Are Focus Groups Still Worth the Investment for Market Research? | Ep. #358

In Episode #358, Eric and Neil discuss whether a focus group is still worth the investment for market research. Tune in to learn more about focus groups and how technology has played a major role in how we conduct market research today!

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:27 – Today’s topic: Are Focus Groups Still Worth the Investment for Market Research?
  • 00:38 – A focus group is when a group of people that are your ideal customers come to discuss a certain product that you may be launching
  • 00:56 – Neil did a focus group that was paid by Yahoo
    • 01:09 – The people discussed Yahoo and its competitors
  • 01:50 – Focus groups were very effective before, but it won’t be as effective now
  • 01:58 – Technology has changed the face of market research, people can find their answers online and surveys to collect information are done online as well
  • 02:32 – Eric doesn’t see the need for an in-person focus group
  • 03:02 – Mileage may still vary
  • 03:12 – Marketing School is giving away a free 1 year subscription to Olark which is a live chat software tool
    • 03:24 – Subscribe, rate and review Marketing School
    • 03:30 – Text MARKETINGSCHOOL to 33444 for those in the US
  • 03:26 – That’s it for today’s episode!

3 Key Points:

  1. A focus group is a group of your ideal customers who meet you in person to discuss a product.
  2. Focus groups were effective for market research before mass improvements were made in technology.
  3. If your targeted customers are seniors, focus groups might still work as they prefer face-to-face surveys and conversations.

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Full Transcript of The Episode

Speaker 1: Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the guile and experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. You're listening to Marketing School with your instructors Neil Patel and Eric Siu.

Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School, I'm Eric Siu.

Neil Patel: And I'm Neil Patel.

Eric Siu: And today we are going to talk about if focus groups are still worth the investment for market research. Neil, what are focus groups?

Neil Patel: Sure focus groups is a group of people that are your ideal customer. They typically come in to our office or in person and someone's asking them questions, recording them, filming them, and trying to figure out solutions to their potential problems. I did a focus group for an independent company that was paid by Yahoo! around eight or nine years ago. They paid me a few hundred bucks, I was like yeah why not drive all the way up to LA, and I was a kid back then. When I was doing that they were just asking me questions about like paid advertising, and what would it take for companies or agencies like mine to drive more revenue to Yahoo! Why do we use Google verus Yahoo!? And all this kind of stuff. What I found throughout the whole process is they were asking me questions that they could have just sent me over email and I could have gave a five minute response. They could have paid me half the amount and I would have been happy.
Or they could have just done an online survey using Survey Monkey and Qualoor and got the same type of feedback. Or they could have done like mouse recordings to see how people interact with the product and services because they had me test out screens and stuff. There are things like Crazy Egg or whatever it may be, but the thing I found with focus groups is sure back in the day they were really effective and useful. Nowadays, not so much because there's so much technology that can do everything you need in focus groups online, at scale. And when you're doing it at scale there's much more valuable data because you can then use averages, or make bets based on hey 60 people said this so we know this is really solid advice and we should make changes based on that. Versus you do a focus group and you talk to like seven people and they could be giving you biased feedback versus the people who are actually on your website.

Eric Siu: Being an online person I kind of gear more towards you don't really need in person focus groups. But I think at the end of the day if I'm being logical I think the answer is it depends. That's not the best answer but I think if you have the software or you're trying to push something online then you have a lot of tools that are available to you. But if you have a different kind of product that's geared towards maybe like a senior audience or something like that, then it might make sense to have in person focus groups where you can get that real time feedback. Yeah, I mean at the end of the day your mileage may vary. But I'm kind of in Neil's camp just because we do a lot of stuff online. That's it for today, but before we go we do have another special giveaway.
This is Olark, this is a chat tool that's really useful. Basically Neil and I have talked a lot about adding chat to your website in the past. If you want a one year subscription to this all you need to do is rave, review, and subscribe to this podcast. And then text marketingschool, that's one word marketingschool, to 33444 to prove that you did it and then we will pick one winner. That's it for today and we'll see you tomorrow.
This session of Marketing School has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for more daily marketing strategies and tactics to help you find the success you've always dreamed of. And don't forget to rate and review so we can bring you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow, right here on Marketing School.

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