Focus group meeting being recorded for transcription later.

How a Focus Group Transcription Service Can Improve Your Market Research

The purpose of focus groups is of course to quantify personal feelings and opinions about a certain product, service, or brand from a group of customers (or people like your customers). But as every market researcher knows, qualifying qualitative data can be challenging! You want every edge possible to ensure that your client gets accurate focus group research data to make the right decisions.

Here are four main ways a focus group transcription service can improve your market research:

  1. Generate Searchable Text
  2. Measure Frequency of Words Being Used
  3. Get a More Complete Record of What Was Said
  4. Compare Focus Group Results More Easily

We’ll go into more detail below.

4 Ways a Focus Group Transcription Service Can Improve Your Market Research

In short, a good focus group transcription service can help you take that qualitative data and start turning it into usable text. But let’s dig into how that happens.

1. Generate Searchable Text

This is of course a huge advantage during focus group research analysis. Rather than going back and forth through audio recordings trying to find who said what when can be frustrating. With a focus group transcript, you can search a keyword and jump right to that spot in the conversation.

2. Measure Frequency of Words Being Used

There’s a nifty way using just Microsoft Word (and probably other word processors too) that allows you to list words in a document by frequency. This can be used in at least two ways.

  • Frequency can tell you preference. For example, if many people over many focus groups use the word “slick” to describe your product, that’s a good indication that your client should be using it in their marketing and messaging.
  • Measure positive words vs. negative words. A little bit of data analysis can help you see how often positive words were used in the focus group report, and how many negative words. So, even if focus group participants are smiling through the whole session, you’ll be able to pick up on subtle hints that they’re not liking the product so much.

Learn more about how to find word occurrences here.

3. Get a More Complete Record of What Was Said

Relying on moderators to get a sense of the mood and theme of a focus group session is again qualitative data, not quantitative.

For example, let’s take the example from above about measuring frequency of words. You might think, well, that’s what the moderators are there for: to take notes and pick up patterns (including, perhaps, word frequency). That’s true, but they can only do it qualitatively during the session, and biases may come into play as we know from research in general.

A focus group transcription service on the other hand gives you a quantitative record of what was said that doesn’t rely on note-takers. You can count exactly how many times a word was spoken, not just get an impression from a moderator.

4. Compare Focus Group Results More Easily

Once you’ve done the above including measuring positive vs. negative words and finding word frequency, it is much easier to quantitatively compare focus group results. We all know that each focus group is its own unique session. One person can take over and basically guide the conversation for everyone else. That’s just how focus groups work. There are of course advantages and disadvantages to this. But it’s part of the reason why we want to gather information from as many different focus groups as possible.

Focus group transcription services allow you to even the playing field a bit more. Let’s go back to that basic example of finding the word “slick” mentioned so many times. If despite all the differences between sessions you’re still hearing that word, it’s an even stronger indication that your client should be using it in messaging.

When to Use a Focus Group Transcription Service

The bottom line: no matter how often you use focus groups, focus group transcription services can help you quantify that data for better, easier, and more accurate analysis. For you, it will also mean more detailed focus group reports, will improve your focus group market research, and perhaps even help you develop new focus group techniques.

However, it’s important to note too that how you conduct your focus groups can affect the quality of your data as well…

Focus Group Tips for Better Transcriptions

Focus group meeting in progressRecording can be a finicky business, especially if multiple voices will be involved – and with focus groups, that’s almost always! Here are some focus group tips for maximizing your sessions to improve those recordings and in turn your focus group transcripts.

  • Reduce outside noise. Close windows, close doors, and try to choose a location that is quieter in general. Post “Do Not Disturb” signs on the door(s) and ask other people in the office to be quiet in the hallways during sessions.
  • Reduce inside noise. Chairs and tables scrape, so avoid hard floors where you can. Turn off any telephones in the room (and of course ask participants to turn off theirs, too). Avoid rooms with coffee makers, water features, refrigerators, or any other appliance or fixture that hums, buzzes, or percolates. Turn off A/C or heat fans, if possible.
  • Zoom digital recorderUse quality recording equipment. Invest in a high-quality, 360 microphone to record the session. These days, quality is getting better and better, so you don’t have to break the bank. Many people even use handheld digital recorders such as the Zoom H1n with two mics.
  • Consider videoing the sessions, too. Often, you get a better sense of the mood of the room if you have it on video rather than just audio. Note: it’s a good idea to still record the audio separately as this is easier to use with focus group transcriptions and is a good backup in any case.

(Find more tips and learn more about Elite’s focus group transcription here.)

Contact Elite for Outstanding Focus Group Transcription Service (and Better Market Research)Focus group transcriptionist.Bonus tip: the focus group transcription service you choose can also have a huge impact on the quality of your data. That’s why it’s important to work with the best. Elite Office Solutions has decades of experience working with focus group transcriptions. We give you:

  • Greater accuracy – at or above the 98% industry standard
  • Fewer blanks and question marks when you follow our recording tips
  • Fast turnaround – usually within 24 hours (may be longer for projects with many recorded hours)
  • 100% U.S. media transcriptionists – Elite never offshores your focus group transcription outside of the country

Contact us via our email form or call us right now at 800-977-8973 | 215-491-0400 for more information on how our focus group transcription service can improve your market research.

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