Surveys are frequently used to assess thoughts, behaviors, opinions, needs, of stakeholders either inside and outside the client’s organization. Contemporary survey methodologies take the form of questionnaires that lend themselves to computer-based statistical analysis.
Focus group is a type of brainstorming activity that fosters diversity and creativity while revolving (focusing) on a predefined theme. It is traditionally used as a market research tool to understand how customers will react to a new offering, but it can also be used in any circumstance where diversity and creativity are high priorities.
Interviews are often used instead of a survey because they allow the interviewer to increase response rate and reliability. They can be the only reasonable format in some circumstance (e.g. meeting with a CEO). Most importantly, interviews can include direct observation of certain behaviors and attitudes that can lead to completely new insights.
Consultants extract information from literature, reports, and internet resources at every stage of an assignment, to get up to speed before the initial client meeting, and before/during most types of activities. Because whichever problem is addressed, it probably has already been addressed before. It is important to strike a balance between big picture (not enough) and very detailed information (too much).
Segmenting a market is important for an organization’s ability to focus and develop uniquely appealing offerings tailored to the most profitable customers, effectively outperforming competition in a particular target market. The competitive advantage does not necessarily have to take the form of enhanced product/service features: it can instead involve savvy marketing campaigns or dynamic pricing strategies.