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ThoughtCast vs. Traditional Focus Groups

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A brief case study by Goodmind on the benefits of online focus groups.

Published in: Business, News & Politics
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ThoughtCast vs. Traditional Focus Groups

  1. 1. ThoughtCast vs. Traditional Focus Groups Case Study
  2. 2. PROJECT BACKGROUND <ul><li>The Public Relations Industry has evolved over the years, and traditional newswire services have been forced to react, respond, or risk irrelevancy. </li></ul><ul><li>A major wire service provider requested a study to evaluate recent initiatives within the new competitive context. </li></ul>
  3. 3. CLIENT OBJECTIVES <ul><li>The client had previously partnered with Goodmind on several projects devoted to understanding the needs of current clients, and identifying future opportunities for growth.  </li></ul><ul><li>For this study, the client wanted to specifically understand the outcomes of a recent operational consolidation, coupled with lingering effects of various mergers and acquisitions.  </li></ul><ul><li>The client also wanted to test the effectiveness of its branding strategy, as well as drill down into the value of its new products and services in various markets. </li></ul>
  4. 4. THE CHALLENGE <ul><li>Prior research relied on traditional focus groups, and in-depth one-on-one telephone interviews. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>These studies largely focused on the end user; be it journalist, PR professional, or even blogger.  </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Since the objective was essentially to test whether these groups had provided valuable feedback (and whether we had given good advice), we needed to come up with a way to objectively evaluate the product, market, competitors, and operations of the client. </li></ul>
  5. 5. OUR APPROACH <ul><li>We couldn’t ask just anyone about the product, market, competitors, and operational strategy of a legacy newswire, so we had to be creative.  </li></ul><ul><li>The respondent in this instance turned out to be the distributed sales force of the client. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who better to understand all the nuances of the PR industry, while simultaneously offering a unique perspective on brand positioning and competitive strategy? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. THE OUTCOME <ul><li>We conducted a three day ThoughtCast discussion with various members of the sales force, and came away with perhaps the longest transcript in our seven year history.  </li></ul><ul><li>Participants had an optimistic outlook, and were generally positive in their feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>However, we did uncover an unknown interaction between product and operational changes: the sales force was compensated according to an outdated model, with imperfect product emphasis. </li></ul>
  7. 7. THE PAYOFF <ul><li>Left unaddressed, this minor detail could have undermined the existing value of the brand, not to mention negate recent strategic initiatives.  </li></ul><ul><li>If the client hadn’t looked at the business from the perspective of the sales force, their sound strategy wouldn’t have been worth much in the long term. </li></ul>
  8. 8. CONTACT <ul><li>To learn how ThoughtCast can work for you, please call John Greenberg at 212.660.0110 </li></ul>

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