The resurgence of face to face focus groups in Australia has been hidden away from the eyes of many people who presumed that advances in communication and technology would have replaced the need to host focus groups in person. In fact, face to face focus groups have been booming in our corner of the world because of technology.
This came clearly to mind for me when I was at The City Group Rooms in Sydney recently doing what I always do which is to hang anxiously around the waiting rooms for my respondents to arrive. Unable to alter the habits of a working life-time, I was also watching what was happening around me. All seven rooms at the city venue were fully booked with many double shifts, so there were people everywhere. Seriously, this place never seems to stop.
I have been observing how people make decisions. One observation that fascinated me was how intertwined emotion and cognition are. I am really interested in how different stages of the decision elicit different emotions.
There is a common assumption that before people buy or use products or services they stop and evaluate various features of the product or service as if they lived in some kind of context-free alternative universe. This popular model in consumer research is, in our view, quite wrong and doesn't quite encompass what truly motivates consumers to make a purchasing decision.
Why are we applauding our financial services clients?
The financial services that many organisations provide to their customers are complex. These services can be difficult to understand and even harder to explain. Some organisations have recognised this complexity, and have done all they can to ensure that their customers knew what they were buying. The regulations required them to offer a PDS or Prospectus, but they went over and above what was specifically asked for. They tested their documentation with customers. (This is called 'consumer testing'). Those of our clients who did this - we applaud you!