View frequently asked questions for Mined Insights Consulting

When should I choose focus groups?

When you are wanting to answer the question “why” and “how” and to further understand existing quantitative data about a product or service or outcome; when a structured group discussion will yield helpful answers to your core questions; when consumer input beyond “yes,” “no,” is needed.

Why should I choose Mined Insights Consulting as an outside/external moderator?

Facilitating focus groups is a service that Mined Insights Consulting provides with integrity, expertise and years of experience.  As an “outside” moderator we represent a neutral, unbiased resource for you and your participants. With our question design skills and knowledge of group facilitation, we will enhance feedback and opinion sharing and get you the results that you are looking for.

When is a good time in the life of a project to conduct focus groups?

Focus groups are useful at the beginning of a project to learn the “landscape” of consumer views for an issue or understand the context that might inform the marketing of a specific product or service.  Focus groups are useful in conjunction with other research (beginning, middle, end of a project) to build a larger set of data to understand.  Focus groups are useful at the end of a project to gauge customer satisfaction or follow up on existing data for further input to help in understanding the data.

How many focus groups should we conduct for our project?

This answer varies by project scope, the variation in “kinds” of participant input that is necessary to get your answers; project budget; and the number of geographic regions that need to be included in the project.

A safe “average number of focus groups” to go by is 4-5 groups, with 2-3 groups as a minimum and, for some projects needing a larger scope or a “series focus group study” the number of focus groups needed can reach 10 or more.

What are participant eligibility criteria?

You know the characteristics of the people that you want around your focus group table.  You may want to ask questions from consumers who have used your services or product in the past.  You may want to include people who have never used your services or product to get their input on how to motivate them to try (your services or product). We will work with you to get the most informative and effective group to fit your needs.

How many people are in a focus group?

Eight is the optimal number of people in a focus group.  This seems to be the magic number where people feel comfortable to participate in the discussion and have enough time to be heard.  It is a good idea to recruit for ten people (two as “alternates”) with the goal of 8 people around each focus group table.  Some clients prefer more people in a group- we suggest that 8-10 be the optimal range.

How do you recruit for/find the people for each focus group?

Often the client would like to work from his/her database of current users of their product/service to recruit people to participate in the focus groups.  We can recruit from your list of contacts.  Usually this recruitment approach is used when the participants have unique eligibility criteria (see “What are participant eligibility criteria?”) and they would be otherwise difficult to find via other databases available.

Professional focus group facilities offer recruitment services using their growing databases of the population that live in their geographically defined regions.  These databases have been carefully developed over time and include participants who represent many of the eligibility criteria that clients often request. These are people who have agreed in advance to participate in focus groups if they qualify.  The recruitment organizations maintain and update these lists constantly, thus offering a comprehensive list from which to find participants for your study.

Where are focus group sessions conducted?

The most common place is in a professional focus group facility, which offers state-of-the art rooms with one-way mirrors and discretely located digital audio and video equipment for your specified recording needs.  The adjoining room is a comfortable viewing room for clients where you can observe the focus groups in real time and be able to discuss the session without being heard or seen by the participants.  These focus group facilities can be found in most cities nationwide, are conveniently located for your participants, and offer a complete line of services such as recruitment, catering, and on-site office resources. Your focus group moderator with Mined Insights Consulting will coordinate with any facility in accordance with your defined needs.

How much do focus groups cost?

The answer depends on the scope of your project and who you would like represented around your focus group table.  Recruitment of participants will vary in cost depending on how difficult it is to find 8-10 people with the proper eligibility criteria (see “What are participant eligibility criteria?”) that match the needs of your project.  Other things to keep in mind are participant payment/incentive amounts; meals/refreshments for participants/clients; parking costs; location costs; and the moderator fee.  Mined Insights Consulting will work with you to help determine the cost for your unique project scope.