A focus group is a small group discussion guided by a trained moderator. This market research activity is often undertaken by companies to:
- learn more about opinions on a designated topic or product
- explore needs, thoughts and brand perceptions of a key target market
- develop a better understanding of the purchase decision making process
The focus group discussion is carefully planned in a non-threatening environment, where participants are encouraged to openly express their opinions.
A focus group allows genuine insight into what consumers think of a product and how they use it. The results are invaluable in refining products that align with the users’ needs. The outcomes can then be incorporated into design and marketing activities.
If you are planning a focus group for your company or product, follow our 6 key steps to design a program that will guarantee the feedback you need.
Choose a venue for your focus group
Choose a private venue so that your focus group participants feel comfortable enough to share their thoughts and opinions without worrying about external observers. The venue should allow all participants to see and face each other, as they will interact better this way. Sessions should run for a maximum of two hours so that the group can remain focused and stick to the topic.
Market research recruitment
Depending on the type of information you’re looking to obtain, you should recruit a wide demographic of attendees. For example if looking for students, you should select participants from a range of majors, classes, genders and ages.
The ideal number of participants is 15, as a larger group inhibits the feeling of intimacy that encourages comfortable group interaction.
Engaging the services of a market research recruitment company gives you access to a variety of participants, and the advice and expertise of market research recruitment specialists. At Farron Research, we have a nationwide database of market research recruits ready to engage in your focus group. With access to over 200,000 respondents from metropolitan Sydney and regional NSW, as well as the ACT, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, we provide a screening questionnaire before the formal recruitment process commences to ensure a suitable range of participants. And we use a systematic communication process with your focus group candidates to maximise attendance at the sessions.
Select a moderator for your focus group
The moderator for your focus group should be experienced with focus group research and should be clear on what produces helpful insight. They should remain impartial whilst encouraging engagement and participation. The company must remain anonymous so as not to influence the end result, so it is important that the moderator does not mention their name.
Outline the goals of your market research
Set the ground rules for your focus group participants, explaining what information you want to obtain and its purpose. Include topics that are broad enough to encourage a discussion, yet relevant to the information you are looking for. Make sure your questions are unbiased. And be clear with participants that their responses are being recorded and will be presented afterwards.
Provide an overview at the beginning of the focus group session
At the beginning of the session, provide as much background and context for the focus group as possible to provide a clear understanding of activity’s intention and how the results will be used.
Conclude your focus group session
In concluding the focus group session, ask participants to fill out a short survey to collect their feedback and comments about the activity. Don’t forget to thank them for their involvement. After the session, the moderator should collate a summary of the session and provide it to the company.
When conducted correctly, the results yielded from a focus group can be easier to understand than statistical data, and provide quicker results than individual interviews.
With our extensive database of pre-qualified market research recruits at Farron Research, we can ensure a wide and impartial group of participants for your focus group. Email Farron Research today for the best results from your market research.