Market Research And Focus Groups

Market Research And Focus Groups

Market research plays two roles in​ the​ communication processes of​ any business system. First, it​ is​ part of​ the​ marketing intelligence feedback process. it​ provides decision makers with data on​ the​ effectiveness of​ the​ current employed techniques and​ provides insights for​ necessary changes. Second, market research is​ the​ primary tool for​ exploring new opportunities in​ the​ media marketplace. Segmenting, questioning and​ evaluating the​ targeted markets are the​ steps to​ acquire the​ necessary knowledge regarding the​ publics' preferences, tendencies and​ interests in​ relation, for​ example, to​ contemporary political news.

According to​ scholars, research can be viewed as​ playing three functional roles; descriptive, diagnostic, and​ predictive. Its descriptive function includes gathering and​ presenting statements of​ fact. the​ diagnostic function serves as​ the​ explanatory step in​ the​ process. Finally, the​ predictive function uses the​ researcher's descriptive and​ diagnostic research outcomes to​ predict the​ results of​ the​ proposed strategy under study.

As an​ applied research tool, the​ focus group research technique has to​ test a​ hypothesis on​ high-involvement decision making, or​ public information processing, understand the​ tendencies of​ the​ public and​ of​ course evaluate the​ tested hypothesis. Thus, before organizing and​ conducting a​ focus group, the​ first step for​ the​ moderator is​ to​ define the​ subject of​ research, formulate an​ understandable hypothesis, prepare the​ setting, and​ recruit the​ focus group participants. After these steps are completed, the​ moderator is​ ready to​ lead an​ in-depth discussion on​ the​ particular topic or​ concept. the​ goal of​ the​ focus group is​ to​ understand what people have to​ say and​ why. the​ emphasis is​ on​ getting participants talking at​ length and​ in​ detail about the​ subject at​ hand.

Unfortunately, some of​ the​ very strengths of​ such a​ focus group can also become disadvantages. for​ example, the​ immediacy and​ apparent understandability of​ focus group findings can mislead instead of​ inform. the​ small size of​ the​ participating group can also be misleading and​ not represent adequately the​ real public opinion on​ the​ issue, directing the​ moderator to​ accept simple findings as​ overall truths. as​ the​ focus group research is​ data-driven, with findings and​ conclusions being drawn directly from the​ information provided, the​ whole method can be characterized as​ inductive in​ its approach, minimizing the​ originality of​ the​ findings to​ a​ mere description of​ the​ public opinion based on​ the​ available facts. Finally, the​ premises where the​ focus group is​ conducted, the​ demographics of​ the​ participants, the​ moderator's thinking on​ the​ issue, the​ lack of​ adequate facts, or​ the​ behavior of​ some of​ the​ participants in​ the​ group discussion, can cause the​ focus group research results to​ be false and​ the​ whole process to​ be time consuming and​ cost-ineffective.

Concluding, a​ focus group by definition is​ an​ informal research procedure that develops qualitative information instead of​ hard data. More specifically, it​ can identify the​ range of​ attitudes/opinions of​ its participants. Such an​ insight can help the​ moderator formulate hypotheses and​ questions for​ a​ later quantitative survey.

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