Designing and Conducting a Theater- Style Pretest
There are six steps for designing and conduct- ing theater-style pretests, but many ideas, part- icularly those in Step 2, also are useful for central location intercept interviews. The six steps are as follows:
Plan the pretest.
Develop the questionnaire.
Prepare for the pretest.
Conduct the pretest.
Analyze the pretest.
Step 1: Plan the pretest.
Determine your requirements for the following information:
What you want to learn
When you need the results
What your budget is
Which contractors are qualified to do this work
What criteria participants should be required to meet (Your contractor can help you to determine these criteria.)
Which facility you’ll use (Your contractor will make this decision.)
The facility must be large enough to accom- modate all your participants simultaneously. Several video monitors may be needed for all participants to see the program well.
Chapter 3: Gaining and Using Target Audience Insights
You can also rent space, such as a hotel ball- room, if you want to pretest materials among a large number of people. Hotels often have audiovisual equipment available for rent. You must reserve facilities and equipment well in advance of your pretest.
Some market research companies conduct theater-style pretesting. They can provide details about the process they follow in conducting this pretesting.
Step 2: Develop the questionnaire.
Work with your contractor to carefully con- struct the questionnaire. At a minimum, it should contain three parts:
Recall and communication of the main idea of pretest materials
Audience reaction to pretest materials
Demographic characteristics of the participants
Recall and Communication of the Main Idea
The standard questions on recall and com- munication of the main idea are critical to the pretest. They address some of the most important measures of a message’s potential effectiveness:
Whether it attracts the audience’s attention (recall)
Whether it communicates your main point (main idea)
What respondents thought and how they felt when they viewed the ad (e.g., poten- tial persuasiveness and believability)