Focus Group 101
This week, Purveyor House lead a focus group for a startup. We went into it needing clarity on if the offering was a needed service, how our target market felt about it, and to propose what we should call the service.
As we went through, we were amazed at the incredible feedback that our group gave us. It was insightful, thoughtful and most importantly helpful. At the end, we were able to clearly see that we were on to a great idea and had a clear list of things to update as we move to implementation and launch!
Not sure what we're talking about? Read on! We shared a bit more about focus groups, why they can help you and how to facilitate your own...
- What are focus groups?
- Focus groups are a gathering conducted by a founder, marketer, or third party wherein a guided conversation is facilitated regarding a particular product, service or new business idea prior to launch with people of diverse perspectives but fitting into the product’s target demographic.
- Why is it important?
- For founders of businesses, it’s likely that you’ve been so close into your product or service that it makes complete sense to you. You may have asked around for advice from loved ones, and while that’s helpful it can still be too close.
- Having a group of people who are in your target market speak freely and without reservation can help you see the value of what you’re bringing to market, what holes you need to patch up, and what questions you could hear (and how to answer them) as you launch.
- When is it a good time to set one up?
- Anytime! It’s never too late to get outside perspective. Ideally, focus groups occur after a vision, mission and business plan have been set up. At this stage, you know what your product or service is going to be, have enough detail on logistics on how it would work, and can define who should be the end user of it. Being able to answer the detailed questions is helpful to guide the conversation.
- If you haven’t figured out those pieces, that’s ok, you can either wait until you’ve put some work or set up a mini version of people who haven’t heard your idea and see if it holds weight with them. You may find their insight is just what you needed to form the idea more fully!
- If you’ve already set up shop, it’s not too late to get that outside perspective. Having a different perspective can be huge when you are wanting to shift gears in your business, offer something new, or are looking to rebrand.
- Who gets invited?
- We’ve found the optimal size of a group is anywhere between 5-8 people. This amount is great as it gives a diverse pool of experiences and perspectives but is also small enough to where everyone has a chance to speak.
- It’s important that you invite people who those that would purchase what you have to offer, in other words - your target market. By inviting and engaging with your target market, you’re able to not only see if your idea is one they’d purchase, but also see what their reservations are, the types of questions you need to answer in your marketing and website, and what resonates with them in how you describe it.
- How does it flow?
- Ideally, focus groups are lead by a facilitator. This person can either be the founder or an outside person, like your marketing lead or hired agency. By using a third party, the founder is able to watch the interaction, answer logistical questions and take notes. The goal is to for the facilitator to keep the conversation on track, lead the conversation and press on attendees when the answer can go deeper and richer.
Want to download so you can use for your focus group? You got it - follow this link to join our email list + grab your free download. This freebie includes BONUS play by play questions, tips that made our focus group run smoothly and yield great feedback PLUS a checklist of how to use the group's responses to your advantage as you implement their feedback.