10 Replies Latest reply: Apr 24, 2013 9:41 PM by GemPrincess Branched from an earlier discussion. Branched to a new discussion. RSS

Focus group participation

lizbeth Platinum
Currently Being Moderated

My own addition to the sad tale of my dear Courtyards letting us down.  A few weeks ago, I received a phone call inviting me to participate in a focus group being held by a marketing company and sponsored by the Marriott Courtyard brand.  Aha, I thought.  What a great opportunity to share my own thoughts and those of my fellow Insiders.  Prior to being signed up for the group, I was asked some questions.  The first few went smoothly enough, and then I was asked my age.  Proud, rather than embarrassed, I shared it with the questioner who excused himself to check on something.  When he returned, he said that I hadn't made the age cut.  There were no more spots for someone over 65.  I guess I can understand the need to spread demographics in focus groups--we invite people to participate in them for my organization and to try to get a good representation of different geographies, types of positions, etc.--but never age!  I am still working, travel fairly often, have frequently chosen Courtyards, and thought I could really add to the discussion.  Not to be, though, so I am sorry I couldn't share our common complaints.  How about them apples?

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Focus group participation
    superchief1 Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    lizbeth,

    Unfortunately, many corporations exclude those 65 yr or older from their marketing research. Smart companies realize this is becoming a very important demographic group because people are working longer, and younger travelers are often influenced by opinions of experienced travelers. I have come to the conclusion that the Courtyard marketing team are younger and naive to the true needs and desires of business travelers. I don't know many business travelers who care more about the lobby than rooms, or want to wait in long lines to pay for coffee and overpriced, pre-prepared breakfast.

     

    The only positive aspect of the new Courtyard is the ability to get food during the day and evening. It is obvious that the new Courtyard is trying to be like Aloft, which has no appeal to me or my young and old colleagues.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Focus group participation
      GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Most of my retired friends are traveling more than me, as they have both more time, more money, and get lower rates.

       

      Would be a definate mistake to exclude them.

       

      Also, in most analytical studies, you need to stratify by age, and provide analsis by population breakouts, like age, gender, ethnic, etc

       

      No drug approvals can be done without a break out to see how it effects ALL subpopulations!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Focus group participation
      eb5147 Alumni Steward Platinum 7 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Yes.  It seems they're trying to compete with restaurants, bars, and coffee shop hot spots instead of selling rooms.  At least, it doesn't seem to help sell rooms on this site and it certainly doesn't with me.  Only the rates and perks will do that for me.  The breakfast rates and qualities do not do it.  

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Focus group participation
      eb5147 Alumni Steward Platinum 7 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      It really seems to me that that would be age discrimination.  I'm not sure you would even have to answer that question.  Would you?

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Focus group participation
        superchief1 Platinum
        Currently Being Moderated

        eb5147

        Typcially, when companies do focus groups they have a specific customer target group in mind. Therefore they ask questions to identify the specific types of customers they want to get feedback from. If you refuse to answer the screening questions you will not be able to qualify to participate.

         

        It is clear to me that Courtyard marketers are primarily interested in appealing to younger consumers. Do you ever see the typical experienced business traveler in their commercials? Many companies make a major mistake of trying to appeal to potential new customers, while totally alienating their long-term loyal ones, as Courtyard has done.

         

        I love the video. It reinforces that life doesn't end after 50.   

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Focus group participation
          eb5147 Alumni Steward Platinum 7 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          Thanks for that info.  You're right about the marketing target. 

           

          That was the point I was trying to get across with that video.  It seemed so appropriate.  She puts me to shame, though.  She's more like the ggg aunt I had who died when she was almost 108, lacking less than 3 months.  She was helping her younger sisters up an down the steps when she was in her 90's.

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Focus group participation
          GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          marriott can save money on focus groups by reading MI

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: Focus group participation
            iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            Very well put GemPrincess!

             

            superchief1 I can verify life doesn't end at 50.  I've done more in the last few years since turning 50 it seems than the previous 49, or maybe it is just that quality of my adventures have been much higher.

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

            • Re: Focus group participation
              GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              I will say that I took more adventurous trips in my 30s & 40s.

               

              Now I am tired out from work, and do more relaxing things like cruising which I would have never considered when I was younger.

               

              since I have taken up cruising, I see alot more while I travel, spend alot less, and it takes far less research and preparation time

              (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Focus group participation
      eb5147 Alumni Steward Platinum 7 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      I know this isn't on subject except that it is about someone over 65.  In fact, she's in her 94th year.

       

      Mathilda's Solo - YouTube

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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