Focus Group | Market research | Qualitative interviews

Focus Group Discussions and Interviews

Types of Methodology used in Qualitative Fieldwork:-

1) Focus Group

a) Face to face Focus groups
b) Web enabled Focus groups
c) Bulletin board focus Groups
d) Chat room Focus Groups

Focus groups are excellent for exploratory,  qualitative fieldwork. Focus groups involve getting a group of people together in a room (usually physically, although technology is making virtual, or online focus groups more feasible).  These people fit a target demographic (e.g. “mothers under 40 with an income over $50k”, “college males who play 8 or more hours of video games a week”, etc.) depending on the product or service in question.  Participants are almost always compensated in some way, whether it be a money, coupons, free products, etc.  A moderator will guide the discussion, with a goal of getting participants to discuss the topic among themselves, bouncing thoughts off of one another in a natural group setting.  Professional focus group rooms will have a one-way mirror on one wall, with a team of observers on the other side.  The company or group that commissioned the study can sit-in on the meeting, along with members of the fieldwork team who can take notes without disrupting the participants.

In the “new mouse trap” example, a focus group can reveal all sorts of important mouse trap attributes that might not have been considered otherwise.  Focus groups are great tools to use prior to a survey, because it will inform your survey questions to be more specific and targeted.  Focus groups can also be beneficial after a survey, as a way to dive very deep into a topic that came up in the survey.  For example, an employee satisfaction survey may reveal “cafetaria food” to be a big issue.  A follow up focus group with a handful of employees will allow the employer to understand that issue much better (What is the problem with the food?  Is it the taste, price, healthiness, temperature, something else?).

2) In depth Interviews                                                                        

a) In Person Interviews
b) Tele-depth Interviews
c)In shop intercepts/ Store Audits.
d) In home immersions
e) Ethnographic/ Extended Observational Sessions

In depth Interviews are a qualitative fieldwork method, are useful for exploratory fieldwork.  To simplify things, think of individual interviews as focus groups with only one participant and one moderator (interviewer).  There is a wide spectrum of interviewing formats, depending on the goal of the interview.  Interviews can be free flowing conversations that are loosely constrained to a general topic of interest, or they might be highly structured, with very specific questions and/or activities (e.g. projective techniques such as word association, fill in the blank, etc.) for the subject.

When we need to dig into a specific issue very deeply, searching for customer problems, understanding psychological motivations and underlying perceptions, etc., we used this methodology. They are either conducted in person at facility or in field.

Telephone interviews are similar to other forms of market fieldwork interview, but are carried out over the phone.

They are similar to a face to face  depth interview, with the field team utilizing a topic guide as opposed to a structured questionnaire. The major advantage of performing TDI’s are that numerous and geographically disparate respondents can be interviewed relatively easily and cheaply – as opposed to the travel involved if interviewing the same respondents  face to face.

In-store interviews get them right when they’re deciding what to buy or making a purchase. So everything is fresh in their minds.

We can interview customers in the stores, and let you know just what they’re thinking as they make their decision or purchase. In-store interviews also eliminate issues of recall or denial, because we are right at the point of purchase

Our team of trained, experienced field interviewers regularly conducts thousands of in-store interviews in retail establishments nationwide. In drug stores, convenience stores, restaurants, supermarkets and many other outlets.

3) Mobile Qualitative Interviews

Mobile qualitative fieldwork allows project managers, moderators, observers and participants to engage in fieldwork from tablets or smartphones, anywhere in the world, so long as there is WiFi or 3G connectivity. Like TDI, it removes the geographical barriers.

We can easily use the mobile fieldwork for ethnography and diaries.