Focus Groups: Supporting Effective Product Development

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Usually you select focus group participants based on criteria relevant to your customer profile e. Your participants might be existing or potential customers, depending on what you are trying to find out with your research.

Introduction: The Importance Of “New”

Before you conduct any research with your participants, make sure they agree to participate and outline any potential issues, such as confidentiality. Explain to them how you will use their information, and give them the opportunity to opt out at any time if they want. Phone scam reported - 'Queensland Business Development Office'. Bushfire preparation checklist. Queensland flood relief. Southern Queensland bushfire relief. Market and customer research. Benchmarking your business Market research Market research kit Your competitive advantage Competitor profile chart Researching customers Identifying customer needs Customer research methods Choosing the right customer research methods Customer research process Customer research tool Surveys, focus groups and interviews Customer profile chart SWOT analysis Research resources for business and industry.

Home Starting a business Planning a business Market and customer research Researching customers Surveys, focus groups and interviews.

Surveys Surveys are fixed sets of questions, which are usually used to collect quantifiable information e. Focus groups and interviews Focus groups and interviews are based on a set of questions or discussion points. To get the most out of a focus group or interview: ask open-ended questions - ones that can't be answered with 'yes', 'no' or another single word e. Selecting participants The number of participants in your surveys, focus groups or interviews is called the sample size.

Also consider Learn about collecting and storing customer information. Find out how to communicate effectively for business. Previous Customer research tool Next Customer profile chart. Market research is highly effective in providing answers to all of these questions. It can provide an assessment of the size of the market, its growth prospects, the distribution routes, the market segments, and factors influencing the purchasing decision, plus suppliers used and their perceived strengths and weaknesses.

It can guide product design, price points, packaging design, promotions and service i. Some companies conduct market research in-house to answer these questions, but this can result in internal, political conflict, and can end up delaying the adoption of the new product. The applications for market research at this stage of the product life cycle echo the applications appropriate for earlier stages in the life cycle. For instance, market research can be used here for exploring optimum price points, for determining market share and market size, and for gauging attitudes towards the consumption of the product.

It is vital not to neglect products at this stage in the life cycle, for continual product improvement is required in order to retain customer satisfaction. If market research were conducted and revealed that companies purchasing office furniture actually had specific unmet needs around the product, such as the ability to customize furniture, assistance with interior design and delivery of furniture after 5pm, then Supplier X would need to build value around other parts of its offering, as illustrated in the right diagram in Figure 3.

Thus by researching the product in its widest context, market research can be instrumental in rejuvenating a product, even at this late stage of its life cycle. In summary, typical market research studies conducted at this mature stage of the product life cycle include customer satisfaction research in order to retain existing customers and hopefully attract potential customers , b2b market segmentation research to determine how to tailor an offering to meet the needs of different segments and pricing strategy research to determine optimal price points so as to achieve maximum profits.

Not all products necessarily die though as there are often opportunities for modifications and improvements which can result in a rejuvenation of the life cycle, as illustrated in Figure 4. Such opportunities for revitalizing a product can be uncovered through market research.

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Market research can help a company seek new markets for its aging products. Car plants have been sold by Fiat and Renault to Russia and China to produce models that are perfectly acceptable in these developing markets but which were seen as out-dated at home.

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Companies making ski poles and hitting mature and static markets can find new outlets by developing new products such as walking poles. New product research almost certainly will require a mixture of qualitative and quantitative research. Qualitative research is necessary to obtain a deep understanding of issues such as requirements and unmet needs. The principal research tools of qualitative research are focus groups or depth interviews, which allow questioning and probing far below the skin of the subject.

Once the needs have been understood and it is clear that there is a market for a new product, some means is required of measuring the size of demand, usage habits, attitudes to products and the likelihood of up-take of the new product. Quantitative research now takes over and a relatively large number of structured interviews are required to provide a robust and statistically valid result.

Such quantitative research studies tend to be conducted either by telephone or online. Product development research is used at all stages of the product life cycle, from the conceptual stage through to maturity. It serves a host of purposes, such as establishing unmet needs, estimating likely demand, setting prices, shaping the specification of the product or determining optimal price points, to name but a few examples. Given the costs involved in innovation, research and development, and commercialization, as well as the costs incurred in maintaining an aging weak product, product development research provides a high return on investment.

This paper has shown that product development research does not just examine the product alone; it explores everything surrounding the product such as packaging, service, brand and company reputation. Product research should encompass the whole customer value proposition, and improvements to packaging, delivery, or any aspect of service support could have just as big an impact as improvements to the physical product itself.

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Focus Groups: Supporting Effective Product Development by Joe Langford, Deana McDonagh -

An initial rejection of a new product in a market research study may shortly become an enthusiastic embrace as attitudes change. Hence market research cannot be expected to give definitive and direct answers to new product questions; rather it should be used to provide a backdrop of understanding to the needs and unmet needs of the market.

F Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Pearson Prentice Hall. New York: McGraw-Hill. To learn how our product development research can help your business. Find out how to syndicate your content with B2C.

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Using the Focus Group in Market Research

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Moderating focus groups

But the tactics behind this strategy have changed. So what should you know about thought leadership as. Free Webcast: Your Baby is Ugly! Toggle navigation Business 2 Community. Image: Why Do Content Marketing? Why Do Content Marketing? Brittney Ervin — April 11, Facebook LinkedIn Flipboard 0. What is a focus group? Discuss This Article. Add a Comment.