definition of focus group

A Focus group, as it is called in English, or Focus group, as it is called in the Spanish language, is a type of study technique used in the social sciences and in commercial work that allows knowing and studying the opinions and attitudes of a specific audience.

His work methodology consists of the meeting of a group of six to twelve people, plus a moderator who will be in charge of asking the questions and directing the meeting. For the work of the Focus Group to be effective, the moderator should never allow the group to stray from the subject of study.

Once the issue is raised, the group will discuss the issue at hand, which can be political, economic or about the product or service, if it has a commercial or advertising purpose.

In the interaction of the group, the questions will be answered and others will arise, while the condition of freedom of opinion turns out to be fundamental so that everyone feels comfortable and free to express what they think.

At the behest of marketing, that of the focus group, is a widely used technique since it allows finding unsatisfied desires and needs regarding products, for example, issues related to packaging, the tastes that are offered, in the case of a food product . The information obtained from this will be essential when it comes to the success or failure of a brand.

Ideally, in the focus group sessions a script should be developed, which will serve to start and close the discussion. Although it is something recurrent that participants are influenced by group pressure and therefore change any position or opinion on an issue, this issue can be corrected through special strategies, for which the moderators should be prepared.

There are different ways of meeting the focus groups, such as: two-way sessions (the group discusses from the observation of the dynamics of another group), dual moderated sessions (There are two moderators with two different missions: smooth session development and full session development), sessions with opposing moderators (the moderators embody different points of view on the same topic), sessions with moderating participants (a participant will temporarily act as a moderator), session with client integration (customer representatives are part of the group openly or veiled), mini sessions (made up of a maximum of five members), teleconference sessions (sessions in which the telephone network is used) and online sessions (the exchange is done through the internet).

In the case of the latter, they tend to present a greater number of advantages over the traditional ones, from cost savings, through the possibility of bringing together geographically distant people, to a greater disinhibition of the participants when participating in the discussion. .