What is a focus group?
A focus group is a group of people brought together to provide insight and opinion into a particular subject for a company, government department, or a specific interest group. Focus groups take place at a variety of locations and venues and are held at different times in the day or evening. Focus group sessions can vary in duration and size but usually they last between a 1/2 hour and two hours and generally they consist of 6-10 participants.
How are people selected for focus groups?
Selections for focus groups begin with the client defining the ideal type of respondent they would like to hear from. This definition can be broad or specific depending on project requirements. It can specify gender, social classification, age, location, marital status, interests, employment status, profession, education, income brackets etc. Our recruitment interviewers then identify the most suitable candidates for the research and screen out others. This step ensures that respondents are the ‘right fit’ for the focus group and that they are available on a specific date, time and location. If you can’t make it this time, no worries just tell us and we will contact you in the future for another group. Sometimes, the selected focus group respondents are given tasks to carry out before the actual focus group session. Tasks can include anything from keeping a diary of eating habits to cutting out advertisements that are of interest.
What incentive is there for focus group participants?
In order to attract the right people to a focus group, market researchers provide a cash incentive. Even though most people like to voice their opinion, people have limited time to spare and have other commitments. In general participants are paid $50-$250 in CASH $ when they attend a focus group. This is usually paid on arrival with a pre-prepared envelope. The participant signs for the cash and register that they have received the agreed amount and that they understand and agree to the terms of the focus group. Depending on the project, other incentive options can include vouchers, memberships, free products or services in addition to the cash incentive. We will always inform participants what is being offered for a particular group prior to their participation in a project.
What happens in a focus group?
The vast majority of participants in focus groups find the experience engaging, fun and interesting. They take part in a lively discussion, learn more about the company concerned and are involved in improving or developing a product or service, get to meet new people,enjoy great foodand refreshments. All this while being paid ! In return, clients gather a wealth of information that can lead to improving their image, product or service for the benefit of consumers.
What happens when you get to the venue?
Participants are greeted on arrival at the focus group venue and seated in a reception area where they are checked in and paid their incentive (in some instances incentives are paid on completion of the focus group). Once seated in the focus group room, participants are introduced to the moderator who leads and questions the focus group over the session’s duration. The session is often recorded on audio and/or video for the purpose of analysing the discussion afterwards. The focus group format is specially designed to allow the moderator to gain the maximum amount of information from focus group participants within the planned session time.
Where, when and how often do focus groups take place?
There are hundreds of focus group sessions taking place each week across Australia. These sessions range from small informal meetings in a hotel or café to more formal sessions that take place in special focus group meeting rooms. Most focus group sessions are held in the central business and/or shopping districts of major towns or cities and are close to public transport and parking. They can be held at any time in the week but the most usual timeslot is 6-8 pm Mondays to Thursdays.
Who can register?
Anyone who is aged 18 and over and has good communication skills can register.
Will my privacy be protected and my information kept confidential?
What is expected of participants?
Participants are expected to tell us their name, age, occupation and personal circumstances before participating in a focus session. You may also be asked to provide identification when you arrive at a session. Participants must answer all questions honestly regarding previous attendance at groups, their occupation and their product or brand usage.
What role does The Purple Corporation have in market research?
The Purple Corporation matches people registered on our database to our clients’ nominated selection criteria for their focus groups. Following a successful screening interview by email or phone, respondents are confirmed for involvement in the focus groups. Clients and Market Researchers running the research are then given the participants’ details.