Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The following post was written by Tal Gordon, Intern at RMS.

The market research industry is flooded with an abundance of phrases and lingo that is commonly used between businesses, employers, and clients. The use of acronyms in particular has gained in popularity, thanks largely due to the prevalence of social media usage, but also in an effort to become more efficient. We have put together a brief list of market research acronyms to provide more insight into the most commonly used terms.

NPS – Net Promoter Score

The NPS measures consumer loyalty pertaining to a particular product or service.  The range for a NPS can be between -100 to +100. NPS is frequently used as a benchmark to compare an organization’s performance to competitors or an industry as a whole.

VOC – Voice of the Customer

VOC is a frequently used term to describe a research process which determines the customer’s needs, desires and preferences. Popularity in VOC research has grown exponentially recently, as organizations learn the value of research in shaping the successful delivery of a product or service that fits the customer’s requirements.

CX – Customer Experience

CX research helps identify the perceptions that customers have regarding the purchase cycle of the product/service sold by a business. Understanding the needs of the customer through CX research is vital to improving delivery of services and ultimately increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

B2B – Business to Business

B2B is a term used to describe the transactional process one business has with another business.  This is different than business to consumer (B2C) relationships, where a business is selling a good or service that is targeted at consumers rather than business entities.

IDI – In-Depth Interview

The term IDI is used when referring to research interviews conducted to garner in-depth perceptions on a certain idea, situation, or set of circumstances. In-depth interviews are another facet in a market researcher’s arsenal to further gather detailed qualitative data from the consumers.

CATI – Computer-Assisted Telephone Interview

CATI research is a survey method where the telephone interviewer follows a pre-determined script verbatim when collecting data. This technique provides a more structured interview to aid the interviewer, while also maintaining consistency in data collection.

UX – User Experience

UX is referred to when describing the customer’s experience while utilizing a particular product or service. UX research focuses on improving usability, accessibility, as well as enhancing the overall user experience.

MRX – Market Research Exchange

Market Research Exchange is a social media hashtag (#MRX) used by organizations or individuals interested in participating in online discussions related to marketing research, or organizations promoting market research opportunities.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

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This blog post is a summary of a recent project completed by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS).

Background: An organization that provides services to K-12 school districts recently partnered with Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) to conduct a customer satisfaction survey. The client wanted to better understand satisfaction and perception of services provided by the organization. The market research objective was to provide decision-making insights needed to determine whether the organization is meeting the needs of clients, and where they may be able to improve service offerings.

Approach:  The RMS Analytics team collected data from stakeholders via an online survey. To hone in on the customer satisfaction with the services provided by the organization, RMS created an online survey script which was reviewed and approved by the client. Questions focused on how the respondent rated the satisfaction with particular services, customer service perceptions, timeliness of project completion, among other items. Fieldwork lasted approximately three weeks, a longer data collection period than normal, in an effort to obtain a very high completion rate. Through an extended fieldwork period, RMS was able to obtain a 91% response rate. Following the data collection and analysis period, a comprehensive report was delivered to the client, which included a visual dashboard of the findings, as well as next steps and recommendations.

Results: Here are some highlights of the study’s findings:

  • The research identified the areas where the organization excels in serving its customers, including the friendliness and helpfulness of staff.
  • Areas of opportunity where the organization could improve the customer experience included the perceived value for the cost of the service, the ease of receiving an answer to a question, and timeliness of the service.
  • For areas of opportunity, RMS researchers probed deeper beyond what needed to be improved to determine how the organization can best improve the customer experience. This led to action items that the organization can address, in an effort to capture more of the market share.
  • Overall, more than 80% of respondents stated a very high level of satisfaction with the organization.
  • The research identified high-level perceptions by asking what comes to mind when thinking about the organization. Services offered and positive attributes were most commonly mentioned.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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The RMS social media team recently attended a Social Media Breakfast presentation by Greg Loh, Managing Partner at Eric Mower + Associates. Aside from the great coffee and pastries, our team received an information-packed 90 minutes of social media crisis management gold. Although our social media team prides itself on staying up to date on the latest trends (it must be the researchers in us… we’re curious by nature), Greg provided insightful tips that any reputation management professional would find useful. Social media has been known to fuel fire under public opinion, and the popularity of this communication medium seems to be here to stay for the foreseeable future. The presentation touched on two main types of social media crisis situations and how to deal with them – crisis + social and social = crisis.

