Focus Group Interview - Meaning & Stages

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: September 21, 2021

What is Focus Group Interview?

Focus group interview is a tool for qualitative marketing research where a group of people are selected and asked about their opinion or perceptions about a particular topic, product or a service. The environment is interactive where the participants are free to discuss with each other.

Focus groups are quite common in marketing to do research with the groups which might be similar to actual customers in demographics and other parameters. It helps companies to take a feedback through a structured process and questions and incorporate it into the products or services which may or may not be launched in the market.

Focus group interviews Stages

There are the following stages:


Determination of the purpose, respondent set, plan, etc. A focus group interview needs to be done for a particular objective. it may be to get a feedback about a product in early stage or it can be for understanding a problem statement existing in a particular market.

This stage is the first one which leads to better results if planned properly.


Developing questions based on the participant group to get the right response is the first step in the interview process. The interview stage is where the interaction happens with the focus group. Questions related to the objective are discussed in detail and responses are noted.

Some points to note:

• There is a trained moderator and a small group of respondents

• Participants are normally similar in terms or either demographics or psychographics or buying behavior/attitudes

• Participants are unknown to each other

Analysis and Reporting

Next stage includes analyzing the results from the discussion and documenting them for interpretation purposes. Clear scoring and analysis should be made to see if the objective is completed or not.

The report should have a clear result against the ask.

When and why are focus groups used?

• When there is a new product to be launched

• When depth of opinion is more important

• When a written survey cannot bring out the necessary insights

• When a larger amount of information is needed in a short span of time

• When everyday language and culture of common people is of interest and this cannot be explored by professionals

For example, there are companies which specialize in online focus groups which are gaining importance nowadays because of problems like distance and finding a convenient common time and place for all the participants.

Advantages of focus group interview in marketing

• It is a tool for acquiring feedback about products or topics

• It provides information about various aspects of a product that is yet to be launched in the market so that the product can be modified

• It gives insight into why certain opinions or perceptions are the way they are

• Easy to conduct, low cost and less time to get results

• Flexible; also since the moderator and the respondents are in direct communication, better insights

Disadvantages of focus group interviews

• The conclusions from one group cannot be applied to other groups

• Valid information about the individuals cannot be obtained

• Things change before and after the discussion, and this cannot be accounted for

• Data analysis is difficult because of the possibility of randomness or chaos in the discussion

• The moderator should be properly trained, otherwise the results may not be what was intended

• Inability to generalize the results to a larger population

• No control over the group and what information will be produced

Hence, this concludes the definition of Focus Group Interview along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

Browse the definition and meaning of more similar terms. The Management Dictionary covers over 2000 business concepts from 5 categories.

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