Employing focus groups

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Focus groups provide data about problems through the mechanism of group dynamics. By talking among themselves and with a moderator, a relatively small group of interested people can produce more valuable thoughts and ideas than if each participant were interviewed separately. Nothing is quite the same as what can happen when a group interested in a topic or a product sit around a table for one to two hours discussing how they feel about it. In terms of bringing out suggestions, an experienced moderator can produce a degree of interaction and cooperation that produce unanticipated ideas.

Focus groups are unique: they can explore customary ways of doing things or customary beliefs and possible reactions to something new. They can try to determine why such conditions and reactions exist and what can be done to change them. Focus groups can highlight attitudes, prejudices, changing ways of using products and changing ways of viewing pricing and distribution.

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