​Other Research Methods

SMS offers a comprehensive array of qualitative methods for local, mainland, and international clients doing business in Hawaii. SMS understands the important role qualitative research plays in developing business and marketing strategies. We are careful to recommend qualitative research where it is needed and appropriate.

The foundation of our approach to qualitative research is industry expertise, in-depth interviewing skills, and extensive business and marketing experience. Regardless of the techniques required, clients can feel confident that SMS will provide added value by probing below the surface of the issues in order to elicit meaningful insights. Services include focus groups, mock juries, idea generation, in-depth interviews, mystery shoppers, and secondary research.

Focus Groups

SMS was the first to introduce valuable improved focus group methodologies to the islands in 1982 - with one-way mirrors, video taping, and a client viewing room. Today the SMS focus group facility is technologically superior, and the spacious viewing room accommodates large client groups and research observers.

Our moderators are experienced and selected based upon their knowledge of the industry and the nature of the participants. Over the years, SMS has a high performance record of recruiting and successfully moderating focus groups regardless of the respondent profile.

Mock Juries

In recruiting qualified participants for mock juries, SMS is conscientious about ensuring the group is representative of the population. SMS's strength in this area has been particularly noted by clients (both local and national) who contract SMS to recruit such juries.

Typically we recruit participants and open our facilities to law firms to allow their own attorneys to moderate these discussions.

In-depth Interviews

The breadth and experience of SMS's leadership means we are uniquely placed to assist you in exploring new ideas or plans and in determining the reactions, preferences, and motivations of Hawaii executives, politicians, and professionals. Interviews can be conducted in person at a place and in a form convenient to each key informant, or if preferred by phone, or via the Internet.

Mystery Shoppers

In today's highly competitive marketplace and with consumer expectations rising, many companies are focusing more resources on building high levels of customer service. Mystery shopping, either in person or by telephone, can show whether the staff is delivering a consistently high standard of service that is in line with the company's goals.

Idea Generation

SMS considers all of the client's constituents (especially internal customers, their own staff, and their external customers) to be critical groups for generating ideas for product development and service improvement. We employ skilled facilitators to guide meaningful discussions designed to identify opportunities, test hypotheses, and/or develop new ideas.

Client Testimonials

SMS did a great job in leading Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s evaluation development process…including identifying input, output and outcome measures to track progress toward HTA’s strategic goals. SMS also provided steps to guide us in integrating the evaluation process into our overall operations and planning. Our staff was actively engaged in the process and tracking the measures will ensure a focus on driving towards outcomes.

— Leslie Dance, former VP Marketing
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority

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Pauahi Tower
1003 Bishop Street, Suite 650
Honolulu, HI 96813
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