What is a focus group?Definition
In focus groups, researchers bring OPINION HEROES together to discuss products, brands, services or other important issues. What's special about focus groups is that you get the opportunity to say what you think about these issues in detail, get feedback from other OPINION HEROES at the same time and compare your opinion with others.
Focus groups are held in small groups of 6-10 people and are monitored by an experienced moderator to ensure that the group discusses those aspects that are of particular interest to the client.
How do focus groups work?Procedure
As with other market research projects, a requirement for taking part in focus groups as an OPINION HERO is that you match the target group for the study. It is quite possible, by the way, that not only buyers or users of a product are invited but also those who are explicitly non-users or non-purchasers, in order to find out more about their motives. So the first step of a focus group is a short online questionnarie to select potential participants.
If you are selected, the further procedure of the focus group depends on the type of method used for a particular group.
Online focus groupsIn an online focus group, the participants meet in a protected room on the internet to talk about the issues in question. As an example, this could be a forum for which we will send you log-in data. In this protected online room, people exchange their views about the product or the issue in question for a set period of time.
Local focus groupsA focus group may also be held in person, i.e. all participants meet at a set time and place. This might be a conference room in a centrally-located hotel or a specially selected room in the centre of your home town. It's a great opportunity to meet other OPINION HEROES in person and to exchange views directly.
What kinds of focus groups are there?Examples
Anyone who likes speaking their mind will love focus groups: They are an opportunity for you to discuss important issues passionately and factually and to make an important contribution. In order for you to be able to understand what you can expect, we have put together a few examples:
- You are invited to a taste test for a food manufacturer. You get to taste new food-creations and your feedback will help determine which flavours will go onto the market.
- A video streaming provider wants to find out more about how to make more relevant and individual suggestions for films to its users. In an online focus group you record in which situations and why you have watched particular films over a period of several weeks. Afterwards you discuss with other OPINION HEROES which suggestions the provider should put into practice.
- You are invited to a focus group in the city centre in which you are shown an advertising film and you and other participants are asked to suggest improvements.
- There are many other examples...
By the way: you will frequently not be told the exact subject of the focus group in advance but only what type of group it is – so that makes things even more exciting! The researchers do this in order to prevent that you do too much research in advance and come in with a preformed opinion.
The best part is that you are able to help the researchers and their clients to improve products or services, you get to share your opinion and are even rewarded for it!