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The Focus Group Research Method

Rationale and uses of focus groups

❶In marketing, focus groups are usually used in the early stages of product or concept development, when organizations are trying to create an overall direction for marketing initiative. A focus group is an interview, conducted by a trained moderator among a small group of respondents.

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While many of these are appropriate for the purpose, many others are reluctant compromises which federal officials have had to make as a result of studies independent of whether a focus group is the best or even appropriate methodology. Various creative activity-oriented questions can serve as supplements to verbal questions including but not limited to the following: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Marketing Marketing Marketing Management Key concepts. Behavioral targeting Brand ambassador Broadcasting Display advertising Drip marketing In-game advertising Mobile advertising Native advertising New media Online advertising Out-of-home advertising Point of sale Printing Product demonstration Promotional merchandise Publication Visual merchandising Web banner Word-of-mouth. Archived from the original on 4 May Retrieved 9 May Oxford Dictionaries - English.

Archived from the original on 9 December Archived from the original on 9 May Focus groups have a long history and were used during the Second World War to examine the effectiveness of propaganda Merton and Kendall, Kaufman February 24, The New York Times.

Archived from the original on March 6, Archived from the original on February 6, Qualitative Communication Research Methods, 2nd Edition. Nightmares, demons and slaves: Exploring the painful metaphors of workplace bullying. Management Communication Quarterly, 20 , Research methods in the Social Sciences: Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Research.

Qualitative Data Analysis from Start to Finish. Archived from the original on 4 March The use of activity-oriented questions in focus group discussions". Archived from the original on Focus groups are a data collection method. Focus groups are moderated by a group leader. Focus groups are generally used to collect data on a specific topic. Focus group methods emerged in the s with the work of Merton and Fiske who used focus groups to conduct audience studies.

The design of focus group research will vary based on the research question being studied. Below, we highlight some general principles to consider:. Planning, implementing and interpreting focus group research. A focus group is a common qualitative research technique used by companies for marketing purposes.

A focus group typically consists of a small number of participants, usually around six to 12, from within a company's target market. The consumers are brought together and led through discussions of important company and brand topics by a moderator.

A focus group is qualitative research because it asks participants for open-ended responses conveying thoughts or feelings. The other prominent research type is quantitative research. This is more data-driven research that uses surveys or questionnaires to derive numerical-based statistics or percentages. With qualitative research, researchers seek more open and complete perspectives on the brand or product. However, more general interpretations and uses of the research are necessary, since you cannot as easily break down the research into facts.

Within a focus group, a moderator poses a series of questions intended to gain insight about the way the group views the brand, product and related images, slogans, concepts or symbols.


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Advantages of focus groups include the possibility of obtaining primary data through non-verbal channels, as well as, verbal channels and approaching the research area from various perspectives. As is it is the case with any other research method, focus gropes have some disadvantages as well.

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Focus groups are a form of qualitative research that is commonly used in product marketing and marketing research, but it is a popular method within sociology as well. During a focus group, a group of individuals -- usually people -- is brought together in a room .

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focus group has individuals with characteristics of the overall population and can contribute to helping the research gain a greater understanding of the topic. A focus group is most effective with participants. This is the optimal size to promote discussion and enable the facilitator to keep the group on task. Focus group methods emerged in the s with the work of Merton and Fiske who used focus groups to conduct audience studies. Characteristics of focus groups The design of focus group research will vary based on the research question being studied.

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2 Focus Group MethodoloGy The quote above is taken from a study by Deevia Bhana () in her research on how HIV and AIDS are interpreted and made meaningful by seven- and eight-year-. This paper introduces focus group methodology, gives advice on group composition, running the groups, and analysing the results.