1. Kindness with fussiness: The moderator must combines disciplined detachment with understanding empathy in order to generate the necessary interaction.
2. Permissiveness:The moderator must be permissive yet alert to signs that the group’s cordiality or purpose is disintegrating. ‘
3. Involvement:The moderator must encourage and stimulate intense personal involvement.
4. Incomplete understanding:The encouragement respondents to be more specific about generalized comments by exhibiting incomplete understanding.
5. Encouragement The moderator must encouragement expensive members to participate.
6. Flexibility:The moderator must be able to improvise and alter the planned out line amid the distractions
of the group process.
7. Sensitivity:The moderator must be sensitive enough to guide the group discussion at an intellectual as well as emotional)
Planning and Conducting Focus Groups
The procedure for planning and conducting focus groups is described in Figure 5.3. Planning begins with an examination of the objectives of the marketing research project. In most instances, the problem has been defined by this stage. and if so. the general statement as well as\the specific components of the problem should be carefully studied. Given the problem definition. the objectives of the qualitative research should be clearly specified. as illustrated by the department store patronage project
Qualitative Research Objectives
1. Identify the relevant factors (choice criteria) used by households in selecting department stores.
2. Identify what consumers consider tobe competing stores for specific product categories.
3. Identify the psychological characteristics of consumers that are likely to influence store patronage behavior.
4. Identify any other aspects of consumer choice behavior that may be relevant to store patronage .
Note that these objectives are closely tied to the components of the department store problem defined in Chapter 2. The objectives must be specified before conducting any qualitative research, be it focus groups, depth interviews, or projective techniques. The next step is to develop a detailed list of objectives for the focus group. This may take the form of a list of questions the researcher would like answered. Then a questionnaire to screen potential participants is prepared. Typical information obtained from the questionnaire includes product familiarity and knowledge, usage behavior, attitudes toward and participation in focus groups, and standard demographic characteristics.
A detailed moderator’s outline for use during the focus group interview should be ‘ constructed. This involves extensive discussions among the researcher, client, and moderator. Because the moderator must be able to pursue important ideas when part mention them, the moderator must understand the client’s business, the focus group objectives, and how the findings will be used. Use of a moderator’s outline reduces some of the reliability problems inherent in focus groups, such as those caused by different moderators not covering the same content areas in comparable ways. Given its importance, we illustrate how a moderator’s outline should be constructed for determining why consumers upgrade cellular handset
Focus Group Discussion Guide for Cellular Handsets
Preamble (5 minutes)
• Thanks and welcome
• Nature of a focus group (informal, multiway, expansive, all views, disagree)
• May ask obvious questions-humor me (sometimes actually obvious, sometimes not)
• There are no right or wrong answers-all about finding out what people think
• Audio and video recording
• Colleagues viewing
• Help self to refreshments
• Going to be talking about cellular phone handsets
• Questions or concerns
Intros and Warm-Up (3 minutes)
Like to go round the room and have you introduce yourselves …
• First name
• Best thing about having a cellular phone
• Worst thing about having a cellular phone
Cellular Environment (5 minutes)
• When you’re out and about, what do you take with you?
• Let’s start with the things you always take with you. FLIPCHART
• And what are the things you often take with you?
Cellular Usage (10 minutes
• I’d like to understand a bit about how you typically use your cellular phone …
• How many calls do you typically make or receive in a week?
• What are some of the most common types of outgoing calls you make?
• What are the most common types of incoming calls you receive?
• If we were to take away your cellular phone, what difference would that make to your life?
Past Handset Purchase (15 minutes
• Thinking now about your current handset, I’d like to talk about two different things …
• First, how you actually went about the process of choosing the handset and, second, any criteria you had for the handset itself …
Past Handset Criteria
• Ok, so now tell me what you actually looked for in a handset.
Motivations for Replacement (10 minutes)
• You’ve all been invited here because you’ve replaced your handset at least once …
• What motivated you to replace your handset?
• Was the handset replacement tied to your switching or renewing your operator contract, i.e., contract will) your wireless service provider?
• What do you think are some of the reasons that people would replace their handsets? EXPLORE
Barriers to Past Upgrade (5 minutes)
• How long was it from the first time you ‘ever considered upgrading, however briefly, until the time you actually went ahead and bought the new handset?
• What were all the reasons you didn’t do it immediately? EXPLORE
• What was the main reason for leaving it a while? EXPLORE
Triggers and Barriers to Future Upgrade (15 minutes)
• What about the future-when do you think you will next upgrade your handset? EXPLORE
• What would spur you to do that?
• Is there a killer feature that would have you upgrade immediately?
• How would you go about choosing your next handset? EXPLORE
• And what will you actually look for in your next handset? EXPLORE
Closing Exercise (10 minutes)
• Finally, I’d like your creativity for a few minutes-to come up with ideas .
• Don’t worry about whether it’s a good idea or a bad idea.
• The only word I’m going to ban is “free”!
• Supposing a handset manufacturer wanted to encourage you to upgrade tomorrow …
• What could they do?
• Just call out anything at all that occurs to you-obvious, profound, serious, silly, whatever .EXPLORE AND REFINE
• Thank the respondents and close the session
FoIlowing the group discussion, either the moderator or an analyst reviews and analyzes the results. Tile analyst not only reports specific comments and findings but also looks for consistent responses, new ideas, concerns suggested by facial expressions and body language, and other hypotheses that mayor may not have received confirmation from all of the participants. Because the number of participants is small, frequencies and percentages are not usually reported in a focus group summary. Instead, reports typically include expressions like “most participants thought” or “participant> were divided on this issue.” Meticulous documentation and interpretation of the session lays the groundwork for the final step: taking action. In the case of consumer research, this usually means doing additional research, as illustrated in the Mall of Atlanta (the actual name of the mall has been disguised) to pline report that gives a summary of the focus group objectives, procedures, findings, and implications.