Focus Groups: Behind the mirror or online.
Focus groups are the ideal environment to understand underlying motivations of consumer decisions. During a focus group participants often describe very emotionally and spontaneously their likes and dislikes of a product, a service or a communication / a concept. The moderator uses projective and associative methods and other interviewing techniques in order to learn as much as possible about the opinions and emotions of the respondents.
A focus group develops an inherent dynamic that compels every participant to interact and talk with the others. In this situation, which is similar to the social exchange of daily life, unexpected findings and new ideas emerge that grant deep insights into consumer behavior.
A typical focus group has between 4 (mini group) and a maximum of 10 participants. The group is guided by a skilled moderator. The discussion can be watched from an adjacent room through a one-way mirror. The client can thus follow closely the reactions of the target group and gets to know their knowledge, opinions, way of thinking and motivations.
Workshops are useful when you want to generate new concept ideas for products, brands, or advertisements or when you want to further develop or optimize existing concepts.
When discussing products, it’s often about their functionality, effectiveness and quality. Also emotional aspects can play a role. Especially brand and advertisement concepts focus on emotional vibrancy and its meaning.
The moderator gives a detailed and clear presentation of the overall task in order to raise all participants to the same level of awareness. Usually, this process leads to first spontaneous reactions. Eventually, specific exploration techniques are employed such as:
- Collage techniques (e.g. compositions of newspaper and journal clippings or images from the internet)
- Brainstorming, brainwriting, 6-3-5 Method, Synectics
- Metaplan technique
- Work in mini groups
A creative workshop needs a discussion guide that includes single techniques as required by the workshop’s flow. A creative workshop can last up to four hours. The recommended number of participants is eight.
QUALITATIVE MARKET RESEARCH ONLINE
The InsightsLounge is our web-based platform for qualitative online research. The combination of blog, forum and chat facilitates the serious analysis of a myriad of possible topics. For example, respondents can discuss innovative concepts, new packaging designs or product developments or communication elements. What’s more, the InsightsLounge can be your platform for co-creation with consumers: respondents can design their own package designs, modify prototypes and discuss first drafts. In addition, the InsightsLounge can also supplement product and packaging tests: Respondents report and discuss online their experiences with new products.
Length & Scope
Depending on the overall objective the InsightsLounge lasts between 3-5 days; in case of a thorough product test field time can be adjusted accordingly. Depending on the target group round about 15-25 participants are invited in order to receive as many different opinions as possible throughout the whole duration. Two skilled moderators guide the project to ensure both prompt and personal response to participants.
- Selection of ideal combination of Lounge Modules (Forum, Chat, Blog etc.) fit for the topic and desired data output
- Selection and screening of desired target group
- Recruitment of hard-to-reach target groups via special-interest websites, for example
- Online panel recruitment or, for example, from promotion database
- Moderation of synchronous and asynchronous communication
- Multimedia implementation of stimuli and test material
- Client can watch in real-time and can give live feedback
- Deep analysis of all communication on an individual level
- Deduction of profound qualitative insights
The project time of an InsightsLounge from recruitment to the output of first results is usually much shorter than with regular “offline” focus groups. Online screening and automated transcripts shorten fieldwork time and allow a timely analysis of the data. Moreover, in the asynchronous variant of the InsightsLounge respondents can participate at the time and place that suits them best.
Diversity of Participants:
Another advantage of the InsightsLounge is the possibility to recruit respondents not only from different regions and cities but also from different socio-demographic backgrounds. For instance, age, gender and demographic background are usually not evident to other participants because of the higher anonymity of the online environment. Respondents reluctant to join a classic focus group either because of their demanding job (e.g. executives, experts or medical personnel) or because they don’t want to travel or because they are too timid or comfortable can usually be won for the InsightsLounge. Particularly these respondents often give very precious input – directly from the office or from home. Last, but not least the InsightsLounge is suitable for treating sensitive topics, e.g. from healthcare or personal hygiene.
Since the InsightsLounge is online it offers several cost advantages, like, for example, the absence of travel costs (for client and respondents), location rental and catering. Furthermore, no transcripts need to be typed and any multimedia input be respondents is readily available.