Develop Screener Locate Facility and Monitor Recruiting Develop Moderator ’ s Guide Report/Presentation Groups Conducted Debriefing
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
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
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: A GH DCB E 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
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
What to Look for in a Moderator Perceptive/Analytical Flexible/Creative Energetic Necessary business background (general marketing category specific) Good written/verbal communication
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.
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
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…….”
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
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”
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.
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.
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
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
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,
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
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
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 Liking 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
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