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Focus Groups: Planning for Success

16 December

insights slide resizeI was recently asked to answer this question about focus groups on Quora:

What type of information do market research firms request from their clients to successfully conduct focus groups? What is the optimal format for this information?

My answer may be useful for those of you who are considering conducting focus groups in the new year.

The key questions we ask are:

  1. What are the learning objectives? What do you need to learn?
  2. How will the information gathered be used? What, if any, business decisions will be made based on the learning from the focus groups?
  3. Who do you need to talk to? Your customers? Your prospective customers? What can you tell us about them? What do you already know about them?
  4. Is the focus group the appropriate method to gather data to support #’s 1-3 above? Tailoring the method to the learning objectives, intended use of the data and the target audience is a key step in scoping a market research project.
  5. What is your budget?
  6. What is your timeline? Do you have a specific date by which you need the research completed?

The optimal format is usually a research brief describing the project or an RFP (request for proposal) which provides background on what gave rise to the impetus to conduct qualitative research and what it aims to achieve.

The better you define your objectives and rationale for your method up front, the more successful will be the work.


Contact us to discuss your market research needs in 2016.



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