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what is an instant response focus group?

You’ve seen us conduct Instant Response sessions on NBC, ABC, CBS and PBS. You’ve seen our dials on 60 Minutes, The Today Show, Good Morning America and Nightline. They have been a frequent feature on Fox News since 2007.

Instant Response is the 21st century way to explore, chart and act on consumer and voter opinion. Instant response dial sessions apply scientific measurement to the world of human emotion and feeling.  And the results are crunched as your audience reacts, so that you can see which words are working as they are spoken.

But our focus groups are effective because of more than just technology.  Our three hour sessions are twice as long as traditional focus groups, so you have time to dig deeper. Our sample size is two to three sizes bigger than a traditional focus group, so that your conclusions have finer detail. And we recruit and select participants using dozens of data points, ensuring the most accurate focus group sample possible.

with instant response:

Our ability to test communication, using instant response dials, doesn’t end at mere words. Our clients test images and content used on television, radio, the web and personal appearances... They come to understand unspoken communication as well as…and sometimes better than…the words in their communications dictionary. That type of testing is excluded from focus groups that play by the old rules of market research.

how do they work?

Carefully-selected participants assemble in a focus group facility (the kind with a room and a one-way mirror). Clients sit “behind the glass” and observe. A specially-trained, experienced moderator, like Dr. Frank Luntz, leads the group.

Each participant is given a wireless device about the size of a smartphone. A dial (calibrated from 1 to 100) sits at the device’s center.

Participants provide demographic information relevant to the question at hand (e.g., liberal vs. conservative; male vs. female; “used the product” vs. “never used the product”). After completing specially-designed, written language exercises before the session’s start, we start the dials…

…and that’s where it gets exciting. We show participants video – a commercial, a speech, a debate – and they respond second-by-second, phrase-by-phrase by turning the dial. Our system integrates the live data, segments it demographically and displays it to the back-room audience as a series of trace lines along with the video. The moderator follows up with probing questions to understand why participants feel the way they do.

It’s fact-based. It works. And it’s fun for the participants, too.

The dials never lie.