Any form of focused, group discussion - either in person or digitally (using
online or mobile platforms). In person focus groups take place in a focus group facility, a retail setting, a home, a bar, a park...anywhere that makes sense for the topics being discussed.
Research conducted in-situ, when the topic studied require as much understanding of the ways in which people do things, as how they feel about them. We've observed and probed all kinds of topics in homes, in cars (yes, while driving!), in retail environments, in restaurants, and in nature (ask me about the time I went rock climbing in the rain!). While many clients refer to this type of research as "ethnos," we do ask a lot of questions to dig deeper, and we call them observational, qualitative interviews.
Conducted in person, via phone, or over webcams, these interviews are between a single participant and the expert interviewer. We find these are great for C-suite executives, or those located in remote locations, and those who prefer to be interviewed at odd times to fit their busy schedules.
When it comes to identifying new ideas and developing concepts, we find that most clients want a hybrid of ideation and pragmatic convergence about how to innovate around what they already do well, or can do better. We create customized "whitespace convergence sessions" for client teams, often at the end of an exploratory research study. These sessions ignite teams for "what's next."
While this is redundant (all group discussions, observational interviews and individual depth interviews can be designed for the online and mobile space!) it bears mentioning that we've been using online and mobile research tools since they became available, and we're always working with best-in-class providers to test their innovations on behalf of our clients.
Susan has been a qualitative research consultant for more than 20 years. Before moving to Boulder, Colorado, Susan was a fixture in the Chicago qualitative research community. She spent 2 years in international qualitative with Millward Brown, more than 10 years as a Vice President with Doyle Research Associates, and several years as a Research Director with Hall & Partners, before becoming an independent consultant. Susan founded Sweet Insight Group in 2012.
Susan is an active member of the QRCA and AQR and regularly volunteers for both. She served two terms on the QRCA's Board of Directors, was speaker selection co-chair for the QRCA-AQR Worldwide Qualitative Conferences in Rome (2012), Budapest (2014) and Vienna (2016). She has presented at local, national and international conferences, and has guest lectured to MBA students. Susan is co-chairing the next Worldwide Conference on Qualitative, to be held in Valencia, Spain, in May 2018.