  • Crisis + Social

The influence that social media plays during a crisis has heightened over the last decade, with everyday people (not journalists) commonly breaking news stories via social media outlets. A prime example that Greg gave during the presentation was the US Airways plane landing on the Hudson River in 2009, later dubbed the “Miracle on the Hudson.” The news of the plane landing on the Hudson River instantly became worldwide news when Janis Krums posted a picture of people entering life boats from the plane. Greg noted that the online world “amplifies and accelerates” a story to make it big news. Given the unpredictable nature of crises, it’s imperative to be cautious about automated social media or any communcation. Even if the crisis is not directly related to you or your company, if your social media activity or automated survey seems insensitive, the public backlash could create a firestorm of bad press for the company. Listening is critical for companies engaging in social media activity.

  • Social = Crisis

When a crisis surrounding your organization originates on social media, Greg recommends that in some instances you should wait before reacting immediately. Of course this does not apply if there is a safety concern or an issue (e.g. a chemical spill) that must be addressed immediately to avoid further damage. For less serious public relations issues, Greg recommends monitoring social media negativity to determine if the content is gaining steam. Often minor social media crises self-regulate through what Greg called the “social media washing machine,” where one story is replaced by the next. When addressing a social crisis, it’s best to focus on incontrovertible facts and third-party support. Unless social comments are highly inflammatory, derogatory, or defamatory, resist the urge to remove critical commentary. By addressing the issue, you have the opportunity to turn a critic into a supporter by finding a solution to their dissatisfaction or disagreement.

To close the presentation, Greg provided a crisis management survival strategy. Essentially, it boils down to figuring out what people want, need, and/or expect in a crisis/emergency situation. The public generally wants to know:

  1. That you have noticed the problem.
  2. That you care.
  3. That you are in control of the situation.
  4. That you are doing something about it.
  5. That you are minimizing damage.
  6. That you are taking steps to make sure it does not happen again.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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For this second installment in the higher education trends series, we revisited industry trends to determine client priorities for the remainder of 2016.  We’ve noticed interest among our higher education clients in digital investments, predictive analytics, stackable certificates, and prioritizing student retention. Through our research and interactions with clients, we’ve compiled a list of trends that we believe will be integral to the industry for the rest of the year. The first installment in the higher education trends series can be found here.

  1. Investment in Digital Initiatives

Website: Institution’s are becoming more cognizant of the role that the college website plays in the brand’s image. As a result, we’ve noticed an increasing focus on website personalization and optimization.  Websites that provide the visitor with a personalized experienced are building a visitor profile. Each time that visitor returns to the website, the content becomes more targeted based on their browsing history. Once an action is taken (e.g., downloading an application, making an inquiry, scheduling a campus visit, etc.), all previously anonymous data can be tied to the University’s CRM system and used by various teams (e.g., enrollment, financial aid, alumni affairs, etc.). Through tele-depth interviews to test website usability, institutions are able to determine how to best optimize its website experience and where there are areas of opportunities for personalization.

Mobile: Mobile-friendly marketing strategies are not a new topic for many higher education institutions, but enhanced rigor is being placed around ensuring the college’s website is mobile-friendly, and online courses can be accessed across multiple platforms (e.g., mobile, tablet, laptop, etc.). Essentially, mobile-friendly content boils down to three principles: – it must be easy to navigate, with fast download times, and provide a rewarding experience. Moreover, the information being sought should be available, such as a program brochure. Similar to the section above, tele-depth interviews can test mobile strategies to ensure the user experience is satisfactory across mobile applications.

