Successful marketing strategies begin with collecting robust, relevant data. Once you’ve gathered the information you need, you then can begin developing a customized campaign that benefits your business. Maybe you have questions about a new initiative or a specific product launch; maybe you’re looking for ways to engage a different demographic.
Whatever your marketing needs happen to be, focus groups can give you the critical feedback you need to create an effective plan of action. The following list highlights the distinct advantages of deploying a series of diversity-driven focus groups.
- Gaining diverse perspectives: When you invite a cross section of prospective customers together to share their first impressions and enduring opinions on your new services, products or ideas, the resulting data is invaluable. Drawing from their multitude of backgrounds and life experiences, your focus group participants can offer you immense diversity of thought: perspectives you hadn’t considered–or even realized existed. At minimum, these perspectives can fill in the blanks for you; at best, they can hip you to your blind spots and offer you an opportunity to restructure and resolve.
- Using the model to your advantage: The beauty of booking a few focus groups versus sending out client surveys is the ability to deep dive. Because the nature of focus groups facilitate an open forum discussion, you have greater flexibility to probe and introduce follow-up questions depending on the flow of conversation. This flexibility can lead to greater insight and a more nuanced understanding of a diverse collection of opinions and perspectives.
- Flexing your observer muscles: Because you’re conducting your focus group in real time, you have the opportunity to study your participants as a component of your overall data collection. You can take note on who’s outspoken, who’s reserved, who interrupts, who seems more detached, and keep these observations in mind when you’re reviewing your data findings. Having a front row view of individual reactions from prospective clientele positions you to become a more sensitive interpreter of client needs.
- Plan your objective: The most successful focus groups begin behind the scenes with a clear goal and a well-structured setup. Before you organize and schedule your focus groups, decide with your team and any potential stakeholders what specific data you’re seeking and which questions are going to get you the answers you need.
- Keep it tight, but double up: Smaller groups that reflect a random sample work really well, especially if you’ve never organized a focus group. Scheduling two or three groups of eight to twelve participants will give you the perspectives you need with a manageable format that’s easy to navigate.
- Weigh your options: You can choose to moderate yourself, but hiring an outside agency to moderate for you might offer an added layer of impartiality. Though outside consultants may end up costing you a bit more financially, the overall payoff of a hermetically equitable focus group experience is invaluable.