Ingo Barmsen, infill

Ingo Barmsen

Partner and Principal Consultant

Staying in touch – multi-channel, multiple-contact focus groups

Social distancing to flatten the corona curve will have serious implications on the possibilities of interacting with experts and business partners. Conducting focus groups in a multi-channel approach on the other hand, opens up possibilities to be in touch with experts without actual personal contact.

We have used this innovative method before and found that it adds depth to prepare- and shape-the-market activities. It yields many opportunities to establish contact with medical experts that could become your advocates of the future.

Why focus groups?

In the early phases of product development, qualitative research of your therapy area and its target groups is vital. Involving the top 30 experts in the field in any given country or region will not only give you new perspectives on your indication, it will also provide you with a first link to medical experts in an area you may not have worked in before. Depending on the speciality, you may choose a mixed group of experts who will provide multi-disciplinary insights and a wholistic approach to a treatment area.

Diagram explaining multi-channel focus group method

In a first interview stage, you will be able to collect insights, receiving answers to questions that a researcher poses to each participant in individual phone conversations. The compiled results will then be evaluated by an advisory board consisting of some of the participants. They will also determine in which direction to take the following plenary discussion. Comparing different treatment options and perspectives in the following online webinar will take their and your understanding to a new level.

With one-to-one interviews and interactive live webinars with online voting and feedback options, this format provides multiple opportunities for the client to interact and establish contact with the experts. The beauty is that you get four contact opportunities without having to invest more. The virtual nature of the meetings also cuts down on time spent on logistics, like travel. Also, the format is designed to brief and debrief participants in one day. These aspects both make it easier for doctors to go about their day’s work while contributing to your research.

If you are interested to discuss how this multi-level approach could benefit your indication or how to apply it to MSL activities, please contact me at