Social Media: Many higher education institutions have been engaging with their stakeholders through social media for many years, but we’re noticing that more colleges are using social media as a recruitment tool. Admissions departments are using the readily available and seemingly endless number of social media platforms to research prospective students, and influence admissions decisions. To ensure that the institution is utilizing the social media platforms that resonate most with their target audiences, a prospective learner survey can be used to determine social media platform preferences and how they would like the institution to interact with them on each.

  1. Predictive Analytics

Institutions are under growing pressure to prove its value as it pertains to student success during college and after graduation. To do so, administrators are tapping into big data to develop predictive tools, allowing faculty and staff to help students showing signs of poor outcomes. An issue that many institutions grapple with is how to get the multitude of systems utilized within the college to talk to each other (e.g., getting data from Blackboard talk to a CRM program used by a different department). The industry has made strides to overcome this issue by adopting the Caliper Analyltics Interoperability Standard. The standard is a set of common definitions for what constitutes learning activity data, and how it is communicated back to institutions. Essentially that means that institutions who are concerned about having easy access to data across programs  are going to want its in-house data platforms to abide by the standards; in turn ensuring that its institutional data can be accessed  with other internal platforms. By having data accessible across programs, institutions can empower students, teachers, staff, and administrators with data that influences the learning process and identifies learning weaknesses.

  1. Stackable Certificates

As alternative learning methods are becoming more popular, stackable certificates options are more prevalent. Stackable certificates allow students to receive credit for professional experience as it relates to their program of study. In some cases, these credits qualify them for certification or advanced credentials.  The benefit to students is that is saves them time and money when completing a degree or certificate. The benefit to the institution is the ability to entice potentially new demographics (i.e., professionals and employers). Prospective students with professional experience may want to go back to college to obtain a degree or certificate in their field, but have previously been deterred by the need to take courses they could otherwise place out of if given the option. With the availability of stackable certificates, employers have access to an affordable option for keeping staff updated on cutting edge industry changes.

  1. Prioritizing Student Retention

It’s clear that student retention impacts the perceived quality of an institution. To reduce student attrition, institutions are investing more in understanding the reasons students leave the college and developing strategies to keep them engaged and enrolled. Tinto’s Model of Student Retention was developed in 1975 by Vincent Tinto and is still widely accepted. The model suggests that “a student’s likelihood of graduating is directly correlated with the degree to which the student is academically and socially integrated into the institution.” A 2015 retention benchmark poll for higher education institutions supported the model, recommending that student learning and campus integration must be a priority to promote retention. To do so, institutions are implementing retention strategies such as: academic support programs, honors programs, practical work experiences, first-year student programs, and one-on-one advising sessions as part of the mandatory curriculum. For online learners, institutions are making online faculty training and academic advising mandatory. To take a step further, institutions are also conducting satisfaction research with current and former students to determine reasons (and potential reasons) for attrition and identify areas of opportunity.

Stay tuned for updated higher education trends throughout the year! Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) is a market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our higher education market research services, please contact the Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy, Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com  or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

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This blog post is a summary of a recent project completed by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS). 

Background: An athletic goods retail establishment in New York partnered with Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) to conduct brand perception market research. The store wanted to better understand the brand perception held by its customers and non-customers from the general population. The market research objective was to determine brand knowledge, the consumer decision making process, where else consumers are shopping, what else the store could offer customers, and preferences of top customers.

Approach: The study consisted of an online survey administered to customers as well as non-customers. To reach the customer audience, the RMS team provided the survey to a list of customers supplied by the client. Customer feedback was segmented into two categories – perceptions from customers (individuals who have made a purchase at the store) and top customers (those who spend the most at the store). The RMS ViewPoint Research Panel allowed the client to obtain timely and affordable feedback from consumers who are not current customers of the store. The time frame for this type of project was six weeks.

