Focus Group Feedback – Qualitative Data Analysis – Grounded Theory & Coding
Potential respondents must have the ethics of research explained before any interview or feedback, not only verbally at start of an interview or related interaction, but inclusion on a briefing document explaining study and research, storage of data, along with ethics.
Focus Group Interviews
Focus interviews, individual or via a group, based on psychoanalysis, can be very adaptable, allow expression of body language, in addition to concept checking or informal communication which would be precluded by the written form. However, there are disadvantages, interviews can be very time consuming to conduct, transcribe, code and analyse when using open questions to elicit perceptions, attitudes and experience of the research area, plus they can be subjective or prone to bias. On the other hand, they are useful to explore same perceptions etc., then importantly, used to inform a valid survey or data collection instrument or further research (Bell, 2005).
Types of interview include structured e.g. answering survey face to face, semi-structured and unstructured, the latter allows good quality data to be offered. The unstructured interview can offer an opportunity for an industry person to explain and elaborate on issues that have emerged organically, that would have otherwise remained unknown and ignored (Ibid.).
Focus Group Interview Feedback Respondents
The ‘Focus Respondents’ for this research study included two former international students now professionals with digital literacy, two international education marketing (and admissions) managers for large multinational education providers and two more senior ‘Focus Respondents’ who manage within international education, but without formal marketing background.
‘Focus Respondents’ were asked open questions based upon the literature and round the information search process with any critical issues, key words, processes or phenomenon to be expressed, not in long narrative for full transcription, but abbreviated for notes and action coding.
It was explained to focus respondents, to give them structure or context, that the general focus was decision making behaviour process, represented by a five-stage model:
Purchase Decision Making Model
Five Stage Purchase Decision Behaviour Model or Process (simplified)
- Recognition of Need
- Information Search
- Evaluation of Alternatives
- Purchase Decision
- Post Purchase Behaviour
(Kotler & Keller, 2012).
From same focus interviews regarding information search or discovery process, the research elicited factors or latent variables, then quantified by survey to analyse for significance of these factors in ‘optimal marketing and communications’. These factors and construct can then be used to develop an information seeking construct and a useful template for industry.
Next step is to deliver survey to a hopefully significant sample population to then ground any marketing strategy development.
Bell, J. (2005) Doing Your Research Project. (4th Ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Kotler, P. & Keller, K. (2012) Marketing Management. (14th Ed.) Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education – Prentice Hall.