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Why We Need Focus Groups? Essay

1315 words - 6 pages

A focus group is a form of qualitative research in which a group of people is asked about their attitude towards a concept, idea, advertisement, product or packaging (Blankenship et al.1999).In the real world of marketing research and management, focus groups are one of the most popular techniques used by marketers. Jennifer (2005) defines the focus group as a form of qualitative research in which a group of people is asked about their attitude towards a product, concept, advertisement, idea or packaging. There are normally 8 to 10 members of the group. A focus group is headed by one moderator to keep track of discussion and make sure that every member of the group takes part in the ...view middle of the document...

Everyone thinks differently. This simple fact causes people think differently and have own different ideas and opinions. This brings to the matter of attitude towards disagreements. The discussion could go out of topic and it will stay for nothing if the moderator does not keep track of the main point. The group members and the moderator should be more careful if focus groups deal with sensitive issues such as religion and race.Originally, some group members may make afraid of being part of the group. This is a huge potential problem that leads the focus group another direction. Group members would feel under pressure to agree with the dominant view of a topic. If 9 out of 10 group members agree with the capital punishment, and it is hard for only one to say 'no' to rest of members who support it. In this example, group members may not be truly honest with each other. The discussion would not bring out a good result as though group members are soundless or overly dominating.The last disadvantage is the risk of probability that the members of the focus groups do not represent the majority of the public or the users of the product. Focus groups members must have the general response of the public and not judge the product or service because of their own personal preferences.(Zikmund & William 2003, p.129)The focus group method has been going around for ages in the world of marketing. There is no question about this method has evolved itself and now has different strategies and techniques. Focus group through video conferencing is the one of these methods. It is just same as the traditional method that is to group a bunch of people with a moderator to discuss about a subject. The only main difference is none of them are grouped together in one room. Video conference of focus groups simply broadcasts the meetings to a remote place where people observe the proceedings live over a monitor in their receiving sites. They communicate with the moderator in the discussion through telephone or headphone-microphone device to the local receiving facility and in the same time broadcasting it to the other participating members. (Greenbaum 1996)This method of conducting focus groups has evolved due to the fact that the technology has been advanced incredibly and it becomes important for researchers to solve the problem of reaching out to people across the globe. The discussion through video conference is able to be successful without the members having to fly to a specific location. With video conferencing, the whole time process of the focus group method can be cut down by 50% or more. This evolution of video conferencing has grown rapidly throughout the years. Today, more than 50...

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