"Make sure that we get a good regional representation." That has often been the charge from the marketing manager to the insights director. There has been a belief that different cuisines, climates, and experiences would have an impact on attitudes and tastes that could affect how consumers react to new products. So, we would be certain to conduct focus groups in markets in three different regions or that quotas were set to assure the sample represented the East, South, Midwest, and West equally. This was simply good research practice.
Some of you may recall my previous posts: Qwiki for Video Collages and Exploring Popular Memes as New Projective Activities. I recently presented at the QRCA Conference in San Diego to share these ideas as well as a few other favorite apps for research purposes.
There is much debate over the superiority of online versus face-to-face qualitative research. Online qualitative is not just the latest thing. Discussion boards and communities enable the researcher to engage the consumer in so many ways -- pictures, journals, video, collages -- with all this material available to the participants and the research team in one place. And, consumers can be anywhere -- their home, in a store -- doing anything, when they describe their experiences and reactions.
By Bob Relihan, Senior Vice President
The title is meant to be a bit clever. I am not talking about actual focus groups; I am referring to the term. I have always suspected that focus group was used to refer to any casual, open-ended, small sample, non-projectable research method. And, I always thought that those who used the term this way were misinformed. Well, I have to throw in the towel. I have no better authority than the Pew Research Center.
By Jorge Martinez, Director, LatinoEyes
When C+R first began conducting Hispanic research, one of the difficulties was finding participants. The methods we were using within the general population were not effective. We would turn to dedicated recruiters who were wired in to the local Hispanic communities to find focus group participants. At times, they would shepherd the participants to the facility as a group in a van. It was complicated and dicey.