Cheeps from Hunter-McMain

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Focus Groups in Marketing

Business Tips and Trends

A focus group is usually needed when you are looking for feedback on a new product or service, usually in the early stages of development or also when the current advertising or marketing plan doesn’t seem to work. Participants are recruited on a basis of the targeted audience based on their demographics, buying attitudes or behaviors that are similar to the people who would use the product or service. A focus group usually consists of five to 12 potential customers who are asked their opinions in a group interview. The process should be depicted as non-judgmental and unbiased so that the audience feels free to answer. There is a deliberate system to retrieve solid information results. Hiring a focus group can be helpful as they usually offer a complete plan, recruit the interviewees, develop questions, moderate the interviews and analyze the information so that the product or service can be marketed in the best way.

I was once a part of a focus group where they wanted to know about the packaging of a product. It was for a lotion company, so we were given about 5 or 6 lotions and were asked our opinion of the brands. Which one did we favor? What did we like about the container they were in? What about those tester lotions? Would the smell-before-you-buy impress us or did we prefer the product was sealed so you couldn’t open it up to smell? We never knew which lotion company was conducting the focus group but they took our opinions and insights to heart. I do know that. There was such a variety of answers to our favorite brands but they listened to our opinion, as to why we liked it or didn’t. I, myself, thought I liked one brand, another packaging and from that moment on, worried about someone else’s germs on those tester lotions!

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Author: The Cheeps

"The Cheeps" are the chick designers that run Cheep Cheep Postcards and Cheep Cheep Websites, two divisions of Hunter-McMain, Inc. We're here to provide fun information on advertising design, business tips, and holidays--sometimes random--we would like to celebrate with you.

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