Developing focus group questions for business or marketing purposes can be easy if you keep your desired results in mind. The type of focus group you're going to have influences how you'll ask your questions.
Regardless of your focus group type, frame your focus group questions lists to keep respondents from giving you the answers they think you want to hear. Focus group participants are media savvy and likely have a good idea of what you're trying to accomplish. Consciously or otherwise, participants might be compelled to give what they think are the "right" answers, compromising the integrity of your focus group.
Have a clear idea of what you want to learn from your focus group before you begin to craft your questions. To get the most out of your focus group, determine which kind of information you're trying to gather:
1. Will yours be an advertising focus group to evaluate a specific ad or ad campaign?
2. Will you conduct a more general marketing campaign to sample thoughts about your products?
3. Do you have a business, industry, litigation or other type of focus group in mind?
Craft direct questions for advertising focus groupsWhen asking respondents to evaluate ad campaigns, you must design specific questions for focus groups that address the advertisements you're vetting. Advertising focus group questions should have a narrow focus in order to get the information you're looking for.
Planning and Evaluation Service has information about designing questions to get honest and easy-to-understand answers from your focus group.
Come up with enlightening marketing focus group questionsQuestions for marketing focus groups can help you judge the public's overall feeling for your product or service. These focus groups aren't limited to a specific ad campaign, although you can use the results to determine a path for future advertisements.
Develop questions that shed light on the issues in other types of focus groupsOther types of focus groups can include litigation focus groups, which attempt to assess how a jury will decide a trial. Business and industry focus groups can tackle specific programs and services.
Richard A. Krueger, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota, offers a comprehensive guide to writing and evaluating a focus group questions list. Usability.gov has information on focus group questions that helps you evaluate website usability.
- You can find a multitude of experienced firms that will consult with you to create an effective focus group questions directory, or even run the focus group for you. The American Marketing Association or other industry groups can recommend a qualified research company.