Focus group discussions

A focus-group is a collective interview that is focused on a certain subject. Usually, 7-8 respondents, who has been selected under special criteria, participate in a group discussion. A professional moderator manages the discussion of the subject.

In contrast to quantitative surveys, a focus group discussion, which is a qualitative method, is aimed on a deeper understanding of the motifs of an audience and studying its emotional reaction. While the quantitative interviews answer the “how many” questions, the focus group discussions answer the question “why”.

The main aims of focus groups are the following:
• Setting out hypotheses for further quantitative checks;
• Getting information which can become useful when creating a questionnaire form;
• Getting additional baseline information about various product categories;
• Obtaining opinions about the concept of a new product (design, wrapping product quality, the elements of an advertising concept and so on).

The process of a focus group discussion is being videotaped. If the discussion reveals new and unexpected aspects of a problem, questions are being modified and supplemented immediately.

A focus group discussion is a quite flexible research method (owing to the possibility of joining and changing the direction of a discussion). When carrying out a focus group discussion, an audience can also test visual and audio materials (advertising posters, logos, wrapping etc) using projective methods.


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