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Inside MarketingPractices, Ideologies, Devices$
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Detlev Zwick and Julien Cayla

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199576746

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199576746.001.0001

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4. 4. Convoking the Consumer in Person: The Focus Group Effect

4. 4. Convoking the Consumer in Person: The Focus Group Effect

(p.87) 4. Convoking the Consumer in Person: The Focus Group Effect
Inside Marketing

Catherine Grandclément

Gérald Gaglio

Oxford University Press

This chapter is concerned with the work of focus group-based market research in representing the consumer. Dedicated to generating answers from consumers to questions asked by marketers, focus groups represent a process that requires a series of preliminary steps to physically “convoke” the consumer in the focus group room. Benefiting from the authors' extensive immersion in the field of market research in France, the chapter analyzes these steps from the initial “marketing brief” to the recruiting process to the writing of the discussion guide. During the preparation of focus group sessions, the consumer persona becomes so precisely defined that the moderator's challenge during the actual course of the focus group is to make the “flesh and bones” respondents in the room correspond to the pen-and-paper consumer previously defined. In addition, the focus group device with its concealed backroom frames the marketer who finds himself progressively trained to hear the voice of the consumer in the manufactured discourse of focus groups respondents.

Keywords:   consumer, marketers, market research, focus group, marketing brief

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