INVISIBLE SPACE
Who and Where

Products/Industries/Studies

Techniques

Staff Training Videos/Customer Satisfaction

Health Care Research Topics

Governmental Areas


INVISIBLE SPACE

Who and Where



All types of people interviewed
from executives and CEOs to
doctors, seniors, new mothers,
and children.

Have conducted interviews
in all sorts of locations, and have brought
my own A/V equipment to make tapes,
if necessary. Typically use focus group
facilities, but have also used hotels,
private homes, and offices.



Back


INVISIBLE SPACE

Products/Industries/Studies


Products/Industries (Sampling):

    • Consumer Packaged Goods
    • Foods
    • Health
    • Retailing/distribution
    • Business/industrial

Types of Studies:

    • New products and services
    • Brand/Corporate identity; image
    • Advertising and communication
    • Positioning; strategy
    • Packaging
    • Naming
    • Customer satisfaction

Formats:

    • Full-size focus groups
    • Minigroups
    • Triads, pairs
    • One-on-ones; in-depths (in person; or telephone)



Back


INVISIBLE SPACE

Techniques



Each study is viewed as an entity, with no boilerplate design lifted and applied from one study to another. Each marketing issue is evaluated independently and a research design is proposed to reach the goals and answer the questions. The following are some techniques from which I can draw:

  • Identifying imagery by association, e.g. animals, cars
    Moderator asks respondents to think of a company, product, service, brand, etc. and asks them to identify the animal, car, (or whatever category is used) that best characterizes it or represents what they know of the company, product, or brand. Meaningful information about the imagery and about the competitive imagery are gleaned through such associations, as well as through the explanations which accompany them.

  • Creating images with photographs
    Magazines and headlines represent useful tools by which respondents can independently or in small groups construct a three-dimensional image of a product, company or brand, as well as of the type of consumer who would use the product or the brand. The imagery information that evolves from building these collages is rich. The consumer's needs, desires, and feelings vis-a-vis those users, products, and/or brands emerge.

  • Observation
    The researcher studies the consumer buying or using the product in question. This research may be in the store or in the home. The in-home method may involve asking questions of the resident about problems that develop around the use and effectiveness of the product.

  • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
    This technique is used extensively with print advertisements that rely on one image to communicate volumes about the brand. The researcher interviews current and potential users of the brand one-on-one and asks in-depth questions about the meaning of the overall image, then focusing on the details (such as the style of clothing, the expression, the scenery), in an attempt to understand the extent to which the print ad appeals to the needs and aspirations of the target audience.

  • Storytelling
    This method uses the consumer's own personal stories and anecdotes to uncover deep-seated attitudes and motivations for using (or not using) the product or brand. The value of this method is that the findings can be more accurate than when an individual says that he or she likes or does not like something.

  • Laddering
    Laddering is a version of a technique borrowed from psychotherapy in which the researcher questions an individual about the reasons for liking or using a product or brand eventually builds a hierarchy of need.

  • Brainstorming
    Creativity exercises are used to loosen up the respondents' right brain capabilities and to make them comfortable shifting to the right brain. The group is then asked to look within themselves to generate ideas for new products and services, improved products and services, etc.



Back


INVISIBLE SPACE

Staff Training Videos/Customer Satisfaction



The videotapes of focus group sessions can be used to make a training video for any level of staff. Satisfied and dissatisfied customers are interviewed, either separately or together. An expert A/V operator tapes the groups using the best equipment. The moderator analyzes the groups and identifies the key points with narrative comments and a logical sequence to be persuasive. Favorable and unfavorable comments are lifted to support each main idea. I have used Sachs Communications in New York City to assemble these videos. These Customer Satisfaction videos are used extensively by Human Resources Directors to train staff in customer relations/satisfaction and to sensitize management.



Back


INVISIBLE SPACE

Health Care Areas Researched



    • Advertising and promotion
    • New Products and pervices
    • Cardiac care
    • Children's hospitals; pediatric medicine
    • Emergency care
    • Gerontology
    • Home health
    • Health & fitness
    • Information systems
    • Managed care
    • Mental health
    • Ob/Gyn
    • Oncology
    • Outpatient care
    • Patient satisfaction
    • Plastic surgery
    • Rehab
    • Staff training
    • Women's health
    • Wellness and prevention



Back


INVISIBLE SPACE

Governmental Areas



At the Peace Corps in Washington, I worked under Charlie Peters,
the Director of Research who went on to become the editor of the
Washington Monthly. My job was to chronicle the Volunteers' accomplishments and help secure the next year of funding by Congress.
I worked on a team that tried to develop a formula to predict the success of Volunteers once they went overseas. That one wasn't so easy.

Warren Wiggins, Deputy Director of the Peace Corps, went on to establish a consulting firm called Transcentury that hired returned Peace Corps volunteers and similarly iconoclastic, adventuresome, risk-taking individuals. My travels with Transcentury spanned the country, 40 states to be exact. With access to state and local governments and the man- and woman-on-the-street, I investigated how federal programs impacted the real people.

I was soon hired away by General Research Corporation, the think tank, and was soon flying back and forth between Washington D.C. and their Santa Barbara headquarters on a regular basis. My job was to write the gargantuan proposals to evaluate federal programs. When I wasn't writing, I was traversing the countryside evaluating criminal justice, substance abuse, community action, and seniors' programs.

In later years, I was called back to Washington for a temporary consulting assignment with the Peace Corps to design and implement marketing strategies for developing corporate sponsors.



Top

Products/Industries/Studies

Techniques

Who and Where

Health Care Research Topics

Staff Training Videos/Customer Satisfaction

Governmental Areas


For more information, contact Susan Pogash at: 312.527.4849.