FREQUENTLY ASKED RESEARCH QUESTIONS
many focus groups are needed to obtain useful results?
least two focus groups are conducted with each set of individuals
that have a different relationship to the product or service being
studied. Almost all focus group projects have at least two of these
"sub-groups" that are targeted.
For example, if a new software program is being researched, two groups
with different roles in the success of the product might be tested:
the line staff who will actually use the software every day, and the
management who would be responsible for purchasing the product and
justifying the expense. In a situation like this, a minimum of four
groups would be conducted: two with the software users, and at least
two with the representatives from management.
other products or services the different groups may consist of current
and former customers, men and women, several different age groups,
or heavy, moderate, and light users of the product.
How much do focus groups cost?
According to the 1998 survey of the Qualitative Research Consultant's
Association [the most recent data available], the median cost for
one typical two-hour focus group with seven to ten participants
was $4,000 for a consumer group, and $5,000 for a business or professional
average figure does not include videotaping, client food, travel
expenses, or any extra audio-visual equipment that might be required.
costs may be somewhat higher or lower, depending upon the target audience,
location, and total number of the groups to be conducted. These figures
are simply provide a guideline.
some cases, the cost-per-group may be slightly less if a large number
of focus groups will be conducted in one location or as part of a
many surveys are needed to obtain valid results?
is a complex question for which there is no simple answer. The number
of surveys required generally depends upon two factors:
The precision required in the results: How precise do survey results
need to be? For example, if a survey indicates that 68% of your
customers like a new product or service, is it acceptable for that
figure to be precise to within plus or minus 10%? [This means
that between 58% and 78% of customers actually like the new product
or service.] Is 7% acceptable, or is greater precision such
as plus or minus 5%, or 3%, necessary? How the results will be applied
generally determines the level of precision required, and the total
number of surveys that need to be completed.
number of different groups included in the study: Many survey results
need to be examined in detail by calculating the results for several
different groups. These might include separate results for men and
women, older and younger age groups, or heavy and light product
users. While the results for the entire survey may be accurate to
within plus or minus 5%, the accuracy for each of these "sub-groups"
might only be plus or minus 10%. For many projects, this is not
acceptable, and additional surveys must be completed to increase
the precision of the results for all sub-groups.
more precision that is required and the more different groups that
are included in the study, the more surveys that will be required
to successfully complete a project. Market Trends Research will explain
the options and assist your company in choosing the sample size that
satisfies your objectives.
much does a survey cost?
for surveys vary greatly, much more so than for focus groups. The
cost is influenced by: the number of surveys to be administered, the
target audiences, whether a survey will be conducted by mail or telephone,
the length of a survey, the level of accuracy required, whether a
list must be purchased to locate respondents, and several other factors.
As a general guideline, expect the total cost of an accurate and relatively
brief survey to be in the vicinity of $10,000.
Please click here for information about the
advantages and disadvantages of telephone and mail surveys.
to decide whether to conduct a survey, focus groups, or both?
click here for a detailed look at the research requirements best satisfied
by surveys and focus groups.
shouldn't a company conduct their own surveys or focus groups?
Conducting quality market research requires skill, experience, objectivity,
and time. Market research is a profession. Most non-researchers do
not have the skill and experience in developing the questions and
analyzing research results. Research questions that are poorly worded
cause misleading, inaccurate results.
Furthermore, the ownership, management, and employees of a company
often do not bring the necessary objectivity to the research, nor
do they have the time to set up, conduct, input data, and analyze
the research results.
In defending a lawsuit, few companies would attempt to represent themselves
in court. In a tax audit, most businesses would not choose to face
the IRS alone. Businesses depend on professional service providers
with the knowledge, experience, and objectivity to represent them
in such important matters.
Since research results often have a major impact on a company's strategy
and tactics, it makes sense to depend on a knowledgeable, experienced,
objective professional to perform critical market research studies.
research is an investment, not an expense.
are some of the advantages and disadvantages of online research?
click here for a detailed look at the advantages and disadvantages
of online research.
conducting focus groups, what advantages does an independent market
research company offer?
an independent, full-service firm like Market Trends Research to conduct
and analyze your company's focus groups offers several advantages
over a focus group facility that utilizes moderators on their staff.
Since we are not tied to one facility, Market Trends Research can
select the focus group site(s) whose location, accessibility, experience,
and cost best fit the needs of the project.
As an independent, full-service firm, Market Trends Research conducts
focus groups around the country. This is especially important if
a project requires groups to be conducted in more than one location.
Moderators and analysts employed by a focus group facility may not
enjoy this flexibility and may not be able to conduct your project
in different cities or at different times.
a project requires follow-up in the future, Market Trends Research
will be there. Our company has been around since 1985, and will
be there in the future. Moderators and analysts employed by a specific
focus group facility may not be available. The may be working on
other projects, may have left the company, or may no longer be in
the market research business!
structure of many research companies forces them to spread the overhead
costs of their entire facility across each project, whether or not
a client uses all their services! No one wants to pay for services
they do not use. With Market Trends Research, you pay only for the
research services your company needs.
are some of the market research questions that we hear frequently.
Have a question that is not answered on our Web site? E-mail
us, or call Market Trends Research Inc. at (727) 784-0967.
Trends Research Incorporated
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