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Focus group discussions, and such closely related techniques as mini-groups, one-on-one depth interviews, qualitative executive interviews are among the methods for which Thompson Information Services is best known.

Key Benefits

Focus group discussions provide an open forum for participants to express their views about products and services.  Focus groups are conducted in an atmosphere which facilitates free discussion of the topic.  The moderator serves to introduce topics, encourage expression of ideas, and to make sure all participants have a chance to contribute.  The resulting discussion is loosely structured; the participants play a large role in determining where the discussion leads.

Clients and researchers can obtain a great deal of information from these discussions.  From the tone and the amount of the conversation about certain topics, they can determine which ideas and attitudes are important to the participants.  These responses often have not been anticipated by the client or researcher, and may lead to new directions in products or services, or to further research.  These discussions are valuable in indicating possible new directions from participants' comments; the size and structure of the groups do not permit statistically valid extrapolation to all consumers.  As such, the results should be viewed as a set of plausible hypotheses rather than as firm conclusions.

Thompson Information Services offers the essential marketing experience to get the most from your qualitative research, and to avoid the pitfalls awaiting the less experienced qualitative researcher:

  • We join your team, working with you to develop an effective qualitative research program.
  • Our seasoned executives oversee all recruiting and facility issues.
  • Our most experienced executives moderate all focus groups.
  • You moderator personally prepares your analytical report, rather than a less experienced analyst.

And once your project results are presented, we make our marketing experience available to your team to help apply the qualitative research results to your marketing needs and situations.

Qualitative Research Experience

Mr. Thompson is a veteran of thousands of focus groups among executives, consumers, and employees.  Terry brings the maturity and experience to work with both your executives and with research respondents from a wide range of backgrounds.  He is adept at applying past success strategies to newly  emerging market environments.

Executive Team Experience
Mr. Thompson has been a major part of the strategic development teams that used qualitative focus group research to develop such successful new products as Cling Free (the first successful fabric softener for the dryer), and Mercury Black Max (the first successful marketing of image over hardware features in the marine power industry).  Both Cling Free and Black Max revolutionized their product categories.
Research Supplier Experience
Terry Thompson has held executive positions with nationally known top 50 research firms, serving the qualitative research needs of many Fortune 500 firms, top advertising agencies, and major universities.
Qualitative Research Applications
Our qualitative research experience includes (among many others) advertising refinement and testing, software usability development, new product/service concept screening and refinement, auto clinics, publication redesign, taste testing, television programming development, and employee motivation and retention.

Qualitative Clients

A few of the firms and industries Terry Thompson, our managing director, has conducted qualitative research for include:

  • Aetna Insurance (commercial agents and national brokers)
  • American National Bank, Tennessee (new product development)
  • Anheuser Busch (brand positioning)
  • Archaea Solutions (agricultural waste management - environmental issues)
  • Austin, Nichols Distilling (new product idea generation)
  • Baltimore Sun (format redesign issues)
  • Beechnut Nutrition (new product concept testing)
  • Brandeis University (elder care issues)
  • Chattem, Inc. (new productdevelopment)
  • Clement Communications, Inc. (employee motivation)
  • EyeMasters (Sears)
  • General Motors (styling clinics)
  • Glen Lau Productions (Television program development)
  • Hartford Insurance Group (commercial insurance)
  • Mellon Bank (consumer banking services)
  • Mercury Marine (advertising concept refinement, product design issues)
  • National Liberty Insurance (Medicare supplement and other insurance)
  • Ogilvy & Mather (retail positioning)
  • Orlando Sentinel (new growth markets development/redesign of some newspaper sections)
  • Orlando Regional Medical Center (new service evaluation and market positioning)
  • Pennsylvania State University (elder care issues)
  • Pfaltzgraff (product design)
  • Ray-O-Vac (promotional testing)
  • SmithKline Beecham (software usability, clinical lab selection and use issues)
  • Toro Corporation (consumer product design)
  • Xerox (new business product development)

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