FocusGroup

FocusGroup - When Should You Use Focus Groups? J. Scott...

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When Should You Use Focus Groups? J. Scott Armstrong The Wharton School June 19, 2004 In May 2004, Warner Brothers announced that they were dropping focus groups as a way to test new TV shows. Good idea? Yes. Focus groups are nearly always detrimental to decision making. There are some exceptions, but these occur so rarely that most organizations should avoid focus groups. Conditions Favoring the Use of Focus Groups Focus groups should only be used when all four of the following conditions are met. 1. You lack any knowledge about what customers (or other key stakeholders) think in a particular area. This condition occurs sometimes. More commonly, however, you have some knowledge and the key is to decide what additional knowledge might affect decision-making. 2. You want to get responses that are biased by other subjects. In scientific work, much effort is devoted to ensuring that subjects’ responses are not biased due to the researcher or other subjects. Focus groups are prone to bia. For example, as one opinion starts to emerge, bandwagon effects often
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FocusGroup - When Should You Use Focus Groups? J. Scott...

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