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Tuesday, February 16, 2016
6 Tips on Working With Professional Focus Group Providers
By Laura Powers
When it comes to launching new marketing initiatives, many businesses don't guess at what their target customers want, need or desire - they ask them directly, through the use of focus groups.
A focus group is a specific group of people brought together to elicit feedback on a particular product, service, message or tactic. Just about anything can be evaluated by a focus-group: advertising campaigns, product innovations, positioning statements, brand designs or even simply logo colors.
Working with focus groups is a good way to gather data on how the marketplace is likely to react to a new offering or a change in approach. As effective as they can be, however, there are a few critical steps to keep in mind:
Research local focus group providers to ensure that their facilities and participant solicitation process meet high standards.
Schedule a meeting or call with the focus group facilitator(s) to ensure that they understand the objectives and strategies behind the campaign, product, positioning, etc.
Review the participant solicitation criteria to ensure that the assembled group will reflect the desired audience.
Ensure that the meeting date(s) and time(s) are convenient for allcompany team members that should be in attendance.
Review and edit the focus group facilitator's meeting script to ensure that questions and clarifying questions will garner in-depth responses that meet your team's objectives.
Clarify the details and specifics for the post-meeting report and negotiate the date for report receipt.
Deciding to engage a focus group is an important decision. If your company invests the budgetary resources required to contract with a professional focus group facility and meeting facilitator, ensure that that money is well spent by keeping close watch on the process using the above tips.
Has your organization used a focus group in the past? Share your own tips and lessons learned in the comments below.