Benefits Of Focus Groups

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Benefit Of Focus Groups

Focus groups are often portrayed as heartless in fiction, but in real life they remain a useful feedback method. They are still used by research and development, as well as whole companies, to create and review ideas, among other things. They are usually a small group that, as the name suggests, focuses on a single product or idea, with the objective of critiquing and improving it. This has lead to many successful products and movies.

1. Diversity.
Focus groups put forth ideas that the creators or origins of an idea or product may not have considered. A blue-collar worker will have a different view of a car from a CEO, for example.

2. Group inspiration.
Individual surveys still have a point but possess a weakness – they only have one person’s ideas. Ideas can and usually are triggered from stimuli, which other people can easily provide. A focus group allows one idea to be continually refined and polished.

3. It is easy.
Given an experienced facilitator, a focus group can come up with hundreds of ideas per session. Equipment costs are at a minimum and preparation is often not even required.

4. The physical reaction can be observed.
While written essays remain invaluable, the physical reaction can also provide valuable data. Early signs of revulsion and disinterest can allow a facilitator to guide the discussion in important directions.

5. It is flexible.
Facilitators and moderators can change their questionnaire at will to suit the focus group better, which will usually result in more fruitful discussions.

Focus groups possess a flaw – the people. The group’s quality is up to the quality of each member. Care must be taken in selecting them. They must be sure that the key demographic is represented, validating the results of the discussion. With care and careful facilitation, a focus group can make or break a product.

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