There has been a lot of chatter recently, calling into question the relevancy and future of the in person focus group in marketing research. Acknowledging all of the focus group advantages and disadvantages, we still see the in person focus group filling a vital and necessary role in gathering information about consumers. No other forum provides as great an opportunity to hear consumers speak with and interact with each other; often providing the chance to explore behavior and attitudes within a category, and the ability to build on respondents’ ideas and explore pertinent concepts.
One of the disadvantages of focus groups is that groups sometimes fall into “group think”, and can be challenging to control by an untrained moderator. However, any unproductive group dynamics are minimized by a professional moderator who can be found on the MRIA or the QRCA websites. In addition to being able to control group dynamics, a professional moderator can draw upon the various examples of qualitative research and help you select the best one depending on the research topic and objectives.
Qualitative research advantages on a whole are numerous. A professional marketing research company that specializes in qualitative research can organize studies quickly, providing reports with in-depth answers, addressing the “why” in consumer behavior. Information gathered from focus groups, although directional, is also relevant and revealing. For a good representation of a target group, quantitative research should also be considered. A professional marketing research company will also be able to organize this type of study and present both the qualitative and quantitative data in a comprehensive report.
To find out more about how we can help with focus groups for your marketing research needs, contact SmartPoint Research today!