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When I studied marketing all those years ago I was very interested in the value of market research.
When I found direct marketing a few years later I realised that the best research was testing live products where people vote with their credit cards. Market research then seemed a total waste of time and money.
Of course, there are times when it is difficult, or very expensive, to do a live test but, in the main, I have avoided market research.
A copywriting friend of mine recently took me to task on this and he cited several examples of how simple focus groups have enabled him to come up with new, and highly successful, copy angles.
He let me sit in on one that he was doing and I saw, first-hand, how he managed to extract two or three winning phrases out of the mouths of the group.
I’ll be looking to try the idea soon, if only the clients would allow me the time to do this!
Could you try a focus group?