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I just got back from 12 days in China and Nigeria, doing in-home focus groups with teens. A lot of people have been throwing questions at me, so I thought I’d lay it all out here…

What’s the project all about? A beverage company wanted to understand teens’ lives: their priorities, struggles, and day-to-day activities. The research agency they used needed another body on the ground– so they called me!

So what did you do? We did 10 in-home focus groups. Each one started with the “host,” a teen (12-19) who had been recruited and screened by our local partner. We set up in their bedroom with a video camera and started asking questions! After about an hour, 2-3 of the host’s friends joined us for a group discussion. For the last 15 minutes, the teens let us watch them doing something they would typically do together; we visited a video game center with one group, and watched another one have a dance-off!

How did you find people to interview? The same way I would in the US: through research recruiters. We work with local research agencies who have their own respondent pools. Teens are actually recruited through their parents.

Was it safe? Absolutely. Instead of my usual chicken bus and street food travel style, I was treated to a stay at the Ritz Carlton and an air-conditioned car with a driver. Don’t worry, mom!

Did you get to sightsee?  Yes! In addition to seeing the inside of 10 people’s homes (which beats a museum any day IMHO), we had a free day in each market. I did a breakfast tour in Shanghai, and a little light shopping in a Lagos market!

Want to know more? Contact me!


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