Browse Definitions :
Definition

focus group

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A focus group is a small and typically diverse panel of people selected to survey for their opinions on a given subject. Focus groups are used to test the public response to a wide variety of subjects, including marketing, research, products, services, entertainment, propaganda and policies. Data gathered is considered a population sampling and used to predict a wider public response on the desired subject.

Researchers in marketing and product development have used focus groups to test new products and anticipate the general public’s reception. Participation is often paid. Many websites, advertisements and other online venues offer visitors paid focus group positions.

Today, social media listening is often used in place of traditional focus groups. Consumers regularly react to and comment on products and design, essentially serving as an unpaid focus group with a much larger sample size. Benefits include cost savings, plus the speed and immediacy of gathering data and applying text analysis. With over 1 billion active users, Facebook could be considered the world’s largest focus group, with Twitter not far behind. However, paid members of traditional focus groups may be more likely to make useful comments because they are motivated and know constructive and helpful opinions are expected of them.

Social media sampling can provide a greater volume of data due to the sheer numbers of users – as long as people are talking about a given subject. However, because commenting is voluntary, researchers may not get the volume of responses required for analysis if a subject is not on people’s minds. Nevertheless, because social media users aren’t necessarily thinking about anyone paying attention to their comments, they may provide more honest feedback.

The use of focus groups can be traced back as far as 1939-1945 when it was used to test WWII propaganda. The term focus group was coined by Ernest Dichter, a psychologist and marketing expert.

This was last updated in July 2017

Continue Reading About focus group

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

SearchSecurity

  • reverse brute-force attack

    A reverse brute-force attack is a type of brute-force attack in which an attacker uses a common password against multiple ...

  • orphan account

    An orphan account, also referred to as an orphaned account, is a user account that can provide access to corporate systems, ...

  • voice squatting (skill squatting)

    Voice squatting is an attack vector for voice user interfaces (VUIs) that exploits homonyms (words that sound the same but are ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity policy

    Business continuity policy is the set of standards and guidelines an organization enforces to ensure resilience and proper risk ...

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • warm site

    A warm site is a type of facility an organization uses to recover its technology infrastructure when its primary data center goes...

SearchStorage

  • primary storage (main storage)

    Primary storage is the collective methods and technologies used to capture and retain digital information that is in active use ...

  • RAM (Random Access Memory)

    RAM (Random Access Memory) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

  • cache memory

    Cache memory, also called CPU memory, is high-speed static random access memory (SRAM) that a computer microprocessor can access ...

Close