Designing and Implementing an Effective Tobacco Counter-Marketing Campaign
determine the way you’ll need to recruit and, to some extent, your costs.
How you’ll apply what you learn. Make sure the information you’ll gain will be actionable.
Your budget. The size of your budget will dictate how many groups or interviews you can conduct, in how many locations, and how much of the work you will be able to delegate to contractors.
Your criteria for participants. Use the following suggestions to help you select participants.
Choose people who are typical of your audience. Participants should have the same behavioral, demographic, and psychographic characteristics as your audience. (Psychographics are a set of variables that describes an individual in terms of overall approach to life, including personality traits, values, beliefs, preferences, habits, and behaviors.) You may want to conduct separate groups with “doers,” who already engage in the desired behavior, and “nondoers,” who don’t engage in the desired behavior. This strategy will help to identify what actions the doers take and why. Those actions then can be explored with the nondoers.
Do not select experts. Exclude market researchers and advertising pro- fessionals, because of their familiarity with the methods, and exclude those who have, or might be perceived by
other group members as having,
expertise in the subject matter. For example, exclude health professionals
from focus groups when the topic is related to health. In addition, anyone involved in the production, distri- bution, or marketing of tobacco products should be excluded from focus groups related to tobacco control.
Match participants by gender, race, age, level of formal education, or other characteristic(s) within each group. Participants with matched characteristics are more likely to express themselves freely. If your target audience includes people with different demographic traits, consider whether you need to conduct separate sessions for each audience segment to determine whether differences between the groups are significant.
Select people who are relatively inexperienced with interviews. Parti- cipants’ reactions should be spontan- eous. This consideration will help you to avoid questioning “professional” respondents who have participated in many focus groups or individual interviews and thus may lead or monopolize the discussion. Recruit- ment screeners typically exclude people who have participated in qualitative research in the past six months. (See Step 3 later in this section, for further discussion of recruitment screeners.)
Chapter 3: Gaining and Using Target Audience Insights