Focus Group Participation: Group Dynamics
No matter what your marketing research goals or target demographic may be, encouraging the active participation of all respondents is the key to success for every focus group. Your ability to generate powerful and accurate research results depends on gathering open and honest input from every single individual in the room.
That’s why it’s essential to have a skilled moderator on hand to monitor and guide the discussion. The best, most efficient focus group moderators are skilled at actively listening, questioning and synthesizing information. They have the ability to maintain objectivity and unobtrusively direct the group dynamics. Your focus group moderator must have the charisma necessary to draw out respondents who are shy or not expressing themselves and control those with a tendency to dominate the conversation.
Once you’ve found a good moderator to lead the discussion, the first step in creating a safe and open focus group atmosphere is carefully balancing group dynamics. Remember, a homogenous group tends to yield homogenous results: if your focus group is composed solely of introverts, your moderator will have to work overtime just to draw out the opinions and viewpoints of every individual. On the other hand, a room full of type A personalities might result in an inordinate amount of posturing or aggression and skew your results in the other direction. Based on the data gathered during the recruitment phase, try to arrange each individual focus group session around a good mix of personality types.
The size of your focus group is also important. Our experience has shown that a group of 6-12 people is ideal. Any more than this and it might be difficult to gather in-depth responses from everyone in the room. Any fewer and you might not have the sample size necessary to generate accurate results.
For more helpful advice on the best ways to encourage focus group participation, check back in to the FPG blog later this week or click on the button below to schedule a consultation with one of the experts at Focus Pointe Global.
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