Every message starts with an intended audience.
Whether you’re building a new marketing campaign or rebranding your business, a robust discovery process is an essential first step to crafting an effective communications strategy. Understanding how customers perceive your business and how they respond to messaging is crucial to ensuring your communications will be effective.
Luckily, there’s a tried and true method for gaining essential insights into your key audiences: focus groups.
Done right, focus groups can provide valuable qualitative data that will inform your communications strategy, allow customers to voice opinions they may not express directly to an organization and give clients new insights into key audience segments.
Here are four tips to keep in mind to get the most from focus groups:
1. Keep them small.
If you take the time to organize a focus group, it’s important that every participant has an opportunity to voice his or her opinion. If groups are too big, some participants may become wallflowers and won’t contribute valuable information. Breaking large groups into multiple sessions of 7-10 people ensures everyone can express themselves and that you get the most out of every attendee.
2. Start broadly.
It’s important not to pigeonhole participants before you can gain insight into their thoughts on your industry. Starting with a broad approach that focuses on the industry as a whole may guide the conversation to essential information you wouldn’t have thought to ask. Once you’ve touched on the broader topic, you can dig into the key questions you want answered.
3. Be willing to break the script.
Come prepared with questions to guide your conversation, but don’t rely on your notes too much. Sometimes a group tangent can flesh out valuable information about customer pain points you didn’t anticipate. Letting participants give you the information they think is important is better than sticking to a prescribed script. However, always be sure to direct the group back to the topic of focus.
4. Build rapport.
It’s important not to jump into discussions too quickly....