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Focus Groups are an excellent means of understanding the underlying issues or behaviour, usually previously identified from other research, management reporting or other feedback. The format of Focus Groups involves a discussion around a series of questions relating to the area of investigation. Groups typically involve 8 to 12 participants with either an hour or 90 minute duration.
While it is important to understand the backgrounds of participants, usually gained through a suitable recruitment questionnaire, the very nature of Focus Groups means that they can never be statistically reliable by themselves. For this reason groups are directed towards open ended responses to determine why respondents behave in a certain way, rather than numerical questions to establish statistical trends.
This research technique particularly lends itself to a multi media and interactive format. Participants can be given samples to hold and try, video and still photography to evaluate and storyboards for new products or ideas. They are particularly useful for evaluating new product or service offering or to test views and opinions of different ideas. This allows organisations to test a hypothesis with potential users and make adaptions prior to launch.
Focus Groups work well for a variety of different uses. They can be used to understand opinions of local residents relating to council services, evaluation of buyer behavior relating to new products or the emphasis for marketing of existing products in the commercial environment. They are a useful method to establish reasons for objection in the planning environment or to develop new ideas to solve existing problems. Anywhere where an organisation needs to understand the drivers behind human behavior.
For further information on how Focus Groups could help your organisation, why not give us a call.