Focus Group Participation: Encouraging Discussion
This week on the Focus Pointe Global blog, we’ve been talking about ways to encourage active participation from all focus group respondents.
If you’ve been following this ongoing discussion, then you know that the first step is establishing an open and productive group dynamic for your focus group.
Once your focus group is in session and guided by an objective and efficient moderator, you have to be sure you’re asking the right kinds of questions to encourage discussion among all members of your group.
This last point is key since it’s the goal of all qualitative marketing research to gather the sorts of in-depth responses that provide clients with valuable, actionable insights into the behaviors and motivations of their target market. Depending on the personalities of your participants, encouraging an active and lively discussion might be easier for some focus groups than others. Whatever the case may be, here are a few pointers to help you keep the conversation going:
- Avoid bombarding your focus group respondents with rapid-fire questions. Your focus group shouldn’t feel like an interrogation. Take some time between questions to let the discussion develop. Based on the responses you receive, encourage other members of the group to chime in, add their own viewpoints or opinions and create an active exchange of ideas.
- Use probing inquiries to try and draw out your focus group respondents and encourage them to expand upon their initial answers. Questions like, “Is there anything else?”, “Could you explain that thought further?” and “I’m interested in hearing more about …” are a great way to keep the discussion going and delve a little deeper into participant opinions.
- Don’t let anyone hide or defer to the group. If you have shy or quiet respondents in your focus group, it’s important to call on them directly and get them to open up, offering reassurance that their opinions are valued and encouraging them to participate in the discussion.
For more guidance on the best ways to encourage participation among all members of your focus group, click on the button below to schedule a consultation with one of the experts at Focus Pointe Global.
Visit the Focus Pointe Global blog next week to learn how to avoid compromising your focus group results with “leading” questions. If you’d like this and all future FPG blog posts sent directly to your inbox, simply enter your email address in the field to the right to subscribe.