Using an approach we call Decision Dynamics, Yarnell offers a range of qualitative marketing research methods, including focus groups and depth interviews. We provide clients with a deeper understanding of respondents’ decisionmaking processes and the contexts in which they occur.

Focus Groups

We have extensive experience with a range of focus group approaches, including online, teleweb and in-person. Groups are often a very efficient means to obtain a lot of information in a short period of time.

In Person

Yarnell has conducted in-person focus groups among information technology decisionmakers for more than 30 years. We have conducted research among a variety of IT professionals and technologists, including CIOs and developers, at small companies to global enterprises.  We have also conducted studies among business managers who influence IT decision making, including CFOs and CEOs; as well as influential end-users and consumers.

Global Experience

We have personally conducted groups across the United States as well as in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. We have also worked extensively with experienced, native-speaking moderators in Europe, Asia and South America. To ensure quality control, we often attend international focus group sessions or participate via Focus Vision.


We have conducted conference-call based qualitative sessions for many years, particularly when respondents are geographically scattered. A professional conference call company supplies our telecom infrastructure, digitally recording the discussion. Clients can listen in real-time and communicate with the moderator as needed to ensure timely feedback and questioning. We have conducted teleweb groups with respondents from the US, Germany, UK and Australia.

Respondent stimuli are posted as needed on a secure web site.

Online Focus Group

Online focus groups follow the same format as in-person groups. During a short, fixed amount of time (e.g., 2 hours), all respondents participate simultaneously. Using webcam technology, respondents and the moderator can view each other during the group discussion.  Clients can also view.

Bulletin Board Focus Groups

Bulletin Board Focus Groups are generally conducted online over several days, with a discussion guide posted on our secure web site. Respondents are recruited and participate by answering sequential questions and posting their answers. They generally can read other participants’ answers before proceeding.

The Yarnell Inc. moderator continuously reviews and responds to the respondents’ postings, asking for clarification as needed.

Clients can join and review the postings at their convenience during the session. When the group ends, a transcript is immediately available.


We have conducted focus groups at tradeshows and conferences for many years, both in the US and Europe. They often provide an overlooked opportunity to collect rich data from a significant, self-selected audience that can be otherwise difficult to recruit for standard focus groups (e.g., software developers, bio-informaticians). Tradeshow research also can provide an opportunity to recruit from a wider geographic area than focus groups – although recruiting can be a challenge because respondents attend conferences to listen and learn, and our clients are asking them to think and talk. To ensure our clients get the right respondents, we screen appropriately.​

Depth Interviews

We have extensive experience with depth interviews, which are especially useful for understanding the dynamics of decisions and processes.

In Person

In-person depth interviews, like their focus group counterparts, are generally conducted at a professional research facility. However, we’ve also arranged them at meeting sites and customer locations.

One significant advantage of in-person depth interviews and groups: We can present a range of stimuli, including 3-D representations.


Phone depth interviews are an option when the target market is widely dispersed. Generally more economical than in-person interviews, they permit client representatives to participate via listen-only lines. Various platforms are available to provide the infrastructure, and all interviews are digitally recorded.


These can be conducted in a variety of ways.  In the traditional approach, discussion guide questions are posted, and the interviewee replies to them sequentially, with appropriate probing by a Yarnell Inc. moderator who can conduct multiple interviews simultaneously.

Now, using a variety of platforms, respondents can use a webcam and the depth interview can be conducted so that the moderator and interviewee can see each other in real-time, and the client can see both, but not vice versa.  Stimuli can also be presented, evaluated and discussed.