If you want to know what your customers and clients are thinking, why not just ask them? And if you’re going to ask them, you need to do so in a way that allows you to understand where they’re coming from, what they want, and how they expect it to be delivered – better focus groups are the answer here.
4 Secrets To High-ROI Focus Group Recordings
Focus groups can provide you with an impressive amount of valuable feedback that could fundamentally shape your approach to marketing, sales, or even product innovation. But not all focus groups are created equal. To get the most out of yours, you’ll need to strategically optimize your approach to generate optimum results.
With that being said, here are a few secrets that successful researchers and businesses use to record high-ROI focus groups in a variety of industries and settings:
1. Give Clear Instructions
It’s better to be thorough and long-winded with your instructions than not to say enough. The beginning of the focus group – right before the record button is punched – is the ideal time to lay out your rules, guidelines, and expectations.
“It’s always a good idea to talk to all the participants in a focus group and give them clear instructions on interview decorum before the recording starts. Things like wait for a person to finish, speak slowly and enunciate clearly etc.,” Scriptosphere mentions. “While this may seem like a small formality, it can pay massive dividends in terms of time and money saved down the line.”
Consider that transcriptions of a focus group can cost an additional $0.40 per audio minute on difficult audio files. If you’re conducting a large project with hundreds of minutes of audio, this cost can add up rather quickly.
2. Ask The Right Questions
While every focus group will take on a life of its own (based on responses), you want to ensure you’re in control of the direction. You also want to make sure you’re getting feedback on the areas and topics that are most valuable to your business. This is done by asking the right questions.
While there are any number of possible questions, most can be broken down into one of three categories:
- Engagement questions. These are questions you use to get people comfortable and engaged in the discussion. They’re quick and easy questions that anyone can answer without having to be very transparent or vulnerable. (What’s your favorite brand of shoes? What do you look for in an HVAC company?)
- Exploration questions. These questions dig a bit deeper. This is the meat of the focus group. You’re trying to get specific and transparent feedback from the group. (Is the logo or quality of the shoe more important to you? How often do you change out your HVAC filters?)
- Exit questions. These questions are asked last as a way to tie up any loose ends or inquire about anything that might have been skipped over previously. (Is there anything else you’d like to say about shopping for shoes? Is there anything else we should know about an experience you’ve had with an HVAC technician?)
A proper blend of these three types of questions will give you balanced and constructive feedback.
3. Use The Right Technology
The right technology is critically important to conducting a high-ROI focus group. While you can technically conduct a focus group with nothing more than an audio record on your smartphone, doing so severely limits your options. It’s helpful to have specialized video recording software that lets you tag specific points during the recording and organized feedback for impressive results.
4. Choose A Skilled Moderator
The final suggestion is to choose a skilled moderator. This is someone who is comfortable around people and has a natural knack for getting people to talk. The individual also needs to be knowledgeable about your products and brands, so they can be quick to ask impromptu follow up questions (when appropriate).
Improve Your Focus Group Results
There’s an art form to focus groups. As you gain more experience facilitating and overseeing them, you’ll begin to get more comfortable with the idea of what it takes to generate results that move the proverbial needle on your marketing, branding, innovation, etc.
At the end of the day, it comes down to the proper blend of technique and technology. You need both to exceed. A weakness in either area will leave you with gaping deficiencies.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.