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Focus Groups (Qualitative)

Get the in-depth customer feedback you need to make smarter business decisions.

Qualitative research allows you to explore ideas and dive deeper into customers’ perceptions about your brand, your product, your competitors and more.

While focus groups may be the first activities that come to mind when you want to find out what your customers are thinking, they are only one type of qualitative research. The MSR Group offers a full range of qualitative services and can help determine if one of these is the right way to uncover the insights you’re seeking.

Traditional Focus Groups

Gathering a group of six to 12 individuals in a room and asking them to discuss a series of open-ended questions can be a bit like walking a tightrope: You don’t know who’s going to say what, or if anyone’s going to speak at all. That’s why having a skilled moderator has a major impact on the insights you’ll gain.

Fortunately at The MSR Group, you’re working with experts. Our team includes members accredited by the QRCA (Qualitative Research Consultants Association) who understand how to produce unbiased, quality results.

Plus, you’ll find a premier focus group facility and an experienced staff that knows how to manage your project successfully. The entire process – recruiting, hosting, moderating and reporting – is handled in-house by our dedicated team.

Online Focus Groups

Online focus groups use chat and web conferencing technology to gather participants. This allows you to get qualitative feedback without the constraints of geography and time inherent with traditional groups. The online platform provides an avenue to get feedback on visual content like ads, product concepts, messages and website designs. Participants can use online mark-up tools and even have their nonverbal cues observed via webcam.

In-Depth Interviews (IDIs)

Sometimes a group environment isn’t the best way to gather critical insights. In-Depth Interviews, or IDIs, allow us to talk with your research participants on a one-on-one basis to explore topics in more detail. We often use this methodology for executive or professional interviews.

These individual interviews can be conducted over the phone, at The MSR Group research facility or at an off-site location.

Online Communities

Online Communities use the full power of chat, web conferencing and social media to engage a group of individuals in an ongoing conversation – with each other and with you. We can help you build communities with your current customers, prospective customers or a targeted segment of the general population; use images, video, or audio to solicit reactions; or ask community members to share their feelings about recent experiences. Regardless of the topic or the timeframe, online communities are a great way to get feedback on several issues from the same audience.


Intercepts are interviews that are carried out “on the spot” to capture immediate impressions from your target audience or to screen participants for more in-depth research. We can speak with individuals during or immediately following many types of experiences such as shopping, dining, watching a movie or attending a public event. These interviews capture a range of quantitative and qualitative feedback to satisfy your research goals.

Perception Analyzer®

Perception_AnalyzerSometimes it’s helpful to add a quantitative element to a focus group discussion. We use Perception Analyzer® to get statistically reliable data from your group, while still providing the flexibility to ask, “Why?”

Perception Analyzer® is an electronic, interactive tool that enables group participants to privately respond to questions using a hand-held dial. Our moderator can adjust the direction of the discussion and explore different ideas based on respondents’ real-time feedback.

We can add Perception Analyzers® to all types of group facilitation, including:

  • Concept testing
  • Advertising evaluation
  • On-air personality or spokesperson evaluations
  • New product offerings
  • Mock jury trial research
  • Speech or public address critique