Qualitative Research

Focus groups are the most common form of qualitative research.  EMC Research’s experienced in-house moderators have conducted hundreds of focus groups on a variety of topics. 

Focus groups are participant driven and often lead to unexpected findings.  They allow for observation of why people think, feel, and react the way they do, and allow clients to see firsthand how their customers react to various products, messages, and ideas.


  • Respondents can react in their own words
  • Ability to observe participants' thinking processes, language, reactions
  • Observe reactions to visual or audio media—videos, ads, slogans, presentations
  • Potential for unexpected findings
  • Qualitative data cannot be generalized to a broader population
  • No hard numbers or hard data; results are not statistically significant
  • Higher cost per respondent

A typical focus group includes 8-12 participants, who are led through a 1.5 to 2-hour discussion by an impartial moderator. Depending on the topic or group design, respondents may be shown different media, products, or presentations and be asked to provide their feedback.