Solid market research to develop personas of potential sales prospects is a fundamental step in reaching revenue targets. Core to market research is running successful focus groups to better understand the behaviors of prospects and clients. Marketers have several viable options to get this information from focus groups, from face-to-face meetings to online activities.
How can you be more successful with your focus groups?
- Create a set of strong questions that solicit opinions. Not just restatements of facts. A good example: Please explain the most critical factors in making a decision about a math curriculum purchase?
- Have two representatives from your company attend—one person to lead the discussion (moderator) and another to listen to the comments (recorder).
- Hire a professional moderator to run the focus group.
- Create or participate in focus groups around industry events. Take advantage of your target audience being in one location.
- Consider a mix of online and in-person meetings to be more cost efficient.
- Use online tools like Survey Monkey or Digsite if funds are limited or a short timeline to conduct more cost effective focus groups. They can quickly generate good data to support your sales, marketing and product development teams.
- Set up a private group on Facebook and invite your most loyal clients into discussions that are based on monthly themes.
- Reward and recognize these evangelists for their contributions.
Be willing to share your ideas and concerns with focus groups members. Create a climate of full transparency to get the most from your participants.
Being diligent and creative about solid market research will lead to better success with your programs. What are some of your favorite questions to ask in focus groups?