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The Focus Group

Small, structured group meeting consisting of five to twenty participants, either from a target market segment or a cross-section of a value chain.

Usually, researchers assemble a demographically diverse group of participants. 

The method: A guided discussion about a particular subject or product before its strategy is developed.

The focus group is also meant to provide ongoing feedback during ongoing situations such as political campaigns, television series, etc.

The Focus Group: Pros & Cons

Advantages

Ideal for ascertaining interest in abstract or new concepts.

Excellent for pre-testing of ideas.

Allows researchers to generate new research hypotheses.

Allows exploration of new unobvious and unrelated topics as they arise.

Disadvantages

Fear of small group bias & group-think.

Trained moderators required.

Data is insufficient to make major decisions.

Respondents inhibitions may interfere. Reluctance to share personal beliefs in group setting.