February 27, 2007 by Colin
Here’s the top 19 signs your focus group is quickly collapsing into abject failure and will be completely unusable for consumer research, message testing, product verification or concept formulation:
- From an arriving participant: “Hey! I used to be a 1-900 operator for this place!”
- The clients hold up the session waiting for the muffin plate to arrive.
- The recruitment coordinator works from the bus depot.
- A fantasy sports fan hijacks every idea with a poorly thought-out sports analogy.
- I’m not saying it’s a bargain basement facility, but the viewing room has an electric blind that has to be fed quarters to stay up.
- Your moderator shows up, and he’s in a Leafs jersey.
- The participants are handed Hello Kitty knockoff pens and notepads.
- There’s more than one socially conscious teacher at the table.
- The moderator starts off by saying “Most of you know the drill …”
- The viewing area for agency types is behind an old patio door. From a mobile home. With a “Texas Kixass” sticker on it.
- Five words: retiree with a hearing aid.
- The testing facility uses old pieces of drywall for whiteboards.
- At the end of the video clip you’re testing – at great expense – more than one participant refers to “the money shot.”
- Participants who answer in complete sentences are handed Wal-Mart gift cards.
- More than three instances of someone saying “I’ll tell you what I think …”
- Your moderator’s Steve McClaren (for the Brits among us).
- “I know this product! I think my stepmama’s suing ya’ll!”
- In the facility’s waiting room, you can make an extra ten bucks with only “a twist of the wrist.”
- One of the participants asks who will sign for her high school volunteer credit.
[tags] focus group, public opinion research, moderator, popular opinion [/tags]