Thursday, March 22, 2012

Focus Group Research for Marketing Decisions

A focus group is a gathering of six to ten people who are invited to interact with a skilled market researcher to discuss a product, service, organization or a marketing entity. The researcher has to be knowledgeable in the topics to be researched, and also in consumer behavior and facilitating group discussion.

The discussion is started with a broad question on the topic, and free and easy discussion is encouraged so that the group discussion results in revealing deep feelings and thoughts. But the researcher keeps the focus on the topic of the discussion. The discussion is recorded though note taking or through taking a video or audio as possible for subsequent detailed analysis to understand the beliefs, attitudes and behavior of the participants.

Focus group research is an exploratory tool. The findings of the focus group can be taken as hypotheses and these hypotheses can be tested through large scale sampling. The findings of the focus group should not be generalized and used in decision making directly since the sample size is too small and the sample also will not be drawn randomly. Hence the findings of focus group are to be used to explore the issue and generate hypotheses.

While focus groups are frequently used in marketing, there are applied in other fields of research also.

Use of focus groups in education research

Focus group research report on heart disease awareness among Latino population

Focus group with participation of teens on Brand awareness
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