Results: Here are some highlights of the study’s findings:

  • Research revealed a strong sense of brand loyalty among current customers. There was a high level of familiarity with the store, as well as a high likelihood for survey respondents to shop at the store for their next athletic goods purchase.
  • Brand preference for athletic shoes varied based on customer type. Customers prefer New Balance, non-customers favor Nike, and the store’s top customers opt for Saucony.
  • When consumers are deciding where to purchase athletic shoes, the quality of the product is the most important factor in the decision process, while prices are most important when deciding where to purchase active wear (clothing).
  • As expected, customers and top customers are much more active than non-customers. Walking is the most common physical activity engaged in by survey respondents, and running is popular among customers and top customers.
  • Data revealed a gap in awareness of differentiating features in the customer experience. RMS recommended marketing efforts promoting the presence of these offerings to capture an additional share of the market.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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The following blog post was written by Mark Dengler, President of RMS.

Brazzlebox-Panelist-300x225 (1)

I recently had the opportunity to be a part of the expert business panel at the 2015 Brazzlebox Small Business Summit on November 4th at the Oncenter. I was thrilled to see the amount of young entrepreneurs eager to learn and gather as much insight as possible. I was also excited to be surrounded by fellow business professionals who divulged their honest opinions and experiences for the good of our growing community. Not only did our Q&A session pertain to entrepreneurs, but it also relates to those who continue to market their services and want to grow.

Whether you’re a business that has been around for a few years, or an entrepreneur ready to implement your business plan, tracking information that will help improve your operations and marketability is crucial. From start-ups to businesses that have been around for years, it is important to look at consumer trends, competitors and price points. Identifying what your “Unique Selling Proposition” (USP) is will help differentiate you from the competition. Ask yourself questions—why should people purchase from me? What is different about what I’m offering? How can I take what’s already out there and make it better?

One of the most influential pieces of data that you can use to track your USP is customer feedback. Your first customers are your “early adopters” and will ultimately become your ambassadors in the marketplace. You need to recognize that their experience with your product or service is critical, from the very beginning to the very end. Businesses that have been around long enough to build a customer base need to continue monitoring the marketplace and its reaction to your product or service.

To keep consistent with the evolution of the marketplace, you need to have a plan that incorporates some key elements:

  1. Competitive assessment: profile your top competitors. Identify the saturation potential and estimate the market share.
  2. Marketing strategies: determine your USP and brand perception in the marketplace and execute accordingly.
  3. Develop an operational income statement: review it regularly to monitor revenue generation and expenses.
  4. Set operational milestones: strategically plan where you want your business to be at future points by defining achievements that will prove success in your operation.

Building a successful business requires resiliency and a strong drive to succeed. Develop a culture and community in your organization that reiterates what you define as successful. Fortunately for start-ups and veteran businesses in our area, there is an abundance of resources such as networking events, local chambers and business organizations, all here to help local establishments flourish. Take advantage and participate in many of the opportunities offered—gaining that knowledge and insight is something you can take with you no matter what stage you or your business are in.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our services, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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The following blog post was written by Karen Joncas, a Healthcare Transformation Coordinator at RMS.

RMS Healthcare is a leader in healthcare transformation services, and has assisted over 200 practices in their journey to Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition.  Primary care practices that have patients enrolled in a Medicaid or Managed Medicaid insurance program will benefit from the recent New York State implementation delay for the revised incentive plans for NCQA recognized primary care practices. Effective January 1, 2016, the New York State Medicaid Program is changing the Patient-Centered Medical Home Statewide Program Incentive payments for providers recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) under the PCMH 2011 recognition standards. The new policy applies to both Medicaid Managed Care and Fee-for-Service (FFS).    Payments will be reduced for those practices with level 2 or 3 recognition under the 2011 standards, and will be significantly increased for those practices recognized under PCMH 2014. The revised policy and delayed implementation date is designed to incentivize New York State healthcare providers to seek recognition under the more robust standards of the PCMH 2014 program. Ultimately, the Medicaid Redesign Team and State Health Innovation Plan hope to improve care, reduce per capita cost, and improve population health. As a result, all incentive payments for providers recognized through PPC-PCMH program (2008 standards) will be eliminated effective April 1, 2015. Physician practices from other states should check with their state Medicaid departments for rules applying to local incentive payments.

To review the schedule and details of the Patient-Centered Medical Home Statewide Program Incentive Payment contained within the March 2015 New York State Department of Health Medicaid Update, click here.

