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Group Discussions are changing

In the last 5, 10 years, consumer research has changed radically.

  • Growth and maturity of on-line research especially the acceptance of quantitative panels and development of on-line qualitative techniques
  • Turnaround of projects has rapidly increased – A typical project used to be 6-7 weeks from go-ahead to face-to-face debrief, whereas nowadays it is probably 2-3 weeks with topline feedback via tele-conference within 24/48 hours of the final consumer fieldwork
  • Collaboration working with the consumer and clients has grown both face-to-face and on-line. 10 years ago our Dialogue Team approach of clients and consumers working together was unique or at least very, very different – It is much more commonplace now
  • Evolution of a raft of new qualitative methodologies such as shop-a-longs, creative cook sessions and at fixture mini depths focused on point of purchase to get closer to the consumer’s decision making process


Group Discussions are dead?

The end result is that some clients now think Group Discussions/Focus Groups are dated and inappropriate but we strongly disagree


Long live the Group Discussion!

Groups offer several great benefits

  • Wide coverage, cost effectively
  • Understanding why, what, how effectively but also creative input from the consumers! Groups help build ideas/concepts
  • Easier for clients to view and be involved with


  • Groups with The Cog could/will involve
    • Pre-task to record relevant meal diary (with/without photography) via their mobiles
    • Pre-task to shop their normal supermarket and the relevant competitors
    • Follow-up accompanied shops or cook-a-long with targeted consumers
    • Pre-placement or post-placement of product to test

Groups have evolved radically but still offer great insights!