ERIC Number: ED412575
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Conducting the Computer-Mediated Focus Group.
Saban, Kenneth A.
The growing popularity of focus group measurements can be traced to any one of four factors: (1) the economics associated with focus groups; (2) the speed at which data can now be collected; (3) the need to understand customer motivations; and (4) the desire to improve subsequent qualitative research activities and programs. Market researchers are striving to reduce the inherent problems and biases associated with all research forms, especially "paper and pencil" data methods. The end result has been a shift toward the use of "Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing" (CAPI), in which respondents enter the information directly into the computer. Exploratory, clinical, and experiencing are the three types of focus groups. A 9-step process is used to administer a focus group. Beyond the use of focus groups methodology, there are four emerging trends, including the telephone focus group, 2-way focus groups, focus group television networks, and nominal grouping sessions. As the marketplace continues to become more competitive, there will be continued interest in customer "buying and usage decisions," in turn spawning further interest in CAPI focus groups. Additional advancements in hardware, software, and delivery system technology will also expand focus group sample sizes and remove subjective interpretations normally associated with qualitative measures. Cost reductions, the growing emphasis on "short-term" performance, and consumer privacy issues will work to further the development of qualitative research--like the Computer-Mediated Focus Group--over quantitative measurements. (CR)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (Baltimore, MD, April 10-13, 1997).