RMS Healthcare can help your practice attain a higher level of recognition or recognition under the PCMH 2014 program in order to maximize your state incentive payments.  For more information, please contact Susan Maxsween, Director of Healthcare and Practice Transformation at 1-866-567-5422 or e-mail her at SusanM@rmsresults.com.

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In-depth interviews (IDIs) are an insightful qualitative research method that allows the researcher to tap into the mind of consumers. To keep costs down, many businesses choose to complete IDIs via telephone, rather than the more costly option of conducting the interviews in-person.  While telephone IDIs provide a cost advantage, the researcher loses the ability to read visual cues provided by the respondent when answering questions. Due to the inability to communicate face-to-face, there are extra steps that should be taken to ensure open-ended questions asked via telephone are transcribed effectively.


Here are four tips to transcribe open-ended responses:

  1. The importance of quality responses

Quality of data is more important than quantity. Ensure that the responses you are transcribing make logical sense. Also, don’t force a complete. If you notice that your respondent is not offering valuable information to the end client, feel free to stop the interview. There is no rule that says you have to finish every interview you start!

  1. Keep the responses clean

The RMS analytics team will go through and re-read every open-ended response, so we try to make sure all responses are free of spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors. Not having a consistent format and clean responses will lead to poor reporting or excessive data cleaning time.

  1. Probe for additional details

Suppose your respondent replies to a satisfaction question by stating, “It was good.” From here the researcher should follow up by asking the respondent why “it was good.” To be diligent about probing, we suggest always following up on questions where respondents provide three words or less. Best practices in research suggest that probing on open-ended questions leads to more in-depth responses, and ultimately provide the client with more rich data.1

  1. Record responses verbatim

The researcher should record responses as stated by the respondents. This means the researcher should be recording responses in first person. For example, instead of, “He feels the hours should be longer,” record, “I feel the hours should be longer.” Additionally, do not try to summarize the respondent’s comments, or use your own words to make responses more concise. Try to capture as much as you can from the respondent’s own words.

Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our market research services, please contact the Director of Business Development, Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

1 Smith, S., & Albaum, G. (2012). Basic Marketing Research: Volume 1. Handbook for Research Professionals. Official Training Guide from Qualtrics. Retrieved from: https://www.du.edu/ir/pdf/basic_marketing_research_vol_1

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Business Presentation

This is Part 2 of our series on successful focus group implementation. Review Part 1 tips here.

  1. Moderating Approach

The skill of the moderator can make or break the focus group. It’s best to hire a professional who has experience managing the dynamics of a focus group. It’s not uncommon for discussions to go off topic, and a good moderator will know how to get the group back on track. They’ll also be able to probe on topics that may not be explicitly stated in the moderator’s guide, but are brought up during discussion. Here are a few other tips that we routinely implement in our focus groups to maximize participation.

  • When possible, have a co-moderator present to help set up, sign participants in, and take notes. If the project requires confidentiality, ask participants to sign a confidentiality agreement, or verbally reinstate the need for confidentiality.
  • Ask participants to use the restroom and turn off electronic devices before getting started to minimize outside distractions.
  • Provide name cards for participants and moderators. We like to start with an ice breaker such as “What is your favorite TV show” or something equally light-hearted and non-controversial.
  • Inform participants (again) if you will be recording the focus group, and the level of confidentiality they can expect from their participation. Most of our recordings are used to generate transcripts, and we do not include full names in the reports.
  • Once the discussion is complete, have the co-moderator assist with distributing honorariums and obtaining signatures for the receipt of those rewards. Also be sure to label any notes obtained from the moderator and participants immediately following the discussion to avoid confusion during data analysis.
  1. Getting the Most Out of Your Data

Once the focus group discussions are complete, the fun part begins – data analysis! Not all focus groups will require full transcription of the discussions, so it is important to determine if it will be necessary to include an allotted amount in the project budget. A typical transcription will take approximately twice the amount of time it took to conduct the focus group. So a 90-minute discussion would take about three hours to transcribe. For groups where transcription is not necessary, moderator and participant notes will be utilized to complete the analysis. Below is a high-level summary of the data analysis procedures for a focus group.

