Focus group services allow you to determine the kind of reception your products will receive from prospective customers. The process involves a small group of people who represent a larger target audience. The research technique remains effective in modern trends, especially when you hire a professional moderator to oversee the discussions. The questions are usually predetermined and open-ended to allow free sharing and encourage the participants to disclose their feelings or thoughts about the product or service.

When done correctly, focus groups can provide in-depth information that the business can use to tap into areas consumers feel have gaps. You uncover the precise needs and necessary facts that enable informed decision-making processes. However, you get the best results by combining the focus group technique with other methodologies.  

Why use focus groups

The research methodology provides a deeper understanding of consumers’ attitudes towards products. You learn about areas you have been ignoring or undermining, meaning you can find ways to capitalize on those opportunities you have been missing.

Through focus groups, you determine how your targeted consumer segment is likely to receive your product before you spend more resources on the development. The studies show the brands’ perception from the consumer’s point of view. That means you can find out the reasons for opposition towards your brand, if there are any.

How to run a focus group

Form a schedule

A clear research plan helps you stay on track during the focus group meeting. You can set some ground rules before you begin asking questions to avoid controversies. Develop a systematic approach for asking the questions to ensure you cover broad topics without the participant losing interest.

Create a rapport

A successful focus group study requires the respondents to have a rapport with the group and the moderator. That is the only way to have interactive group discussions without losing interest. The deep engagement level enables free debates that subsequently lead to the revelation of new insights.

Take charge of the discussion

As a moderator, you can probe deeper into a topic if you think the answers should be more detailed. You can drive the discussion in the best direction for optimal results. Steering the group also means looking out for respondents that lose interest and become disengaged during the process. You can uncover issues causing the loss of interest and encourage all participants to remain active throughout.

Collaborate with the respondents

Being in charge does not mean bossing the participants around. A collaborative approach where you work with them allows them to share their ideas without reservations, leading to a better understanding of their view about the products or services in question.

Know when focus groups are ineffective

The focus group methodology has numerous benefits, but the technique is not the best for qualitative research. A small sample is not usually enough to represent a larger population. It can apply if used with other market research methods but not on its own.

You can avoid second-guessing by calling Product Insights to handle focus group research for you. You can also contact us for consultations and further information on how to recruit respondents.