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How Focus Groups Give Business Competitive Edge

Business Competitive Edge - cfamedia

The use of focus groups is not new. For decades, the particular style of research have helped shape people’s perception about others and even, helped gives business a competitive edge.

Believed to have originated during the world war II, with Paul Lazerfeld and Robert K. Merton, the method has been effective in areas like mass communication, business and politics.

See the popular example of how Dominos Pizza increased sales, using focus group.

By 2009, the whole pizza industry was on a downward spiral, but with the help of focus groups, things took a new turn for Dominos.

This has contributed to a broader lesson in corporate responsibility, which had wider impact than simple pizza sales.

Many companies do not, usually, admit that they were wrong. Instead of admitting that they were wrong on any issue, they bring up PR to do damage control and image perception.

Dominos research, however, uncovered how admitting to wrong is interesting and humanising.

With this development in mind, Dominos created a campaign around the simple notion.

Instead of running from criticisms, it listened to people, responded and created better pizzas.

Also read, 5 Hacks To Handle Competition In Business

The result of this was that sales rose by 14.3%, over the previous year. This was the largest quarterly sales increase in fast food history.

Employing a focus group helped give their business a competitive edge.

Below are some reasons, why you should consider focus group:

Direct Interaction  

With focus groups, your business can engage with its customers directly.

Working face to face with a range of people, determined from different demographics, can give better insight into their opinions.

This will ultimately help your business improve on products and get to know its consumers better.

Hands-on Results 

Unlike marketing strategies, like the surveys, that are mailed, or distributed online, focus groups can provide your business with immediate information, from their target markets.

With this immediate information, you can make quick reactions, make changes to current strategies and generally, make plans, sooner than later.

Beauty in Diverse Opinion 

Using focus groups, allows you to choose whatever sample you want. You can also contract a market research agency to choose the sample on your behalf.

Making these choices are based on the people, who use your products and those who you would want to use your products.

Also read, How Branding Provides A Competitive Advantage

With a diverse audience, you are open to a range of views that you may not be able to measure online, or over the phone.

Resource Management 

Getting different opinions from a large group of people at once, is more cost effective, than interviewing people individually.

With focus groups, you save time, by interviewing several people at once. Rather than having multiple sessions, you host only one.

This is in addition to the benefit of gathering your business data quicker.

Recent arguments have arisen, about the death of focus group, especially, with the innovations of technology.

For instance, social media now provides a relevant way of collecting insights.

Rather than go through the process of selecting and assembling members of focus group, social media metrics can be accessed easily.

While expected growth should occur in how focus groups are used, it is still a relevant means of understanding the ‘what’ and especially, the ‘why’ of consumers.

This is in addition to how businesses can scale up with its use.

Focus groups, like every other strategy, has its unique process.

In the case where you are not able to conduct the research yourself, you can avail yourself of the services of a market research agency.

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About the author

Sylvia Eguzoro

A graduate of Philosophy looking to delve into the world of business and technology.

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