(Image from www.cartoonstock.com via Google Images of course)
I was asked last week for some tips on running a good focus group by a fellow planner. And wrote these…
1. It’s your room – nobody can talk or do anything unless you allow it. Never forget that otherwise you’ll lose control.
2. Don’t be afraid of silence – they have to answer your questions – always wait them out even when it’s getting awkward – they’ll break before you.
3. Listen to people – it doesn’t matter if you fumble to get to your next question because you didn’t have it prepared, but if they realise you don’t care what they’re saying, they’ll stop taking part.
4. Don’t be afraid to shoot people down – if they’re off-topic or trying to lead the group, dress them down – it’s your room. Not theirs.
5. If someone gets obsessed with a point that’s off-topic, write it on a flip chart and circle it, then tell them it’s parked – you’ll come back to it later, but it’s not time to talk about that now.
6. It’s OK for it to be fun. Joke with them or cajole them – keeping it lively will keep them engaged in what they’re doing.
7. Watch out for silent partners – you want to involve everyone, so you have to make sure you’re pulling people into the discussion.
8. Whenever people start an aside, tell them it’s “one discussion” – if you can’t hear what they’re saying, you’re missing out on valuable stuff – shut them up.
9. Try to vary the way you get them to talk to you – don’t circulate in order, but bounce around and change the questions as you go – ask whether they agree with what they’ve just heard, or prompt them to disagree and see how they react. In short, be varied in order and style – it’s OK to throw respondents off balance occasionally to find out how they react!
10. Write everybody’s name down on a piece of paper at the beginning – it’s easy to forget names but you’ll never get it wrong when it’s in front of you.
What was missing (wisdom of afterthought, eh) was a comment on leading the witness, though – since I felt the person I originally wrote them for knew that for sure.
But I’d now add another point…
11. Be incredibly careful not to lead the witness. Asking people “do you mean by that XXXX,” “don’t you think XXXX” or “can I sum that up as XXXX” is all bad, bad behaviour! You need to find ways to get them to tell you – you’re better off pretending you’re stupid and getting them to repeat it – even to the point where they start to talk down to you – rather than start putting your words in their mouths. There’s two reasons for this… Firstly, you won’t learn much – just what you thought before you started. But, secondly, because it’s the main thing that pisses off your viewers – they spot it quickly, be they colleagues or clients – making you look biased and unprofessional.
Very funny. The website didn’t work when I looked at it on a Mac, but now I’ve finally seen what was there, it’s worth it… so, in case you haven’t seen it, here’s Wassup 08…
Click here if the embedded link doesn’t work.
I’m shortly going to be looking for a freelance planner to fill in for a Group Planning Director (6 months or so while she’s on maternity leave). To work in the UK, so being UK-based is essential!
If you know anyone or are a freelancer yourself, then please do get in touch by leaving a comment below or emailing me – thanks!
Note: If you’re a recruiter/headhunter and reading this, then apologies – harsh times and I need to recruit directly if I can!
My apologies – I’m not American, so I’m posting on a subject I only have interest in rather than true knowledge of… but I’m finding the election fascinating – and some of the advertising around it is fascinating too… hence my interest in this… click here (btw, this isn’t a link to follow if you’re a staunch Republican!)
This is interesting… I got this email a bit ago…
MotiveQuest is launching a new website, Brand Advocacy ’08 www.brandadvocacy08.com We will use our Online Promoter Score to predict the outcome of the 2008 USA presidential election.
David, our CEO is so convinced of this metric that if we are wrong, and fail to correctly predict the outcome of the election, he will shave his head on You Tube for your delight. (Sounds like an old Remington ad…)
Every day we gather around 30,000 conversations among 6,000 people and analyze them for advocacy and word associations. Then we update the website with advocacy scores and the top 10 words associated with Obama and McCain. You can also get these updates directly by downloading the BA’08 Widget.
(You may remember that we developed the Online Promoter Score as a measure of online brand advocacy working with BSSP and Mini USA
Let’s see how they do!
I know I’m late to review this – in no small part due to the total lack of posting for some time – but this is genius! I won’t tell you any more, but go here and see the full experience – most interesting thing I’ve seen done on YouTube to date…
This is the link: http://www.youtube.com/experiencewii
The beginning of something interesting… This site is the brainchild of friends of mine from San Francisco days and it’s worth a look – in fact, start at the beginning and read their overall spiel before you get into the their latest idea… I know it’s a plug, but it’s just as interesting as stuff that has no “friend factor” – honest.
Go here… for the “Now Hear This” section.
Or go here… for the whole site.
I heard the other day that Nike hadn’t used the line “Just do it” for over 10 years – which was a shock, given how well it’s still remembered by us in the marketing/advertising world. I guess that’s shot, then… although this spot is to celebrate the 20th anniversary of that credo, and it’s a heart-warming montage.
Click here if the embedded version doesn’t work.
Every once in a while, someone sends you something that makes you smile. Or laugh. Often it’s a silly clip on YouTube, but this one was a plan, old-fashioned, beautifully crafted, TV ad. So, thank you Hashem!
Click here if the embedded version doesn’t work.