S4C wishes to invite companies to tender to undertake fifteen focus groups a year, on a three year contract from 1st January 2010. Tender documents are appended below (The ITT document which includes an evaluation matrix, and the draft contract).
The deadline for queries is 5pm on 29th July 2009, and the deadline for receipt of responses is 5pm on 11th September, 2009.
All contact is to be via e mail to - firstname.lastname@example.org
We have a question about the qualitative research ITT. We understand that you do not yet know what audiences you will need to speak to for the research, but we were hoping you could tell us about other studies you have done that we can use for guidance. Specifically:
What was the most easy to reach audience? That is, which was the easiest to find from a recruiting perspective?
Finding viewers/non-rejectors of quiz programmes (on any channels) - Welsh Speakers.
What was the most difficult to reach audience? That is, which was the most difficult to find from a recruiting perspective?
Finding analogue-only TV homes, who are viewers of Welsh language programmes on S4C, and intending to switch to Digital Terrestrial Television post Digital Switchover.
Are you able to provide examples of the issues/topics that have been discussed by focus groups that have been held in the past? Also, can you say where these focus groups have been held?
Recent issues include showing pilot TV programmes, consumer testing of websites, particular sports programmes, looking at particular programme genres & audience needs. Locations all over Wales are visited - Cardiff, Swansea, Lampeter, Pontypridd, Bangor, Abergele, Pwllheli, Ruthin, Aberystwyth, Carmarthen, Ystalyfera to name but a few recent locations.
The ITT mentions 15 focus groups to take place in a year. Are you able to give an indication of how many of these focus groups will need to take place in a 'set'? In other words, do you expect the 15 to be split into 5 sets of 3 focus groups across Wales or similar?
Flexibility is a requirement here, as noted in the tender document. At the moment we are commissioning 11 such groups in sets of 2 & 1 across the next few months. At other times the sets may be 3, 4 or more.
Will you require all focus groups to be fully transcribed?
You are expected to maintain records of the discussion - these may be audio-only or transcribed.
You mention 'viewing groups' of up to 20 people - from time to time. Do you expect us to provide viewing / screening facilities alongside the focus group session?
You would be expected to arrange viewing and screening facilities but if these come at extra cost you may note this.
You mention that occasionally 'viewing groups' take place outside of Wales, which countries or regions do you foresee?
This is unlikely to happen very often, regions might include eg London or Border areas (Wales/England).
Do you anticipate holding variations of the focus groups for both first language Welsh speakers and learners? Also can we break the focus groups down into age, gender, social status, etc... a cluster approach, as is required, or are you looking to have a strata approach in each focus group?
Every project has different needs, but a typical scenario is that eg if would require, say 6 groups, the distribution might be 2 in South Wales, 2 in West & Mid Wales & 2 in North Wales. These would usually be demographically matched, ie one group in each region might be 16-34's, a range of social class, and viewers of a particular programme. The other group in each region may be 35+ years old, a range of social class, and viewers of the same programme. We may need lapsed viewers of a programme, or any other criteria.
We may require Welsh Speakers to be learners for some projects, we may require non Welsh speakers. We may also specify fluency levels.
Can we assume that there will only be one group in each location for each set of focus groups?
Not necessarily, as the requirements will vary by project. If you wish to cost on this basis, please do so and note if there is a cost saving if more than one group is held in each location.
When recruiting groups what would be the definition of a Welsh speaker - would it be in line with BARB?
The definition may be in line with BARB definitions or a simple definition of conversational Welsh, depending on the needs of each project.
When running groups would the language the group is conducted in be driven by the majority or should all participants be free to interchange?
Most groups are held in Welsh with Welsh speakers of varying fluency levels, and a smaller number of groups are conducted among Non-Welsh speakers. These are usually separate groups.
Can you tell us about the key stakeholders and their needs, for example would groups be used for concept testing, sales cases or market evaluation?
There is a wide variety of stakeholders and topics may vary from looking at pilot programmes and new websites to more corporate work.
Will the digital switchover and its impact on S4C be a key theme for focus groups?
Individual topics for the future cannot be discussed here.
Do you envisage using any specialist technologies within the focus groups at this stage, e.g. HD TVs, PVRs, On Demand Services?
There may be such requirements, let us know your ideas.
To what extent would you be interested in using specialist analysis tools in the focus groups, e.g. eye tracking, mouse movement tracking?
Let us know what tools you can offer and this will be included in our assessments of your application.
In determining the feasibility and estimated cost of this activity, it would be very useful to know:
Can you provide an example of the demographics you are likely to require as a model on which to base recruitment costs.
This is impossible to predict at this stage. We suggest you estimate a mix of different demographics for costing purposes.
It would be useful to know if you are currently conducting quantitative research on this topic through other sources, or indeed this would be a valuable supplementary solution to your brief.
Through BARB viewing figures we have quantitative data on all current programmes, so this is always supplementary data if looking at current TV programming. But in other cases, this may be the only source of information.
In providing traditional focus groups and viewing forums, is there a requirement to provide mixed language forums which would necessitate instant translation?
This is not done, groups are conducted usually in either Welsh or English.