  • First, the researcher will review all notes or transcripts to determine codes for major themes that exist across the focus groups.
  • Sub-categories of themes that emerge will then be determined.
  • Direct quotes will be pulled to support the themes and key findings.
  • If other modes of research were conducted, the findings from the focus groups can be triangulated to provide a basis for an executive summary in the final report. For example, if a theme from the focus groups aligns with a finding from an online survey, it would be important for the researcher to note this in the executive summary.

Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our market research services please contact the Director of Business Development, Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

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Focus groups are an insightful research option for businesses embarking on the exploratory phase of a project. Implementation of a focus group requires a moderator with the skill necessary to obtain rich data that will allow the client to take the next step in their project. Below are tips for conducting a successful focus group.

  1. Recruitment Plan

Establish your target audience prior to focus group recruitment. It may seem like an obvious strategy, but it will be important to spend the time nailing down your recruitment approach with all parties involved. For example, when planning a focus group project, consider the following:

  • Screen potential participants to ensure they meet the criteria for focus group participation.
  • Plan to recruit more participants than you’ll need; there will inevitably be one or more “no shows.”
  • Offer participants an incentive that has value to them, and make it worth their time. Cash is often the best option. We suggest a $50 minimum for 1.5 hours of the participant’s time.
  • Clearly identify the purpose of the focus group when contacting potential participants. People often assume focus groups are a scam. It’s important to let them know you are not trying to sell them something.
  • Inform them of the level of confidentiality they can expect from their participation. Will you be recording the session? Will their name be included in the report to the client?
  • Try to balance the focus group by recruiting participants that share something in common regarding the topic being investigated, but ensure they aren’t TOO much alike that it will bias your data.
  • Plan to spend time recruiting. It often takes multiple attempts to recruit someone to a focus group. If possible, implement multiple forms of recruitment (online/emails, flyers, mailers, and similar strategies).
  1. Selecting Participants

Once participant recruitment begins, it’s important to monitor the quotas for each population being recruited. For example, if you are hoping to determine gaps in available health services over a multiple county area, it will be important to monitor how many participants are recruited for each county. The number of participants should also be considered. We recommend attempting to seat a minimum of six recruited participants in order to allow for rich discussion.

You should also consider whether you will need multiple groups with the same demographics, or fewer groups with participants split based upon an important characteristic. Separate groups should be held if participants are expected to interpret the content differently, or you believe they would not feel comfortable providing truthful responses in the presence of another demographic. Examples of this include holding separate focus groups for bosses and employees, parents and children, and high socioeconomic status vs. low socioeconomic status.

  1. Implementation Strategy
  • Plan to conduct the focus group(s) at a time that is convenient for the participants. This may mean the focus group will take place before or after business hours, during lunch, or on the weekend. Many state and federal organization recognize more holidays than the average US business, so it is best to avoid scheduling the group on a holiday.
  • Provide participants with light snacks and beverages. If the discussion will be held during lunch or dinner, it is best to provide a light meal. As part of your recruitment method, specify the types of refreshments that participants can expect.
  • The location of the focus group can be vital. If your target audience is primarily made up of low socio-economic participants, plan a location along public transportation routes. If you’re trying to reach an affluent business population, a central location in a downtown setting may be a priority. Either way, choose a public setting where parking is convenient, and participants will feel safe.
  • Once a potential location is determined, it will be important to ensure that a large table and chairs will be available. We find it’s best to arrange the room in an informal manner. For example, several tables may be placed next to each other perpendicularly so that no one has their back to another participant.
  • Plan to spend a good amount of time developing the moderator’s guide, which details the implementation strategy that the moderator will use to conduct the focus group. Try to keep questions short and to the point so participants do not lose interest or have trouble comprehending. Questions should be open-ended to allow for rich discussion.

Stay tuned for additional tips on conducting a successful focus group. Research & Marketing Strategies (RMS) is a market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our market research services please contact the Director of Business Development, Sandy Baker at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.

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