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Clarity through Focus Groups January 4, 2011

Posted by Jack Macholl in Customer Service, Market Research, Marketing, Marketing Planning.
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The many facets of marketing

The recession economy of the past few years has prompted many companies to forego market research in the name of cost containment. One of the staple research techniques focus groups have become less frequent due to the expense and time-consuming nature of the data collection.

As a quick review here’s why you may want to rejuvenate your market research and consider a focus group of clients and or prospects this year:

  1. Focus groups provide human reactions-facial expressions, body language, voice intonation and “human animation”
  2. In a group setting the moderator can ask “drill down” questions, seeking clarity or deeper explanation on  a subject’s commentary.
  3. The marketing team (client) can be present, usually behind a one way mirror set up, with the ability to see/hear the discussion. During a break the client can ask the moderator to ask specific questions or seek out additional thought from a given subject, building on an observation.
  4. Focus groups can also be video/audio taped or webcast, capturing and sharing information with colleagues and agency partners.
  5. A company can also identify customer service or product quality problems hearing first hand from the end-user is often invaluable
  6. You can also learn positive things about your business-clients often supply unsolicited praise for employees or perhaps make suggestions that spark line extensions or new product/service development concepts.

As we begin to emerge from the darkness of the past few years of cost cuts, rediscovering market research should be an important part of your integrated marketing program for 2011 and beyond. Seeing things through the customer’s perspective can add needed clarity to your customer service and marketing planning initiatives.

Please share your thoughts on this topic- let’s learn what works together.

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