Focus group analysis allows a business to obtain the opinions and thoughts of several individuals on certain items or ideas. Different types of focus groups exist, with the three primary groups being storyline, issue development, and trial presentation. These focus group analysis types may also work for legal cases, where attorneys test their cases or arguments in front of a constructive panel. Businesses often look to gain consumer feedback, insight, or comments regarding particular business products, such as goods or services. Companies can select the focus group type based on their needs.
A storyline focus group is a fill-in-the-blank style of analysis. Companies hand out surveys or questionnaires to the members participating in the focus group analysis. Each individual then fills out the form with his or her own opinions and comments. Though these questions may be open-ended in nature, individuals may have the ability to add additional comments. Companies review the initial set of comments and can then create a second focus group for follow-up analysis if necessary.
Issue development focus group analysis looks to gain insight on specific issues, whether product or case related. A short presentation may occur at the beginning of the focus group, with the business presenting information for review at a later time. After the presentation, the focus group members then have a discussion about the case or issue at hand. Individual reactions are necessary so the company can learn the feelings or thoughts about the presented material. Multiple focus group analysis presentations may occur so a company can cover a largely complex issue in a workable manner.
A legal-style of focus group analysis is a trial presentation evaluation. This focus group requires a few individuals to sit in on a mock trial where an attorney practices his or her opening and closing arguments. This evaluation allows the attorney to hone the language in each diatribe and present the most compelling case possible. Participants provide feedback or comments on the mock trial, with suggestions for improvement being the typical end result. Multiple focus group analysis forums may be needed for extremely complex trials.
In business, focus groups can be expensive and ineffective when not properly planned. Owners and executives need to spend several weeks planning in order to maximize the results from each focus group. Failure to do so may result in incorrect or poor information coming from an expensive meeting. The company may then have to waste more time resetting the whole process to correct the bad issue at hand.