Focus Groups, Their Advantages and Disadvantages
The focus group is a group discussion that gathers together people from similar backgrounds so that they can have a discussion on a specific topic of interest. They carry out interviews on the people’s cultures and beliefs. The advantages include:
- the group provides a lot of information in a quicker and faster way and also at a lower cost than the individual interviews;
- they obtain information from the illiterate communities this is because the group carries out the interview with the aim of knowing the cultures of the communities and thus, they provide excellent information;
- this group can be easily managed by untrained people in qualitative research methods if they are required to collect information from simple issues;
- if responses are required then the researcher can be present at that time; this group is accepted by the community this is because they use the group discussion which is a form that is common in communities;
- and lastly, this group is a good fun because they are ready to interact with people at all levels so they have to create a clear relationship.
The limitations of this group are:
- their results indicate a wide range of views and opinions but it cannot be used in making the statements about the wider community; there is always a caution in the interpretation of these results because the group agrees with the responses from the fellow group members;
- the participants can be forced to answer the questions in a certain way because the moderator is not trained;
- this group is limited in exploring the complex beliefs of the people and thus their results cannot be used in the in-depth interviewing;
- and lastly, this group can paint a picture of what is socially acceptable in the community rather than what is believed.
In marketing, the supplier should have clear information about the consumers’ behavior so that he or she can be able to know the products to supply so that sales are raised. The market strategy helps the producers to make use of the readily available resources and therefore such a producer will be able to reduce costs that are related to the importation of resources and therefore the consumer will benefit as the costs of production will be low and thus the products will be cheaper.