The Focus On Focus Groups (Hint It's Getting Softer)

The “Role Of Online Conversations In Shaping The Brand” panel that Cathy Taylor is moderating at the Brand Marketers Summit started off with an important question, which is how is social media listening impacting traditional focus group testing of products and campaigns.

Buddy Group Chief Creative Officer Bryan Boettger kicked things off by saying he’s no big fan of focus groups, but nonetheless still uses them – normally at the early, “iterative” stages of developing products or campaigns or design interfaces.”

“That said, we definitely do use focus groups,” he said.

Similarly, Coca-Cola Co. Senior Social Marketing Manager J.D. Doughney observed, “It’s really not an either or option for us,” and that Coca-Cola uses both conventional focus groups as well as social media tools.

He said it all comes down to what a brand is trying to achieve. “In a focus group, you can put a product in someone’s hands and see what they like,” he noted.

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