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Designing and Implementing an Effective Tobacco Counter-Marketing Campaign

asked specific screening questions to deter- mine whether they fit the recruitment criteria. If they do, the interviewers take them to the interviewing station (a quiet spot at a shopping mall or other site), show them the pretest materials, and then administer the pretest questionnaire. The interview should last no longer than 15 to 20 minutes.

For intercept interviews to be effective, you must obtain results from at least 100 of each type of respondent or more if you want to break out specific subgroups (e.g., males vs. females or age groups) (NCI 2002).


You increase your chances of finding the right participants if you choose the right location.

You can connect with harder-to-reach respondents and present them with a stimulus (an ad, graphics, messages, or a brochure).

The interviews can be conducted quickly.

The interviews are a cost-effective way to gather data in a relatively short time.


You must train interviewers.

Your results aren’t representative and can’t be generalized.

Intercept interviews aren’t appropriate for sensitive issues or potentially threat- ening questions.

Intercept interviews aren’t appropriate for in-depth questions, and they don’t


bers of the general population. This size is for cost estimates only. Most program managers prefer groups of five to eight, because doing so

more easily engages all group members in conversation, but others prefer groups of eight to 12. In either case, larger numbers frequently are recruited to allow for some “no-shows.” However, if more people show up than you need, you must still give them any promised incentive. Also, recruiting specific, hard-to-find target audiences may be more expensive than selecting a group from the general population.

The cost estimates also assume that each session is two hours long, conducted in English, and audiotaped. Staff travel, food for

participants, and videotaping, which is useful

when some of your program team can’t directly observe the session, are not included.

The interview estimate shown in Table 3.2 assumes 10 half-hour interviews that are conducted in English and audiotaped.

Quasi-Quantitative Research

Quasi-quantitative tools are used most often to pretest messages and materials, as noted earlier. These tools include central location intercept interviews and theater-style pretests. If you pretest many ads using the same methodology and the same questions, you can develop a database of results that allows you to assess the relative strengths of various ads.

Central Location Intercept Interviews

In central location intercept interviews, interviewers go to a place frequented by members of the target audience and ask them to participate in a study. If they agree, they’re

Chapter 3: Gaining and Using Target Audience Insights

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