Thursday, January 31, 2013

Focus Groups

Focus groups operate differently from surveys.  A focus group is almost always conducted in person; in some cases you can participate remotely via phone or skype.  Depending on your attitude a focus group can either be a tedious experience or lots of fun.  If you enjoy interacting with people and giving your opinion on just about anything you will probably enjoy the experience, but remember you are being asked your opinion on what is important to the company doing the research not what you are interested in.  The last focus group I participated in was about how my electric bill was formatted, not earth-shattering stuff, but I was paid $100 for my time.

If you are asked to participate you will be given the time and location where you are to report.  You will be told how long the session will take and the amount of money you will be compensated. The session will be held in a conference room with usually 10-20 people and a moderator.  Usually the session will be recorded and you may also be observed live via 2-way mirror or CCTV by executives of the company that paid for the study.  The moderator will ask questions and lead the discussion, you are only expected to answer the questions honestly, not come up with ideas to help the company with marketing or anything else.  The session should about the same amount of time they told you it would.  Generally you will be given cash when you leave.

How do you get invited to a focus group?  Sometimes a local company will ask a research company to pull together a group of existing customers for the study, so you may be asked to join just because you are already a customer.  You can also register with market research firms that conduct focus groups and they will call you if you fit a study they are conducting.  If you register with a research firm be aware that they don’t want to use the same people over and over so you will probably only be called once or twice a year at the most.  You can also find focus groups listed on

If you live in a small town it will probably be difficult for you to participate in focus groups as they are usually held in person in a large city.  

Next Topic:  Update on Leapforce

No comments:

Post a Comment