Focus groups - A focus group is tool composed of selected individuals offering their opinions for collection and analysis. Focus groups can be used in evaluating marketing strategy, product packaging and the effectiveness of past and future campaigns.
It is best composed of the most likely current or future users of a service or product or that product's competitor. They are asked to evaluate, quantify and comment; comparing the product or service to either the present model or the direct competition.
A focus group is not asking one's neighbors, friends and relatives to vent well meaning opinions. If you are looking to appeal to teenage girls 13-17, asking their mothers would give you opinions of what a parent thinks they should have and do, not the direct opinions of the end users.
Many third party firms provide this service for a fee. They feel they can provide the ability to quantify the data, along with objectivity and neutrality to this research. Using them also allows a firm to keep on task with their primary goals and objectives, rather then to be distracted or micromanage based upon the process or its findings.
Budget: $1,000 - $5,000 quarterly