Focus Groups – The Why And How For Your Small Business


The more insightful cousin to surveys, focus groups dig deeper into the consumer to answer questions that will propel your brand ahead of competitors.


What Is A Focus Group?


Where surveys ask a variety of quick response questions to a large group of people, focus groups provide deeper insights through long form and follow up questions with a smaller group that represents a large customer base. Often with surveys we can guess the results before we get them, but focus groups help reveal trends that we can’t predict. From surveys we might expect quantitatively X% of car buyers shop online, whereas focus group can add how they shop online and what are they specifically looking for online.


Digital Hyve’s Focus Group Process


  1. Start at the very end, what exactly do we hope to get out of this research?
  2. Choose our audience, what group of people will represent the customer base at large?
  3. Determine how to segment the focus groups based on objectives.
  4. Craft a discussion plan that meets research objectives.
  5. Conduct the focus group, moderator to ask follow-up questions until research objectives are met.


Why Should A Small Business Consider A Focus Group?


Utilizing market research, specifically focus groups takes the guess work out of reaching your audience. By getting answers directly from customers, you are able to more efficiently spend your marketing dollars, saving budget in the long run. Focus groups are also a great opportunity to look into the future and adjust your strategy accordingly. What are customers looking for in their products, what trends are foreseen from your conversation with the group? These insights are all great ways you can prepare for future changes.


If you are considering market research in your marketing strategy, it’s likely your competitors are too. Maintaining or even gaining a competitive advantage might mean conducting a focus group of your own.


Proven Benefits Of Focus Groups?


Focus groups are one of the oldest methods of market research, gaining popularity post World War II. There is a reason it is still such a popular research method; companies get to have in-depth one-on-one conversations with their ideal audience. Getting these insights can influence so many different decisions that reach far beyond digital marketing efforts, think branding, packaging, and even future product or service offerings. Conducting formal focus groups also standardizes customer feedback, ensuring regulated results.


Example Of A Focus Group Scenario:


  • Ice breaker to get to know everyone
  • Emphasize there is no right or wrong answer to any of the questions
  • Encourage everyone to share their opinion
  • To get non-biased feedback, sometimes the focus group is unbranded
  • General example questions:
  • How do you use this product in your daily life?
  • Are you looking for new products or do you like what you have?
  • What are your thoughts on competitor X?
  • Does cost or durability mean more to you?
  • Where do you prefer to buy product X?
  • What makes you buy product X over product Y?


At Digital Hyve, we create custom research plans to meet any budget. We deep dive into your audience and determine the right mix of surveys and focus groups to answer even the most complex business challenges. If you are looking to learn more about this topic or want to talk to our research experts about your small business, let’s talk today!

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