Well, it's been a busy start to the year for the Jupiter and Sparks teams, with many projects and campaigns being worked on concurrently and delivered to tight deadlines. Something I'm pleased to say that my colleagues and I are skilled and adept at doing.
What some of these projects have entailed are focus groups of our client's people. Up and down the country. Early starts and late evenings. Some people out of the office and away from home for days on end.
Now, to some that may not sound like an ideal or attractive way to spend your working time, but I love it. Focus groups are one of my favourite parts of my job.
Before I got into advertising and project management, my background was in retail, hospitality and customer service. So, for better or worse, I have a great deal of experience dealing with the public and (hopefully) getting the best out of them. It also helps that I have taken a course on market research interviewing and focus grouping and even have a shiny certificate to prove it!
But, I think the real reason I love focus groups is really getting to know the client and their people.
A lot of the time if you're dealing with a certain client it's a specific person or team and you have to rely on their point if view or interpretation of the brand, culture and values.
Focus grouping helps you dig deeper, to really get to the truth, the nitty gritty, the stories and experiences that truly define the client and the brand. You can sometimes forget that there are people all over the country (and sometimes across the world) that are at the frontline and are the real heart and soul of the brand. And over the years we’ve certainly heard some shocking, amusing and heart-warming things that we could never have gotten to hear without the use of focus groups and interviews.
These stories and experiences then help us to build a robust Employer Brand that is rooted in something real, a truth that underpins the Employer Brand and reflects the people's views and thoughts. Something that’s authentic and resonates with the target audience. And that’s important.
As I write this I am currently sat, bleary eyed, on an early train on my way across the country to meet my colleague for focus groups for one of our newest clients. And, despite the fact I’m desperate for a coffee, I'm looking forward to it. Bring it on!