Everyone wants honest feedback all the time. That is false – only marketers want that. (Do these pants make my butt look big? See?) So how do you recruit people for your focus groups who are going to give honest and constructive feedback but are also not the biggest fans/biggest enemy of your brand? Where is the unbiased middle ground?
First off, let’s clarify that no selection process is perfect. We are all human (for now) and people are going to sneak through the vetting and screening once in a while who have special or unique views. It’s ok. The best we can do is to vet the screening process as best we can before we start selection.
Set the exact specifications of the participants that you want for your group. You want to be specific but also keep in mind that the more requirements you have, the harder it will be to find people. Once your focus group recruiter has a list of names through either previous clients, nominations, ads, or announcements, the way to seek unbiased participants is through randomization.
Randomization will help give you a cross-section of everyone who made it through the screenings and they have an equal chance of being selected. Your list will probably be larger than what you require so you will have more than enough people to choose from. If you have 100 people and only need five, then every 20th person is selected. Easy peasy.
Remember that your participants are human but by doing the legwork ahead of time and giving your recruitment team good screening parameters, you will find unbiased people for your focus group.