Focus groups can play an important part in your market research. Alongside other research methods, such as one-on-one interviews and surveys, focus groups can be extremely beneficial to any business. Much like other forms of market research, a focus group can offer unique insight and viewpoints, and can play a role in getting a more rounded perspective of your business.
Some of the benefits that come with running a focus group include:
- You get to see how people respond to your questions not just verbally, but also through facial expressions and body language. These reactions can often say a lot more than what you read on a form.
- You receive immediate responses from your participants. Because you’re in their company asking the questions, you can delve deeper and ask more questions for further insight
- You get data and feedback more quickly than if you are holding one-on-one interview sessions.
Of course, you should always be aware of the limitations that also come with running focus groups, such as:
- You have a smaller sample size, so you may not get as good a representation of the general population. The results may vary and differ from, say, a national survey.
- Your participants could be influenced by each other’s perspectives. This also means participants may hide or lie about their feelings to conform to the wider group’s opinion.
- Focus groups often need lose focus, so you need to be ready to steer your participants back to topic. This can often be timewasting.
Here’s a few tips for running a focus group:
- Hold your focus in an environment that is welcoming, open and inclusive. Your participants are more likely to share their feelings openly as a result.
- Hire an independent moderator who can remain objective and won’t lead the participants toward preferred answers.
- Choose an effective way to record the focus group. Video recordings can capture non-verbal responses and offer more insight.
- Evaluate the results against other market data for a rounded point-of-view.