Gain market share with focus groups

September 1, 1997

Pharmaceutical Representative

Focus groups give you an in-depth understanding of the variable needs of managed care organizations and healthcare providers.

Focus groups give you an in-depth understanding of the variable needs of managed care organizations and health care providers. They bring together small groups of people so you can gather important facts, such as how you are perceived, the services you provide and the needs of existing and potential consumers.

The ideal group size is eight to 10. With fewer participants, individuals may feel put on the spot and required to speak out on topics on which they have no opinion. A group size that exceeds 10 participants may result in loss of control and a tendency for participants to engage in one-on-one conversations rather than address the group.

The meeting room must be large enough for comfort while creating a relaxed atmosphere that encourages informal, spontaneous discussion. Each person must have sufficient leg room to adjust position without disturbing others.

The moderator should be an objective third party to ensure the integrity of the study and to eliminate bias. The moderator must be extremely focused and goal-oriented, have a knack for hearing the unspoken and be able to draw participants into a productive discussion.

Finally, data must be analyzed during and after the discussion. Analyzing the data is tedious and may require specific market research skills, but the result of focus groups can help you gain marketplace advantage.

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