Focus group research can be an effective tool for manufacturers, service providers, political parties, advertising agencies, attorneys and nonprofit organizations – any organization or entity, in fact, whose success depends upon successfully meeting the needs of a target audience.
Here are a few examples of how our clients are benefiting from qualitative research:
- Advertising message testing focus groups. The sharper the message, the further the advertising dollar will go. Does your target market really understand your message? And, is your message persuasive?
- Website usability focus groups. The internet is becoming a competitive marketplace for buyers or readers, for that matter. Is your website meeting your primary objectives? Is your site difficult to navigate and how could it be improved?
- Corporate culture focus groups. Are the many departments of your company on the same team or working against each other? What could improve communication and morale? Hearing from the different departments in a series of these focus groups can be real eye-opening to senior executives.
How does a focus group work?
Focus groups usually consist of eight to twelve individuals carefully selected by ShapardResearch to represent the client’s target audience. ShapardResearch conducts every aspect of the research project, from recruiting the participants to moderating the focus group to analyzing the results and delivering them to you.
The sessions, which typically last up to two hours, are held at ShapardResearch offices in Oklahoma City. The client may view the sessions in progress, and each session is recorded directly to a DVD so that results may be carefully studied.
The specific insight gained through a focus group offers ShapardResearch clients a powerful tool for developing or enhancing products, services, strategies or messages that address their market’s distinctive needs.
Focus groups offer a unique opportunity to explore questions on a deeper level than other research tools allow, which is why they are often used in conjunction with quantitative research.
The objective of a ShapardResearch focus group is simple: to provide clients with the best results possible from a selected group of individuals from the client’s target audience or market. Our focus groups explore the opinions, preferences and attitudes of that market.
We know your audience, we know how to reach it, and we know how to deliver the results that will make your project a success.
Website Usability Focus Groups
Any company who does business online with the goal of boosting web traffic, using it as a source of information and/or promoting a product, or simply in order to allow its customers to pay bills online or make bank transactions worries whether the website is meeting its fundamental function.
This is where ShapardResearch Website Usability Focus Group can help you.
We’re unique in that we provide your target audience with on-site computers to explore the website in order to be able to answer substantive questions about the website’s usability.
By using ShapardResearch’s Website Usability Focus Group, your company can hear the customer’s voice and see if the fundamental function of the website is being met.
More importantly, it produces a huge financial and strategic advantage. Before your company decides to spend money on a web page, it can find out what the costumer wants. A company can design several versions of its website and test each version through ShapardResearch’s Website Usability Focus Group. Also, it gives your company a step-up from its competition. While your competitor may be off the mark on promoting its website to the customer, your company will know what the customer wants ahead of time and this will give you the advantage you need to succeed.
ShapardResearch is the only facility to offer this service of on-site computers for focus group participants.
The participants are able to access the website on their own in order to supply substantive answers regarding their likes or dislikes of your company’s web page. This also gives your company the opportunity to see if the website is meeting its fundamental function and stated purpose or objective.
ShapardResearch believes listening to the voice of the customer is a winning strategy, and provides your company with the opportunity to hear the customer’s voice in a candid and unbiased atmosphere.
Within the focus group, it is important to specify and test the “fundamental functions” of the website:
- The fundamental functions are those that appear on the home page. Are the options on the home page available on all pages?
- Within the visual elements group, a graphic is considered helpful if it adds to the explanation of text, and it is considered a hindrance if it has no clear connection to anything on the page.
- If a graphic helps to highlight important information, it is considered useful in processing the information; if not, it is considered unnecessary.
- If animations demand to much user attention, they are considered distracting to a search, and if they provide useful information they are considered enhancements.
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