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Why a Focus Group could be just the Focused Marketing Intel you Need

As a marketer there are few things more powerful than hearing first-hand what people have to say about your products, services, brand and competition, especially if you’re gearing up for launch or rebranding effort. After all, what’s better than feedback and insight directly from your buying audience? But how does a company go about getting this great intel?

Well, if you’re lucky enough to have a rock-solid sales team, you might be able to get decent information from them via your CRM tool. We say *might* because not every sales person populates CRM in the same way - nor do they go into the level of detail that a typical marketer might need. Of course, you can monitor your social media feeds. But while analyzing social media data can yield valuable information, consultants caution that the process is still a complex and inexact science.

This is where Focus Group market research can be the way to go. Yes, the two-way mirror. And aside from a straight-up martini, one of Don Draper and the rest of the Mad Men’s favorite method of gaining customer insight. Why are we such raving fans? Quite simply because there’s no better way to get unfiltered, qualitative and quantitative market research.

We spoke to one of our fave marketers, Kimberlie Harmon, President & CEO of ‘Listen Research’ to ask why companies are opting for Focus Groups as one of their primary means of market research. Here’s a quick hit list of what Focus Groups can deliver:

  • Explore new product or service ideas and understand an organization’s brand image

  • Companies can test the effectiveness of advertising and marketing concepts and materials

  • Differentiate competitors’ perceived strengths and weaknesses

  • Gain insights into purchasing decisions and even conduct product testing

  • Simulate real-world dynamics (playing on peer-to-peer interaction)

  • Interact with the participants, pose follow-up questions or ask questions that probe more deeply.

  • The researcher can get information from non-verbal responses, such as facial expressions or body language.

  • Information is provided more quickly than if people were interviewed separately.­

  • Results can be easier to understand than complicated statistical data.

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