Having the right people for your qualitative study is important. You don’t want to use information based on overly-eager fans that will skew your findings but you don’t want to get a group that is overtly negative, either. So what are some ways you can find the unicorn of focus groups? Luckily, unlike actual unicorns, these do exist.
The moment you know you have a need to conduct focus groups you need to start recruitment. The early bird gets the worm and the proactive researcher gets the kinks worked out to define their study needs. What area of the project will you focus on? Who are the stakeholders?
You may need to conduct a few different groups, but how many should be in each group? Typically, five to eight people is enough to get your information and allow the participants to be able to give their complete thoughts without one person dominating the conversation. If you have multiple stakeholders, be sure to have at least one group for each stakeholder.
Even within groups that have common characteristics, you should narrow down certain traits that will help your study. For example, if you are interested in launching a new music streaming service, you may find it helpful to talk to people who have experience not only with multiple different kinds of music streams but who also still buy LPs or CDs to find out what they like about each.
When you have these ideas thought out it will be easier for a market research recruitment agency to narrow down your focus group participants and you won’t lose valuable time. Focus on your focus group requirements early to get the best participants.