11.08.2022

Focus study as part of market research

Key information:

  • A focus survey is one of the tools used during market analysis to deepen previously conducted quantitative interviews and identify research problems.
  • The most important advantage of the focus study is that it can take advantage of effects related to the characteristics of the social group, such as the safety effect, the snowball effect, the spontaneity effect, the stimulation effect and the synergy effect.
  • The focus survey method is important to tailor products and services to meet customer needs and increase competitiveness in the market.
  • Selecting the right group of respondents is crucial to conducting an effective focus group study, and the group dynamics and interactions between participants are conducive to observing their reactions to the products or services being analyzed.
  • Preparation and planning are key to conducting an effective focus study. This requires defining the purpose, scope, selecting a group of respondents, preparing the subjects of the study, and creating a scenario.
  • Modern market research methods, such as projective research methods or playtests, make it possible to explore newer and newer research areas and clarify any interesting questions about customer preferences and the market situation.

Focus study - what does it consist of?

Companies are increasingly thinking about expansion and reaching a wider target audience, but fail to realize their potential. In such situations, market research, offered by consulting firms, comes to the rescue. One of the more commonly used, developed in the 1940s, is the A focus group survey, also known as a focus group interview (English. focus group interview). It is a moderated conversation among several people about products or services of interest. This qualitative method is one of the essential tools used during market analysis.

The focus study is mainly aimed at identifying research problems and deepening the quantitative interviews conducted earlier. We are also keen to know consumers' opinions about the product (its appearance, aesthetics of workmanship, taste, etc.), as they can be very helpful in the recommendation phase.

The most important advantage of the focus group interview is the ability to take advantage of effects related to the characteristics of the social group. These include:

  • security effect (A sense of security allows more real opinions and motives to be revealed),
  • snowball effect (deepening the topic by responding to more participants, generating discussion by responding to the comments of some participants),
  • spontaneity effect (natural and spontaneous discussion),
  • stimulation effect (triggering greater motivation and enthusiasm for the activities performed),
  • synergy (The group generates more ideas).

When to opt for a focus study?

A key attribute of this method is group dynamics, understood as cooperation between the moderator - the interviewer - and the interview participants. The interaction between the interviewees promotes the observation of the interview participants' interactions with each other. When conducting an in-depth market study, it is important to keep in mind that the representativeness of the group is an issue, while the in the "focus" the most important role is the appropriate selection of respondents in terms of their knowledge (the group should consist of 7 to 12 people). This number of test subjects is due to the fact that the purpose of the study is to observe the reactions of consumers to the analyzed products or services. This will allow us to adjust them to the needs of customers who are in the previously selected target group. But let's answer the question - When to decide on a focus study? The answer is simple, whenever we want our product to meet customer expectations and be more competitive in the market.

This does not only apply to products and services entering the market, but also to those that have already been on the market for some time. Rebranding and increased competition are forcing businesses to make changes to their product lines and adapt them to the needs of consumers. It's not enough to promote a product or service, you have to constantly improve it by following trends or setting them yourself, To build a good brand image. To do this, it is necessary to study preferences prevailing in the market using available methods, including focus studies.

How is the "focus" conducted?

The first and the most important activity is to determine the purpose and scope of the study, necessary for the subsequent determination of the group of respondents on which it is to be conducted.

Then proceed to the next phase of preparation, which is planning. It is no less important than the previously discussed issue. It is necessary to make the most important organizational decisions, such as the selection of the focus room (the place where the interview is to be conducted) and the preparation of the subjects of the study. Knowing the subject matter, defining the purpose and having everything planned, we can proceed to create a scenario that will provide answers to all the questions of interest, although it should be noted that this is not a necessary element when conducting a survey.

Another key element is the selection of the group of respondents. They cannot be random people, we want the respondents to have relevant knowledge about the product or service, supported by consumer experience, and to be part of the target group selected in the earlier quantitative survey. Once this is done, you can proceed with the survey.

One of the key roles during the focus session plays moderator leading and overseeing the smooth conduct of the study. His main duty is to implement the scenario created earlier. Conversations should not be allowed to go off topic and some respondents should not be allowed to speak. An experienced moderator knows, When to stop the conversation or point it in the right direction, thereby not suggesting answers. The final element of the survey is the analysis. Helpful in its creation are the notes, recordings created during the focus study and transcriptions made on their basis. Nowadays all professional focus rooms are equipped with audiovisual equipment. All these elements add up to a perfectly prepared analysis of a product or service.

Types of focus studies

The basic division of focused group discussions can be presented as follows:

  • Extended groups - lasting more than two hours.
  • Mini - are groups with fewer respondents (from 4 to 6).
  • Expert - a study conducted with specialists in their fields.
  • Conflict - A group with a split between two antagonistic opinions. The study involves confronting two extremely opposing views on an issue.
  • Creative - a group of specially selected participants is tasked with creating a specific creation or solution.

Custom testing methods

Why do research if our product is innovative and it is impossible to test customer reactions? This question may be asked by any entrepreneur who thinks that "nobody has done it before." Nothing could be further from the truth. The latest market research techniques are getting better and better adapted to the changing conditions on the market. Increasingly, modern projection methods are being used during focus studies, as well as other methods to explore newer research areas, such as playtests. Imagine a market survey of networking portals or computer games. In such situations, the latest technological advances come to our aid, the use of which allows us to clarify any issues of interest regarding the market situation and customer preferences, and create appropriate recommendations.

Focus study at ConQuest Consulting

In order to be able to fully satisfy our knowledge, as well as to help our clients, we often use focus studies which are an indispensable tool for market analysis.

One recent survey helped us determine customer preferences regarding food market products. The product group we analyzed, despite its competitive price, did not gain favorable reviews, as the articles did not meet consumer expectations. Respondents found that the quality of our client's product packaging was not satisfactory, and its appearance did not encourage interest in the item. The respondents also stated that the taste and smell of other manufacturers' products were much more attractive. Above all, such surveys help our customers become more competitive manufacturers in the market.

This study, despite a lot of preparation and some cost, is a source of answers to the most important questions about the analysis of a product or service. By using the latest techniques we are able to make an even more thorough analysis of the market to help our clients grow and realize their potential.

If you are interested in the topic of focus studies and plan to conduct one -. fill out the form below! During a free, no-obligation consultation, we'll work together to determine how we can help you!

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    Jakub Tomaszewski

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