One of the “cringiest” things that a person can do is to find a story, TV show or movie from 40 or more years ago, and see what its creator thought that living in the year 21st century would be like. In fact, you don’t even have to back that far!
As recently as the 1990s, pundits, futurists and other prognosticators depicted a scene in the “not too distant future” that, alas, looks nothing like our world today. Heck, we don’t even have those self-driving “Johnny Cabs” from the 1990 movie Total Recall yet!
Now, what does all of this have to do with market research in general, and market research focus groups specifically? It’s this: 100 years from now, it goes without saying that market research focus groups will look different than they do today. Instead of gathering people in a room, we might have holographs, or use teleportation, or don virtual reality helmets. Regardless of what changes will happen, we can say with certainty that things are going to look different.
In light of this, the insight that all researchers and businesses that hire researchers should keep in mind, is that the fundamentals of market research focus groups will not, should not, and essentially cannot be allowed to change. Because if that happens, whatever activity that takes place won’t be effective and it may not even be a market research focus group, period.
So, a century from now whether people are jumping in self-driving Johnny Cabs to head to a market research focus group, or sliding into a Star Trek-like holodeck to meet and greet their fellow focus group participants, here are the core pillars that we confidently predict will NOT change:
- The success or failure of a market research focus group will continue to be rooted in its design more than its delivery, since the former drives and determines the latter (for better or for worse).
- Recruiting market research focus group participants will continue to be a challenge that must be managed accordingly, or else the need to “find bodies” (holographic or otherwise!) will become more important than finding qualified people for a specific study.
- Building rapport with participants will continue to be essential, and it must start well before the actual with market research focus group begins.
- Market research focus group must continue to be extremely well-prepared, and be experts in their field who (among other skills) know how to interpret and act upon body language.
- Businesses that conduct do-it-yourself market research focus groups will invariably spend more money, time and effort than they ought to, and that they planned on. And most cases, the (so-called) insights they glean will not be reliable or actionable.
The Bottom Line
At Communications For Research, we don’t have an inventory of crystal balls but what we do have, however, is a team of market research focus group experts who deliver valuable, actionable business intelligence to our clients, so they can make smarter and faster decisions. To learn more, contact us today to speak with our co-CEO Colson Steber. He can help you determine whether focus groups should be a part of your market research plan plus he can provide you with a timeline and budget for your project.
For more information about the value of market research and how to communicate that your clients, download our FREE eBook: