Ten tips on doing successful focus groups

Ten tips on doing successful focus groups

Having done focus groups professionally for three decades, SRA Research Group has learned and embraced several processes that help result in successful outcomes.

#1  First, when you get that call from a client saying “we need to do focus groups,” insist on conducting a discovery session outlining the goals the client must achieve. You may find out that they want to obtain statistical data on a new product or service which is best suited for quantitative research.

#2  Once you have the goals and find that focus groups are the best methodology, work with the client to determine the best type of respondents to include in the project. Caution – do not make recruiting specs akin to looking for a needle in a hay stack, like finding only pregnant women who will give birth to a girl with blue eyes.

#3  Align yourself with solid recruiting partners who can commit to filling the groups with respondents you need within the required time period. This also means that a solid and respected recruiter will guarantee that you do have eight out of ten respondents attend and will replace respondents who may cancel the day before.

#4  Negotiate, up front, what the recruiter will charge you for respondents who do not show up. Stipulate what you feel is fair for you, the recruiter,  and your client.

#5  If your client decides they want to moderate the focus groups or help with other aspects of focus groups, caution them on the need to be 100% impartial and know this is not likely to happen. Personally evaluate if you want to take on the project. SRA Research Group does not take on qualitative projects where we are not able to also moderate the groups.

#6  Prior to starting the project, hold a discovery session with the client to discuss all goals that must be achieved. This will act as a confirmation that the project, as you have outlined it, it 100% in sync with client needs and objectives. Neither you nor your client wants to experience any surprises. As the next step, design a detailed discussion guide based on what you have learned in the discovery session to be used in the focus groups.

#7  Work out all logistics with clients prior to the groups, such as not wearing logoed items if the groups were recruited blind (sponsor of the research is not to be identified), obtaining a full list of clients to attend so the focus group facility can direct them to the right room, selecting client refreshments, video/audio recording needed, etc.

#8  Have recruiters provide full profiles of respondents well before the groups so you can check to make sure they are properly recruited and also share the profiles with the client.

#9  Set processes with clients before the groups as to when and how to receive additional questions – very best option is to take additional client questions at the conclusion of the groups as opposed to interruptions during the groups and assign one client in the “backroom” who will be the person responsible for accumulating and providing additional questions to ask.

#10  Have a blast doing the groups! They are a wonderful way to gain insights and reasons regarding consumer behavior and attitude.

For more tips, contact SRA Research Group at 561-744-5662

Visit our website www.sra-researchgroup.com

SRA Research Group is a solution-based consultancy with the vision for our clients based upon the fundamentals we continue to deliver – Strategy, Results and Achievement – since our founding 30 years ago. Our firm provides exemplary research services and support to organizations geared toward understanding and measuring how to best keep their customers and clients satisfied. We are a trusted partner that helps frame issues, develop solutions, and refine opportunities.

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