Empathy is Essential for Focus Groups

by Barbara Milgram | Posted in Focus Groups |




An article in fastcodesign.com started with a headline bashing focus groups, but contained an interesting perspective.  The author suggests that great marketing and branding comes from “synching up your brand with the zeitgeist, or people’s unrealized wants and needs, by tapping into good old-fashioned empathy.”  I like this viewpoint.  I also think, however, that good moderators have empathy oozing out of their skin.  In fact, this is why they are good moderators.  They truly understand the people they talk to – no matter who they are.  Good moderators do more than follow a guide, asking questions that do nothing more than evoke flat-footed answers.  Good moderators develop a strong bond with the people they talk to and harness their empathy to truly understand what people mean.  Good moderators are incredibly empathetic and can identify with all people in all walks of life.  It’s what makes qualitative research rewarding and useful.

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