Qualitative Focus Group Research
MKT/571 – Marketing
Qualitative Focus Group Research Discussion Guide
The purpose of this paper is to create a Discussion Guide for a selected service or product which will be used during the course of a Focus Group that researches a product or service target market. Based on that, a plan should be created, identifying a problem or opportunity that product or service may be facing, also the primary target audience in terms related to audience’s demographic, needs or preferences.
Following these ideas, an overarching goal of the research will be developed and also a discussion script or exercises that will elicit the information necessary to address the information goals. The guide questions will be open-ended encouraging dialogs among the focus group.
Opportunity of the Service
The service that will be analyzed on this discussion guide will be the Online Combo Package for Caribbean Cinemas. A focus group will be created to evaluate how many people would agree with an enhancement in Caribbean Cinemas food distribution.
Caribbean Cinemas is the major chain of movie theaters in Puerto Rico, founded in 1996, the movie theaters receive more than 750,000 unique visitors per month and up 40,000 visitors per day (Caribbean Cinemas, 2016).
Investing in technology to enhance its customer service, Caribbean Cinemas has provided online ticket purchase to speed up the sale processes in an easier way.
And based on many movie theater success brands, Caribbean Cinemas want to improve, even more, providing to its customers the possibility at the same moment they are purchasing a movie ticket, also, choose a combo package of snacks (soda, chocolates, popcorn or tacos).
Being the major chain movie theaters in Puerto Rico, and Caribe, after this modification on customer service, Caribbean Cinemas would improve a lot the customer satisfaction, also would decrease the time delay that their consumers are used to spend when trying to buy snacks.
As the snacks sales complements the tickets sales, also a big number of customers are commented this idea on Caribbean Cinemas Facebook page, a market research should be conduct to analyze if Caribbean Cinemas should apply this change to increase the profits, the number of customers and maintain the competition.
Marketing research is a systematic and objective study of problems about the marketing of goods and services. It may be emphasized that it is not restricted to any particular area of marketing, but may be applied to its phases and aspects (Beri, 2013).
Also, the American Marketing Association defines Marketing Research as “the function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information. The information is later used to identify and define marketing problems and opportunities; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance, and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address issues, design methods for collecting information, manage and implement the data collection process, analyze the results, and communicate the findings and their implications”.
For covering all resources available, a formal marketing research should be adopt following important steps: define the problem and research objectives, develop the research plan, collect the primary information, analyze the collected information, show the findings, and make decisions based on the results (Koller & Keller, 2015).
Focus Group Research
A focus group is a qualitative research, what means it is not obtained by percentages, statistical testing or tables. This method is less structured than surveys or other quantitative research methods, being also more exploratory (Edmunds, 2000).
Focus group interviews are typically defined as a small group of people, who possess certain characteristics, providing quality data in a focused discussion to help understand a particular topic of interest.
Focus group researchers are used to learn about language, concepts, and factors. Based on the findings, the researchers can develop important instruments that allow larger samples and statistics analysis (Krueger, 2014).
The primary target audience for a service should identify the terms as audience demographics, customer needs or preferences and behaviors related to determined service. As soon the audience is defined easier will be to recruit people that match for the Focus Group.
The main Caribbean Cinema’s audience is made by 45% women and 55% men. Their visitors are from many different ages, where 20% are under 18 years, 70% are adults, and 10% are over 60 years. This audience also has many categories that help the company to prepare its market plan and reach all target public (Caribbean Cinemas, 2016).
According to the target audience, focus groups will be created presenting the online sale services, expecting to receive a good feedback and a value opinion.
For the customers that are not used to purchase movie theater tickets by the internet, which is a small amount, maybe this change won’t make a big impact. But for those, who prefer to purchase the tickets online, avoiding the long line and the lack of comfort, it may be considered a huge impact.
It’s considered a tremendous impact, because beyond the line they use to avoid when buying tickets online, now, they will also avoid long lines to buy snacks and sodas.
By creating an easier interface, the online purchase combo of tickets and snacks may win those customers that are not used to the actual service, providing more comfort than before.
After the information is collected, according to the focus group and marketing research, Caribbean Cinemas should decide to add a new functionality on online ticket sales service.
The research will help them to acquire all the data and see if this approach would be useful for the marketing plan and profitable for the company.
The results will show the customers main concerns related to the Customer Services offered by Caribbean Cinemas and if this modification would be useful.
Discussion Guide / Script
A discussion guide or script should be developed in order to help the marketing team to collect information needed to accomplish the goals.
This discussion guide may be informed on Caribbean Cinemas website, letting people aware of the research and how the company cares about customer needs.
The questions should be open-ended, giving the opportunity for the interviewed provides its full opinion on the matter, encouraging dialogue among the participants.
Caribbean Cinemas may use the following questions to gather valuable information:
Have you ever purchased a Caribbean Cinema’s ticket online?
What do you think about the current service?
How long do you wait on Snack’s line to order a popcorn with soda or other product?
Have you ever lost part of the movie because the time ordering snacks? How did you feel about it?
Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with current service? Why?
Would you prefer to buy your tickets and snacks on the same purchase? Would you like a distinct line just for those who bought snacks and tickets online?
What kind of snack combos would you recommend to be sold online?
After collected this information, provide feedback with main results to the group. Let them comment about the gathered information and fill with more, if needed. In the end, the decision will be made based on focus group information.
The focus group is an indispensable tool to gather information from different kind of people that are consumers of specific product or service, through a free talk and open-ended discussion, encouraged by focus group leader to give honest opinions to reach company goals.
Based on it, Caribbean Cinemas will be able to understand the customer behavior, its needs and how it expects to be assisted, accomplishing desired profit, and customer satisfaction.
Beri, G. C. (2013). Marketing Research (1st ed.). Noida, India: Mcgraw Hill Education.
Caribbean Cinemas. (2016). Movie Theater’s Audience. Retrieved from http://www.caribbeancinemas.com/audience.aspx?SecId=229
Edmunds, H. (2000). The Focus Group Research Handbook (1st ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Koller, P., & Keller, K. (2015). Marketing Management (15th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.
Krueger, R. (2014). Focus Groups: A Practical Guide for Applied Research (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.