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Focus groups are defined as a form of qualitative research that aims at asking people their attitudes and ideas about particular product or service and then making conclusions about their appropriateness. Interactive group settings are involved for asking questions allowing the participant to participate and communicate with other group members. Usually, the process embraces the following steps: preparing for the session, developing questions, planning for the session, facilitating the session, and making conclusions after the session.
(McNamara, 2006) Focus groups are argued to play crucial role in acquiring the feedback about new products, services, advertisements, etc. The key benefit of focus group is that it allows developing and testing new products, discussing freely their pros and cons. In such a way, the company is provided with both positive and negative information about the product, whether it should be implemented, what the targeted audience will be, etc.
One more advantage of focus group is that it is less expensive compared with the prices on other forms of marketing research. Today, focus groups are gaining more and more attention. (McNamara, 2006) Nevertheless, as any other form of marketing research, focus groups are also criticized. For example, during research less control is ensured over a group meaning that relevant information may remain invisible or neglected. Further, observers should be highly trained as, otherwise, they would fail ask proper questions and to make relevant conclusions.
As far as the groups are variable, researchers may find it rather difficult to get them together. Finally, focus groups are argued not to represent sample of population because the number of their representative is not large enough. In contrast to opinion polls, the data from focus groups doesn’t represent opinion of the whole population. (McNamara, 2006) References McNamara, Carter. (2006). Basics of Conducting Focus Groups. Retrieved February 21, 2009, from http://managementhelp. org/evaluatn/focusgrp. htm