Focus Group Moderators
In market research, a focus group is led by at least once moderator, whose role is to facilitate discussion, keep time, deliver the script, and establish a trusting relationship with focus group participants.
Commonly in Asia the most experienced market research moderators work freelance, and are hired by agencies on a project by project basis. The key skills of a moderator are to know when to prompt and probe, manage the energy level of each participant "drawing out" the quieter ones, quickly establish a rapport with the group, and to completely eliminate leading questions or (in most cases where the client needs to be unknown to respondents) hints of the clients identity that may sway perceptions. Usually they should be as close as possible to the make up of the group in terms of ethnicity, age, and status. Product knowledge is unnecessary and in many cases a disadvantage.
Focus Group Moderators are experts in group process, not the content. Some specialist focus group moderator skills like visualisation and imaging techniques, as well as low level hypnosis skills are often useful for branding-focussed topics.
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