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The Big Red Fez

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Unleashing the Ideavirus

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V Is For Vulnerable

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we.are.all.weird

We Are All Weird

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Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

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« What to write | Main | The Long Trail »

But the focus group loved it

John writes in and wants to know why I don't think much of focus groups.

A properly run focus group is great. The purpose? To help you focus.

Not to find out if an idea is any good. Not to get the data you need to sell your boss on an idea.

No!

Focus groups are very bad at that. Groupthink is a problem, for one. Second, you've got a weird cross section of largely self-selected people, the kind of people willing to sit in a room with bad lighting to make a few bucks.

What focus groups can do for you is give you a visceral, personal, unscientific reaction to little brainstorms. They can help you push something farther and farther to see what grabs people. But the goal isn't to do a vote or a census. Any time your focus group results include percentages, you've wasted an afternoon.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference But the focus group loved it:

» Focus Groups and Sales Leads from TopLeadGenerators
Marketing is all about getting the message out and, ultimately, getting more sales leads in the door. Some companies use focus groups to do that. Seth Godin wisely points out why that might not always be the best idea.... [Read More]

» Focus Groups: Bad Business, Good Television from Apt5b
In general, I'm not a fan of focus groups. They do very little to give you any kind of relevant or usable data, and provide you with nothing more than the opinions of a group of people who had nothing better to do with two hours than talk about some ... [Read More]

» Focus on Why, not What from The Site is Dead
A focus group that helps you focus on why can be like a laser. Very straightforward. Run a live test on your site to find out what works better - don't ask, just watch. People will show you the truth [Read More]

» Focus groups - just not a predictive tool from Marketing Babylon
Following Seths But the focus group loved it, I tried to map what focus groups do and dont, based on my experience. My overall conclusion is that the most common mistake with focus groups is to try and use them as a predicti... [Read More]

» Don't Research Your Good Ideas from Servant of Chaos
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