Focus Groups 101
Our office firmly believes in the benefits of using a focus group and we do this on a monthly basis for our cases. We are often asked by other attorneys about how to conduct focus groups, so here are three things to consider if you are interested in conducting your own.
1.) Determine the purpose of your focus group – Focus groups are great to use in a variety of ways. You could use a focus group to determine the value of a case. You could use a focus group to practice an opening statement. Maybe you use a focus group to test out a visual you plan to use in trial. Or maybe you use a focus group to determine how important a fact is in a case and what people think about it. Before you do any planning for a focus group you need to determine your purpose.
2.) Determine a realistic date and a time – Yes, this one sounds like common sense, however there needs to be serious thought and consideration when determining a date and time. Go back to your purpose for the focus group. Now think about who your ideal audience is for it. If you want a mixture of attendees (think employed/unemployed, 40-65 / 20-40 years old, masters degree / GED) then a focus group during the week from 10 am – 2 pm might not result in the variety of people you need. If you must do it during the week and during normal business hours, you need to pay well, recruit in advance, and select the very beginning or very end of a work day.
3.) Assign tasks to your staff to help – Coordinating a focus group is not a quick or simple one person task. You need someone to help with: recruiting attendees, screening attendees, following up with those who were not selected, reminding attendees the day before, picking the venue, paying for the venue, ordering food and drinks, printing out the questionnaires, setting up and providing any A&V you need, testing the A&V the day before, making sure attendees are paid when they arrive, a contact for attendees who are lost or running late, etc. So be sure to plan and delegate accordingly.