A focus group usually consists of six to 10 persons. Select participants that may highlight your topic from different angles. In order to get new insights from your focus group, it is a good idea that the facilitator is unknown to the group. The facilitator should not manage discussions but try to unlock the mindset of participants and discover what they really think about the topic in focus. – It is a good idea to have a person take notes of everything that is being said. You may take that role yourself.
- The facilitator introduces the topic to the group. It may be anything from sustainability, art, and climate to parental roles, work, products and a corporate brand or image.
- The facilitator lays out a Magnum set on the floor. Now, each participant finds the card that best describes what he or she feels about the topic in question.
- Now everybody tells the group what he or she thinks, based on their cards.
- The facilitator tries to uncover as many perceptions, opinions and beliefs as possible by asking lots of exploratory questions such as: Why makes you say that? How do you feel when …? Why do you think that …? Do any of you share this view? Are there different ways of looking at ….? Could there be other reasons why …?
- Register how participants react to what others bring forward. The facilitator involves everybody in the conversation to dig deeper and uncover whether opinions are shared – or whether one participant is alone with his view.
- Take a time-out or two during the process and coordinate with the facilitator if there are certain aspects of the discussion that you wish for her to explore further.
- Eventually, you will have uncovered enough meaningful and new insights from your focus group, to be able to develop and target your strategy going forward.