How are focus groups conducted? And what can they do for business?

The process of conducting focus groups is a mystery to many. We often hear questions from people such as “Why would you ask me to participate?”, “Who is sponsoring these groups? What do they get out of it?”, “Why would I participate?”, “How do focus groups work?” and more. Hopefully this blog post will help to demystify some of the inner workings behind focus groups, why you can participate, and what happens after the groups have occurred.

1. Selecting Participants

We see the phrase “qualified candidates may apply” on job postings all the time, and just as recruiting the right people is necessary to filling open positions in the work force, qualified respondents are necessary to the success of market research results. Respondents selected for focus groups are filtered according to demographic, psychographic, and geographic requirements. At Observation Baltimore we take this process very seriously.

Selecting respondents to participate in focus groups for market research begins by having a large number of potential individuals from which to choose. Various methods are employed to determine who the most eligible participants are from our large database. In order for the institution or company sponsoring the research to get the best quality insights we look for respondents with very specific set of experiences and knowledge. Each respondent in one of our interviews or focus groups has been screened multiple times via the telephone and re-screened again in person upon arrival to our facility. These steps are taken to ensure that all participants are equipped to offer valuable information based on their experiences and background.

2. Conducting the Group

With a group of hand-selected respondents in place, a focus group can help generate critical consumer data, including:

– How consumers perceive and understand themselves

– What consumers want from a product or service

– Who a marketing campaign appeals to, and the essential needs of customers

3. Using the Results

With the support of a moderator who guides discussion, businesses can leverage market research to:

– Explore the needs and desires of consumers

– Gauge how partially developed concepts will be received by customers

– Understand the personal experiences of consumers with products or services

– Test media strategies through consumer analysis of messages and their evaluation of the approaches’ appeal.

Focus groups made up of well-qualified respondents have the power to yield market research results that change or reinforce the way businesses interact with the consumer. The research group facility, Observation Baltimore, can help you make the most of your market research. To be considered as a respondent in one of our focus groups, please sign up at


What All Serious Marketing Researchers Need to Know About Focus Groups

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 at 7:54 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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