A focus group is a market research technique that involves gathering 6–10 individuals in a space to offer input on a certain commodity, concept, or marketing campaign. A 30- to 90-minute group conversation is facilitated by a qualified moderator and is intended to collect useful information. In order to encourage thoughtful responses from all of the participants, the moderator comes prepared with a predetermined list of 10–12 questions that will be discussed with the group throughout their time together.
The moderator wants to hear from everyone and promote the exchange of many diverse viewpoints and thoughts.
- A focus group is utilized in qualitative research. A gathering of 6–10 individuals—usually 8—takes place to investigate and discuss a subject, such a novel product. The group discusses the subject at hand and exchanges comments, viewpoints, information, and insights.
- Participants are free to persuade other participants of their beliefs and discuss their opinions publicly.
- The group's conversation and members' opinions are noted by the mediator.Being selective when choosing group members is essential since the correct participants have an impact on your research's findings.
The easiest way to describe a focus group is as a small, carefully chosen group of people who participate in open conversations for research. In order to accurately represent the larger community they are trying to reach, the hosting organization carefully chooses study participants. For the purpose of generalizing the response of the entire populace, the group may examine new products, feature updates, or other interesting topics. A moderator is present during focus group study. Their responsibility is to ensure impartial talks and assure valid results.
The term "Focus Group" was first used in 1991 by marketing and psychological specialist Ernest Dichter. The phrase referred to gatherings that had a small number of attendees and a discussion-oriented goal.
Best practices for focus group research
To form a focus group for market research, follow these five steps.
- Prior to inviting potential participants to join, the aim of the group must be very apparent. Does the researcher plan to explore, for instance, the impact of recent marketing efforts or new products? To make the goal clear to the members, use writing.
- Make a plan before you start creating your focus group survey questions. The goals of the questions should compliment one another and the study purpose. The most significant topics should be discussed first, followed by the least important ones. The effectiveness of your research is increased by using open-ended questions.
- Plan the discussion's start, location, and duration: Members should be informed in advance to allow for planning.
- A focus group can be organized both in-person and online: In offline groups, the discussion is held in person at a physical location.
- For attendees' convenience, an in-person event needs a location with restrooms and refreshments. Online focus groups, on the other hand, convene remotely via a discussion forum. Online talks require multiple rounds of invitations and reminders before the event. Participants will remember your online event more as a result.
- Create instructional pamphlets or forum postings that include a welcome message, the agenda, and general discussion guidelines.