Focus groups

The best way to know and understand your customers is to ask them the right questions. A focus group is a gathering of deliberately selected people who participate in a planned discussion about a particular topic or area of interest in an environment that is interactive and receptive.

The process:

  • An interview conducted by a trained moderator among a small group of respondents – 6 to 15 max, ideally 8 to 10.
  • The interview is conducted in an informal and natural way where respondents are free to give views from any aspect. Focus groups are similar to, but should not be confused with in-depth interviews.
  • The moderator uses a discussion guide that has been prepared in advance of the focus group to guide the discussion. Generally the discussion goes from overall impressions of a brand or product category and becomes more specific as the discussion progresses.

The purpose of a focus group is not to arrive at a consensus, some level of agreement, or to decide what to do about something. Focus groups are designed to identify the feelings, perceptions, and thinking of consumers about a particular product, service, or solution.
It does that very well, in part, because focus groups utilize qualitative data collection methods. Just as in the dynamics of real life, the participants are able to interact, influence, and be influenced.

Some interesting links:

  • The Balance small business propose very interesting explanations and go deep into the details.
  • Obviously Wikipedia is always a good source of information.
  • Shopify a very interesting ecommerce platform that provides good support to their users to help them to be successful.
  • Business Dictionary proposes interesting and simple definition.