Focus Group Confidentiality: Protecting Client Interests
In our last post, we talked about the importance of protecting focus group respondent identities and feedback during the focus group session. Equally important is the protection of client confidentiality.
In order to elicit the valuable respondent opinions and feedback that inform your clients’ product or service development, it is often necessary to share proprietary information, intellectual property and other sensitive data. In many cases, this information consists of features and details that may not yet have been released to the general public. That’s why it’s essential that you protect your clients’ interests by asking all focus group participants to sign a non-disclosure statement like the sample agreement below:
[INSERT RESPONDENT NAME] hereby agrees to maintain the confidentiality of the information discussed by all participants and researchers during the focus group session.
NOTE: If you cannot agree to the above stipulation please see the researcher(s) as you may be ineligible to participate in this study.
The only problem with requiring respondents to sign non-disclosure agreements like the one above is that it may discourage open participation for some individuals. Another way to protect client confidentiality and protect intellectual property is to provide a confidentiality incentive. Offer your focus group respondents a benefit of some sort in exchange for keeping the results of your marketing research project quiet.
Of course, whether you offer the carrot or the stick (incentives or threat of legal action) in exchange for participant confidentiality, ideas have a way of getting out. After all, if your focus group can come up with a unique solution or idea, what’s to keep a competitor’s focus group from reaching the same conclusion? In order to avoid this phenomenon, it’s a good idea to focus your marketing research project on determining the pains and needs of your respondents rather than developing the solutions to those pains and needs.
For more helpful advice on how to maintain focus group confidentiality, stay tuned to the FPG blog or click on the button below to schedule a consultation with one of the experts at Focus Pointe Global.
Check back later in the week to learn about how to maintain focus group confidentiality in the age of social media. If you’d like this and all future Focus Pointe Global blog posts sent directly to you, simply enter your email address in the field to the right to subscribe.