Versta Research Post

Dilbert’s Boss: Focus Groups Are Not Reliable

The pointy-hair boss has a point here, even though he does not realize it. From a research perspective, focus groups should provide rich, new, and surprising depths of insight, not necessarily “reliable” data. In fact, that’s why we typically suggest doing multiple focus groups, in different locations, with different types of participants. We want each…

No, Crowdsourcing Hasn’t Replaced Focus Groups

We read the most irritating claim about focus groups several weeks back, which inspired us to begin writing about why it was so wrong. But we realized somebody else could do it better than we could—a true expert on focus groups who built a thriving research business by conducting focus groups (among other qualitative methods)…

Versta Research Post

Can a Focus Group Save Spider-Man?

After spending $65 million and previewing the show over sixty times since the end of last year, the producers of the new Spider-Man musical in New York are turning to focus groups and surveys in hopes that market research can do something…anything…to save the amazing Spider-Man from destruction. Last week, theater critics roundly panned the…

Versta Research Post

The Magic Numbers . . . . Reappear!

Last quarter we wrote about Magic Numbers in Market Research—those arbitrary rules of thumb and cut-off points we use when quoting things like minimum samples sizes or how many people to include in a focus group.  Presto!  Like magic, the issue appeared in the New York Times a few weeks ago, this time related to…

Versta Research Post

Killer Quotes from Research Respondents

One way you can make a research report really pop is to carefully select and edit quotes from the people involved in the study.  For qualitative research, that means pulling quotes from transcripts of in-depth interviews, focus groups, online bulletin boards, social media, etc.  For survey research, it means pulling quotes from open-ended questions that…