The Focus Group is 60 Years Old

The Focus Group turned 60 years old in 2016. These targeted discussions were developed in 1956 by a sociologist by the name of Robert Merton. Back then, the definition of a Focus Group was rigid, exactly 6-10 people and often held in an unwelcoming environment. And of course, they were always done in person.

However, with modern technology, the Focus Group can take many forms. While many discussions are still conducted in a facility, it is not uncommon to host a Focus Group in your own home and have the moderator come to you! Overtime phone interviews, video interviews and online chats have been utilized in group collaboration. This has been a breakthrough to reach more people with disabilities, the elderly, and people in rural areas.

So will your Focus Group be in person or over video or phone? Hopefully you will get to experience both! And sometimes one Focus Group can have multiple elements!

Dean Macko, an author at the marketing directory website Greenbook wrote,

remember that asynchronous video and in-person methods can co-exist. Respondents can be asked to submit homework via video prior to a focus group or ethnography

So, you might be asked to make video-diary about your morning routine, and then come in to discuss some your favorite morning coffee and breakfast.  You might even be asked to show how you cook a meal for a family gathering.

And don’t worry, while these at-home elements can be fun and give you a chance to get creative, they pay extra too!

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