“Focus groups provide us information, and information from a sample of a population, whether it’s 12 people in a focus group or 500 people in a survey, is always subject to error. That’s just the way the universe works.” – Ivan Moore
This leads to two bits of advice we always give our prospective focus group clients:
First of all, never do just one group! This isn’t a sales pitch to get them to do more groups, it’s advice borne of years of experience, that very often two groups, recruited in exactly the same way from exactly the same population and conducted in exactly the same way, often yield quite different dynamics. They are unique and organic things, and no two are alike.
Secondly, we recommend clients conduct groups in tandem with a more exact quantitative survey. Groups can either be performed prior to the quantitative study, to explore themes and help in the questionnaire development process, or they can be done post-survey, to put meat on the bone of the quantitative results. Either way, focus groups are an invaluable tool in deepening our understanding of our target population’s attitudes, opinions and thought processes.
We have conducted focus groups in just about every corner of the state, from Ketchikan up to Utqiagvik, and are accustomed to making arrangements for conducting groups in just about any location. Here in Anchorage, we have a comfortable focus group facility in our downtown office for use by our clients.