Using Focus Groups

Using Small Group Meetings to Collect Customer Views

Using Focus Groups - Using Small Group Meetings to Collect Customer Views

© iStockphoto

Focus groups generate detailed market feedback through discussion.

Whatever sector you work in, you need to seek out customer feedback, so that you can develop products and services that fully meet people's needs.

Focus groups help you to gather this feedback cost effectively. They can also give you a much deeper insight into customer thinking than can be gathered from questionnaires and surveys.

However, you can waste a lot of time and effort if you don't plan focus groups carefully. In this article, we'll look at how you can set up and run an effective focus group.

What Is a Focus Group?

A focus group is a market research meeting in which, typically, six to 10 people are asked for their opinions, perceptions or attitudes about a product, service or idea. A moderator guides a discussion, asks focused questions, and draws out views from all of the participants.

However, focus groups are more than question-and-answer sessions. They can tell you what people think or feel about a topic or idea – and, importantly, why they feel this way – because you can ask follow-up questions, and you can analyze body language and other non-verbal cues.


Focus groups generate subjective information from a small number of people. As such, you shouldn't use them on their own to make risky or costly decisions – you also need to use quantitative data gathered from a wider portion of the market.

How to Conduct a Focus Group

Follow the steps below to set up and run an effective focus group....

Access the Full Article

This article is only available in full within the Mind Tools Club.

Learn More and Join Today

Already a Club member? Log in to finish this article.