I founded Research Arts in 1984 as a company offering qualitative research done well, with many riffs on classic focus groups and individual depth interviews. I have personally moderated over 3000 focus groups on a wide range of subjects. My interviewing style is friendly, warm and curious, using the effective tools you expect from an experienced moderator. I believe I communicate and write well when the time comes to deliver insights. My presentations are media rich and go beyond PowerPoint.
While I have considerable experience in many markets, there are certain subject areas which I particularly enjoy. These include:
- Sustainable products and services
- Personal technology
- Seniors / Boomers
With every project, I strive to add value to basic qualitative without adding undue cost. It is clearly a sad waste of time and money to limit interaction with a respondent to a scant one or two hours in an artificial setting when recruiting and respondent cooperation are so challenging.
Enriched Qualitative Research
The new tools available today have provided many opportunities to enrich conventional qualitative market research. Here are some of the services I offer to clients.
Focus Groups: this can still be the most adaptable and rewarding qualitative methodology when designed thoughtfully and well. Options are varied and many. They include:
- Location: facility, home, work, hotel, etc.
- Size: mini, full, theatre
- Familiarity: strangers, friends, family, workmates, etc.
- Scope: Structured / evaluative vs. Open / exploratory
- Complexity: Single real-time event vs. Value-added elements (homework, follow-through, recall, longitudinal)
Online Qualitative: With the introduction of more user-friendly tools, it is now possible to put together an extremely useful and flexible custom site for two-way interaction with respondents through text, pictures, video and audio. I call this type of site a “focus blog” and may suggest it as an add-on to in-person focus groups to interact with the respondent before and after the day of the sessions. Alternative methods of online qualitative include individual video interviews and bulletin boards using third party platforms.
Social Media: Before I start a full project, I supplement the primary research with a deep-dive into the social media world. It helps to listen to what people are saying about a subject before designing the study. I also encourage the client to share background information with me – the more I know about a market and prior research, the more helpful I can be.
Managing and Moderating: Some clients may wish to handle part of the project themselves. In this case, I will work with the client on design, recommend field facilities and negotiate prices, manage recruiting, develop the interviewing guide, moderate the groups or IDIs, and provide a same day debrief. The client will pay the field and incentives directly, and forgo a final written report.