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Designing and Implementing an Effective Tobacco Counter-Marketing Campaign

If you have many facilities and recruiters to choose from, consider getting recom- mendations from local companies or organizations that conduct qualitative research.

Enlist help from students in a university marketing research or advertising class if they are knowledgeable and experienced in focus group research.

Work through gatekeepers such as teachers (for students); instructors for courses of English as a second language (for recent immigrants); health care systems (for patients, physicians, or nurses); and religious institutions or community organizations whose members meet your audience criteria. (A small donation may encourage an organization to recruit for you.)

Getting People to Show Up

To ensure that enough people show up, offer an incentive (usually money) and recruit more people than you need. If everyone shows up, select those who best fit your screening criteria, thank the extra participants, give them the agreed-on incentive, and ask them to leave. You also can make sure you have enough people by:

Scheduling sessions at times convenient for your potential participants (e.g., during lunchtime or after work)

Choosing a safe and convenient site

The screener should guarantee the approximate mix of respondents for a group that isn’t separat- ed by certain characteristics, such as a balance of men and women in a mixed-gender group. (See Appendices 3.1 and 3.2 for sample screeners.)

Step 4: Recruit participants.

Choose appropriate participants for the focus groups or interviews, so your research is more

reliable. Even if a contractor does the recruit- ing, make sure the screener is followed care- fully so that only those who qualify will be included in the research.

Participants should be recruited by telephone one to three weeks before the sessions. How you identify potential participants depends on the type of people they are and the resources you have. Focus group facilities typically identify members of the audience through their own databases. If you do the recruiting, you might need to run an ad in a local pub- lication, work with community organizations, purchase lists of phone numbers of individuals with certain characteristics, or identify pro- fessionals through a relevant association or mailing list service. Here are some ways to recruit:

  • Hire a focus group facility or independent recruiter. Two directories of facilities are the American Marketing Association’s GreenBook:Worldwide Directory of Focus Group Companies and Services (2003) and the Marketing Research Association’s Blue Book (2003).

Chapter 3: Gaining and Using Target Audience Insights


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