Focus groups

We recruit the right candidates for you! Participants are selected via a meticulous process encompassing both online panel recruitment and offline methodologies. Our focus on quality ensures they meet the criteria and attend the session at the arranged time. Explore the method and its advantages.

What is a focus group?

A focus group is a qualitative research method commonly used in market research, product development, and social sciences to gather insights and opinions from a diverse group of people about a particular topic, product, service, or idea. The purpose of a focus group is to explore and understand people’s attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, and preferences through group discussions and interactions.

Researchers often use the insights gained from focus groups to refine product designs, develop marketing strategies, assess customer satisfaction, or explore public opinions on various issues. However, it’s important to note that focus group findings are not necessarily generalisable to the entire population, as they represent the views of the specific group of participants involved in the discussion.

Types of focus groups

Traditionally, focus groups were only conducted physically. Which involves inviting 6-10 participants to a physical location, to discuss a named topic for a set time frame. This comes with limitations regarding travel and only being able to recruit participants within a rather small area.

However, in recent years the method has been transferred online. There are now more options and different ways to conduct focus groups:

  • Traditional focus group
  • Online focus group
  • Online chat (live chat)

Depending on your chosen approach, you are able to conduct a focus group through either online video platforms or online chats (also referred to as live chats), or even set up online communities with tasks and questions over a longer period of time. The online presence removes the limitations of the participant’s location. Potentially respondents can connect from everywhere in the world. This allows you to include people from remote places but also poses a challenge to exert control over the interview situation.

Why a Norstat focus group?

It starts with a great discussion guide

We’re experienced in recruiting and hosting focus groups, and understand variety and high engagement levels are key to their success. We will therefore design a discussion guide to ensure conversation stays focused and research objectives are covered while allowing discussion to evolve based on respondent answers. We will work closely with the client to design the guide and the final document will be signed off prior to the focus groups being held.

Engaging, interactive activities

As well as generating open discussion, we will incorporate a variety of individual, pair or group activities. These could include a variety of projective techniques such as visualisation and association tasks, magazine tears, wordboards or thought starters with quotes and flashcards and would be chosen upon project set up. Such techniques not only delve deeper into subconscious attitudes and instinctive choices but also increase engagement, energy and enthusiasm.

Creative testing

Exercises may include:

  • Open discussion of creatives –wording, phrasing, tone, format, style, imagery, platform
  • Scoring/voting exercises
  • Mix and match exercises – imagery, words and phrases from the creatives mixed/replaced to generate optimum discussion about communication preferences and examples of good communication formats and channels which have really caught attention / stuck in mind

Compelling discussion and debate

Our focus groups aim to bring insights to life by allowing participants to express themselves in their own words. By creating a relaxing environment, moderators encourage participation from all group members, lively discussion and debate. Understanding the language and imagery consumers naturally use and respond to can be extremely beneficial to marketing and communications teams.

Recruiting the right participants

Recruiting the right participants for a focus group is essential to obtain meaningful and actionable insights. It ensures that the discussions are relevant, diverse, and representative of the target audience, contributing to the overall effectiveness and credibility of the research.

We use a various of different methods in our recruiting to ensure a representative group based on your criterias. The process is often a combination between collecting participants from our online panel and through telephone interviews. Depending on the topic, we may also recruit through other methods, and also through digital mediums. 

Need help with recruitment?

The specific method we choose is based on what is best for the unique situation, always scientifically proven, fair to the respondents and sustainable for the industry.

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