What are the Advantages of focus group research?
1.0 Explanation of Focus group research
Focus group is small group selected from a wide population and sampled. Very common in marketing research and based open discussion to collect opinions or emotional response to a subject or area.
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Focus group is a form of qualitative research.
2.0 Advantages of focus group research
In the marketing, focus groups are seen as an important tool for acquiring feedback. Main advantages for Zazen by choosing this tool are:
More accurate information (Opinions or ideas can be refined by the group).
Focus group interviews are more interesting than standard interviews, what cause longer and more revealing answers.
Naturalness of the answers is greater in a focus group, because the questions are directed at a group rather than individuals.
3.0 Disadvantages of focus group research
Focus group research has also some disadvantages, making different qualitative research techniques more effective.
Preparing focus group question is a complicated task.
The responses in the interview are can be different what make the analyze very difficult, or it may be no response what can be a serious problem as well.
Focus groups are generally more expensive than other interview alternatives.
Skilled moderator are difficult to find and very expensive.
4.0 Suitability of Focus Group research for Companies information
The ZAZEN Company wish to know what is its brand image amongst current customers. Is the ecological and ethical image a major selling point for the brand?
Focus group research will allow ZAZEN to find out the answers for those questions. This kind of research contain: synergism, snowballing, stimulation, security, spontaneity and speed which allow to generate more views, information, express their ideas and expose their feelings. People feel comfortable, their responses are spontaneous and reflecting an accurate idea of their views. It is difficult to make marketing research interesting for people, encourage them to respond or avoid self-selection bias in this type of survey, however data collection and analysis in focus group proceed relatively quickly what makes it more than suitable to meet the company’s information needs.
5.0 Explanation of the chosen research comparison
Depth interviewing, is also known as unstructured interviewing and is a type of interview where researchers select information in order to achieve a holistic understanding of the situation.
It is also used to explore interesting areas for further investigation. This type of interview involves asking people open-ended questions, and often involves qualitative data, so it’s called qualitative interviewing.
6.0 Advantages of research comparison
Depth interview research is perfect for Zazen company to investigate personal, and confidential information which are unable to cover in a group format.
It is also the best method for pre-testing, where individual interpretations and responses are wanted.
Depth interviews are also ideal for researching people with busy lifestyles or living abroad. Because 90% of Zazen revenue is coming from US and Japan online sales it is a better choice than focus group
7.0 Disadvantages of research comparison
The disadvantage of Depth interview research is that the respondent may feel uncomfortable and scared, because of the very private atmosphere. Many people are less willing to open in a small group opposite to group interview where atmosphere is relaxed.
A well skilled interviewer can overcome this problem, by establishing the good rapport and trust.
8.0 Suitability of research comparison
Zazen company have to know if the ecological and ethical image (“Soil association” approval, fair trade, not tested on animals, herbal/folk-remedy ingredients.) is a major selling point for the brand
Information like, how customers see Zazen, and what they would like to improve are wanted as well.
Depth interview research can be done online allowing Zazen company to avoid high cost of travelling to US and Japan. It will help ass well to reach those who are unlikely to attend a focus group because of their social status(senior businesspeople or doctors,), or cannot practically attend. (solo parents)
Depth interviewing is widely used in many kind of different researches and is generally regarded as a powerful tool in extracting data with qualitative nature. Depth interview research has also the different features of being an open situation, and is using techniques such as probing.
Focus group research is paying a particular attention on “the interaction and group dynamics”. That type of research can be an empowering process for participants, and an exciting challenge for all researchers as well because of its more interesting than other research methods nature and naturalness of the answears.
Both research techniques are suitable to answer the Zazen’s questions, however because of the fact that responders are in US and Japan, Depth interview research will be a better solution. Is easier to carry on even on the distance, able to be run online and collect the information, focus group is unable to collect. It will be definitely the more extensive marketing research, but to ensure success, researchers should be sensitive to individuals situations and be flexible in different interviewing circumstances.
To carry on focus group research abroad will be necessary to send well skilled and professional interviewers, what will effect in very high cost of the task. Inevitable will be as well employing some extra staff to organize accommodation, transport etc.
With no doubts the recommended form of qualitative research is Depth Interview. Is cheaper, more suitable for this particular case, and will gain more interesting data.