Obtaining crude information from prospective customers is one of the most challenging aspects of market research. A focus group is a community brought together to discuss anything that is of importance and related to a particular business. They can help bring out lots of information that otherwise might be a challenge to yield as target customers might hesitate to bring them up, as well as give valuable feedback. Such type of findings are hard to obtain online or through surveys.
Focus Group conversation bring major values to a company, whether we are analyzing consumer needs or getting feedback on a particular product or service. Focus group always enhance the subjective knowledge.
Here are other situations where a focus group can prove to be beneficial:
- Needs analysis
Occasionally, a “needs analysis” is referred to as a “situational analysis,” a “problem evaluation” or an “organizational diagnosis” intends to collect as much knowledge as possible to create a thorough understanding of an organization’s needs and challenges. We can identify where the holes are and can establish strategic plans to fill those holes with the aid of the focus group.
- Input regarding new products and services
Focus groups can also be used to get early feedback on new products and services. In these cases, it’s best to bring focus group a prototype or review of new products to test. This can help to spot problems and opportunities before new products are released publicly. If company is at an earlier stage where the target audience is not very well known, a focus group can give a good starting point for what their needs are, so the business model for the product or service could be made accordingly.
- Competitive analysis
A competitive analysis is the method by which the competitors are identified and their tactics analyzed to identify their strengths and weaknesses compared to your own company, product and service. The purpose of the competitive analysis is to gather the necessary information to identify a line of attack and to improve the go-to-market strategy. A focus group can help to do so. We may ask them to compare offerings, to find marketing materials where your opponent has the advantage.
- Feedback on branding or marketing strategies
An ambitious brand strategy gives you a significant advantage in progressively competitive markets. It tells your consumers about what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your identity comes from who you are, who you want to be and who you consider to be. A focus group may provide input on the marketing materials to which customers are most likely to respond.
- Finding gaps in knowing your target market
Even if you feel that you really know your target market well, there may be decisions or habits that you won’t understand. Your customers might say they want a particular type of product for example, but once you offer it, they don’t actually buy. A focus group will help you understand complex issues and such circumstances better.
Benefits of having focus group
- Verbal Communication
This is where the advantage of focus groups really lies. In way of comparison to online discussions or surveys which rely too much on written input, focus groups will allow you to peruse verbal communication. We are often unaware of the verbal expressions and attitudes that we exhibit, so it is no wonder that survey respondents are unable to include these in their written responses.
Through focus groups, you will be able to notice things such as objects or components that capture the attention of the participants, the category of subjects that appear reluctant to explore, and even topics that excite them the most.
- Open Discussions
Survey formats tend to be rather restrictive. Essay-type questions are usually difficult to assess, so most questions are multiple choice. On the other hand, focus group discussions tend to be opener. This helps you to uncover more insightful knowledge on what your clients need.
We can also ask as general or as specific questions as you wish. For example, if we set up a wedding planning company, we can start with a broad question like, “What is the most challenging part of your wedding planning?” Then, once the participants provide an answer, we may ask them to compare it with other challenges they have faced or to respond to the responses of others in the community.
Often, the discussion format makes it easy to collect follow-up information such as asking participants to explain an answer or elaborate a topic. Due to the open nature of focus group discussions, they eventually reveal information that is unlikely to be found in surveys and other market research approaches.
- Getting Suggestions
Our focus group can provide you concrete suggestions. They’re in the best position to know which improvements to your product or service will boost the user experience. Not only are suggestions yielded from focus groups highly valuable and true it’s nature, but are also more convenient to be retrieved. For moderators sitting among a group of individuals with their common denominator being the usage of the particular product, it becomes way easier to give a desired direction to the conversation and casually have the individuals discuss rigorously on the pros and cons of the product or other factors associated with the product and gradually conclude each pro and con with an idea s to how the good can be upgraded to best and how the bad could be converted to a good for the 360 degree benefit i.e. both from the consumer and seller/manufacturer perspective.
Focus groups provide researchers with a useful tool to generate customer feedback throughout the product or service life cycle. Traditionally, market research have turned to focus groups for a large proportion of their research projects and have led to the method being widely used throughout the research community. It is easy to see how it has become so popular because it offers a versatile method of gathering customer feedback at almost any stage of a project or service and allows the clients team to observe each session closely.