One of the simplest ways to improve your marketing plan, is to use Focus Groups to gather data about your target audience. You don’t need a large budget to do this. Indeed, most of the Audience Analysis demographics we capture are performed in small focus groups with 5-10 people.
How Focus Groups Help Audience Analysis
If this is your first time conducting focus groups or performing market research, then you the following guidelines to get started:
- Define Objectives – Define your goals and prioritize the data you want to gather from this piece of market research. Use this as a yardstick to measure your results.
- Trained Experts – Keep things simple by hiring trained market researchers for your first project. They will help you get the process started and, by observing them, you can learn how to conduct the next series of focus groups.
- Controlled Environment – Setup a controlled environment with monitors, PCs, printers, notepads, and other equipment the team will need to perform the research. Make sure to schedule light refreshments and ensure that coffee and water are nearby.
- Find Participants – Source a small number of participants, for example, between five and ten, to help with the research activities. Tell them how long the focus group will last, discuss any payments involved and thank them for helping you. If these are internal employees, get approval from their line manager and ensure there is no schedule conflicts.
- Questions and Answers – Once you get the team into the room (remember to book it in advance) circulate the material you want them to review. Depending on your marketing plan’s strategy, give them product samples to look at so they can make their decisions. If your marketing plan relates to an Ecommerce website or business blog, then share sample web-pages and content that are working on.
- Give Ratings – Ask them to rate/review what you have circulated within a specific time period. For example, most of my focus groups are between two to three hours. Once you go over this, you may find that their attention flags. Try to control the more active participants who may voice their opinions and try to persuade others.
- Share Feedback – After you have finished the focus group, send them feedback via email, web or through other channels. Remind them that this information you submitted is confidential and will not be shared.
Stay neutral and don’t offer any opinions on the sample material you share with the test subjects. Based on the information that you have gathered, you may need to re-assess your work and modify your business plans to reflect this.