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Focus Groups

Focus Groups

When you think of “focus groups,” you probably think of marketing research. For years, marketers have used focus groups to generate information around new products. Marketing departments would bring potential customers together and ask them their reactions to a product. Through such customer discussion and feedback, marketers learned about the characteristics and uses of the product. From this information, the strategy for marketing the product was born.

In the 1930s and 1940s, social scientists first developed the notion of a “focus group interview/discussion.” They experimented with nondirective facilitation techniques to see if they allowed people to be more open in groups. The idea was to let participants speak with each other during group interviews and record the information the group produced.


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