Strategic public opinion research is predicated on listening to people. Focus groups are often an important beginning step in a comprehensive research program designed to fully understand the audience you are trying to reach by understanding what they believe and why they believe it.
IN-PERSON FOCUS GROUPS
Developing winning strategies starts by listening, understanding where people come from, and empathizing with them.
GBAO has conducted thousands of hours of focus group research among all groups of people — voters, political and non-profit donors, opinion leaders, policymakers, organization members and prospective members, and specialized demographic groups.
- Surveys require fixed language and certain theories about what biases and assumptions your audience brings to the table. It is often critical to hear from that audience in its own words before you are able to develop the most effective metrics and messages for quantitative research.
- Focus groups are essential to understanding what makes people jump out of their seats, producing the kind of passion that can be translated into turnout, volunteerism, mobilization — whatever you need to meet your goals.
ONLINE FOCUS GROUPS
When the audience we’re trying to reach lives in a wide range of geographic areas, we can use online focus groups to seek their opinions in an open-ended, qualitative manner. Online focus groups can test visual stimuli such as advertisements or literature. We can also use online bulletin boards where participants take part in the discussion over 3 days, as the moderator monitors the dynamic conversation and probes in different directions. This methodology allows for deeper reflection on key questions and greater flexibility in adjusting our line of questioning to reflect new information or arguments offered by respondents and clients.
IDIs are one-on-one interviews that allow more flexibility than focus groups, and are perfect when you need to reach an audience with extensive issue expertise or inflexible hours. With experience conducting these interviews around the world, GBAO can help you get the insight that a focus group would give you, using the timetable that is best for the people you need to reach. We have done in-depth interviews with audiences such as physicians, journalists, business and industry leaders and executives, policy experts, legislative staff, and elected officials.
Jury trials are based on the relative abilities of the plaintiffs and defendants to frame a given case in a manner which resonates with pre-existing attitudes and beliefs held by the members of that jury. Qualitative research, including focus groups and simulated courtroom testimony, can be critical in helping either side test potential lines of attack and defense, assess the strengths and weaknesses of likely witnesses, and identify potential stumbling blocks in a jury deliberation. Hearing focus group participants drawn from the same pool as a future jury deliberate their case can be invaluable for attorneys.
GBAO has also used a combination of qualitative and quantitative research to help attorneys with jury selection. After identifying key issues and messages that have a determinative impact on how potential jurors view the case, GBAO can then use polling within the jury pool to build demographic and ideological profiles to assist attorneys seeking to maximize their potential for success.