Why Choose Zeitgeist Research?
- We find the right participants. Having the right participants is the most important part of any focus group project. And beyond having the right demographics, or purchase behavior, they need to be able to communicate their story. We do all recruiting in-house to find the best participants to give you the information you need.
- We have great moderators. The best moderators have many talents: time management, empathy, great communication skills, quick thinking, adaptive, multi-tasking. That takes experience, and all Zeitgeist Research moderators have extensive experience in conducting groups with all types of participants.
- We get below the surface. The real value of a focus group is to allow the participants time to discuss, reflect on, and potentially modify their opinions. Our moderators get to the deep, emotional context of consumer behavior, delivering exception insight to marketers.
Shouldn’t you be working with Zeitgeist Research?
The Importance of Interaction in Focus Groups
Focus groups are not new; in fact, they have been around since the 1920s. But their popularity and longevity stem from one main characteristic. The main reason for conducting focus groups – either online or in-person – is group interaction. The role of the moderator is – among other things – to create a safe space where individuals can discuss a topic. That means challenging and questioning as much as agreeing. A skilled moderator knows how to develop rapport and acceptance within the group, as well as how to manage dissension and disagreement without alienating or offending participants. Projective techniques, pre-questionnaires, group exercises, and introducing a topic by asking participants to write down their answers before opening the discussion are all tools to facilitate and enhance interaction between participants. While a moderator should make sure that all participants have their say, and it may be appropriate at times for a show of hands, the focus group that does not generate interaction cannot generate insights.
Why is interaction so important? As human beings, we are social creatures. We very rarely do anything without a social context. The focus group replicates – in miniature – this social context, giving us several benefits as marketers. It allows us to see the way information shared among group participants changes or alters their perceptions and attitudes. It gives us perspective on how participants use language in discussing different topics. Additionally, group members help each other refine and explain their positions by suggesting alternatives and asking for or offering clarification.
Focus groups without interaction are simply surveys with very small samples. To get the most out of focus groups, recruit participants who can express themselves fluently with a skilled moderator who can facilitate and manage the interaction. Optimizing interaction in focus groups gives you the best view into important consumer behavior insights for your business.