A focus group is a meeting where 5-10 potential consumers get together with a moderator to answer a series of questions about a business’s name, brand, product and etc for market research purposes.
The participants give their feedback, criticisms and opinions for the questions asked and the moderator may record them.
The key to success is finding the right participants. You have to niche down to the ideal target market of your business, for example, women in the age of 25-35.
No one really cares about the success or growth of your business (Other than yourself). They won’t spend their precious time answering questions about your business for free. So businesses which conduct focus groups often give each participant $30 or so per hour.
A focus group is a really efficient method of conducting primary market research for small businesses. You can find participants in your local shopping malls, parks and colleges. In case you didn’t know, you need to conduct market research in order to create a business plan.
You can have your participants answer anything from direct questions about your business’s name, logo, and products/services to making them go through your email campaigns and getting their opinion on what’s missing or needed.
You can either organize and conduct a focus group yourself or hire a firm to do if for you.
A focus group is deemed appropriate in any of the following situations.
Focus groups are so powerful because they let you tap into the mindset of your target market better than any other form of market research.
Because of the open-ended nature of discussions in focus groups, participants will most likely express clear and in-depth opinions.
Some of the benefits of conducting a focus group are:
Focus groups require more time, effort and money than simple one-on-one interviews or online surveys.
Some of the drawbacks of focus groups are:
Earlier, businesses used to conduct large focus groups with hundreds of participants. The more participants, the harder it is to observe them all and the more money you will need to spend to reserve a bigger hall, pay the participants and etc.
But nowadays focus groups typically consist of 5-10 people. Also, the lesser the number of participants, the more deep the conversation goes.
Another thing that’s changed over time is the increase in the diversity of participants.
A focus group may have participants from different countries, ages, religions, genders and wealth. Focus groups let people who are marginalized by society communicate comfortably with people in power.
I hope you now understand why focus groups are so important for market research. If you still have any questions, leave a comment down below.