In this post, I discuss some basic tips to help with recruiting for focus groups. The ultimate goal with every focus group recruit is to achieve 100% participation or a perfect show rate.
What is a focus group?
A focus group is a collection of diverse or similar people assembled to give feedback and opinions on specific products or services. It is a market research strategy that is conducted by a moderator to discuss qualitative data of a person's beliefs and preferences. These groups consist of recruited individuals from a specific target market. Focus groups are for research purposes only. The sponsoring client often wanting feedback on things like advertising and what will help their product sell or make them more appealing.
A look from inside of the client viewing room at the Drive Research focus group facility located in Syracuse (Upstate New York).
Do you have a hard time getting commitment from participants?
Recruiting for focus groups can be a daunting task. First, your participants pre-screened either through online surveys or other screening processes. The first step is creating a spreadsheet so you can keep track of your data and call log. The most important part is notating everything you do. I like to create a note section so I can put dates of every contact in order to keep track of what I have accomplished and to notate anything that I should know such as scheduled callbacks.
Tip 1 for Focus Group Recruiting
The back to back call. This is where you as a recruiter calls a potential recruit back to back. By calling a second time right away, the person often senses urgency and answers the phone. This is where you swoop in and get them scheduled. Use this delicately and only if you have no time or you need to fill a final spot as an emergency.
Tip 2 for Focus Group Recruiting
The call and text. This is where you as a recruiter call a potential recruit, if there is no answer the recruiter sends an immediate text message as a follow-up. This results in many scheduled callbacks. Some people find texting simpler for initial contact. I feel this approach is the most effective because it builds rapport with the recruit before you even get to talk to them.
Whether you choose choice one or two, you always want to offer some sort of incentive whenever possible. There will be some cases where an incentive cannot be offered.
Once you get your recruits signed up the follow up is just as important. I recommend sending a confirmation email within 24 to 48 hours after initial contact with a reply back and a calendar invite to go with the email. If a response is not given, send a second email so you get a confirmation.
The day prior to focus groups you want to call everyone that is scheduled to get a verbal confirmation. This way if you have a recruit that cancels last minute than you will be able to find a replacement for them.
It always good to have at least two recruits on standby just in case you get a last minute cancellation.
Finally, the morning of the focus group a friendly reminder text is perfect so the group stays fresh in their minds and reinstates how important it is for their participation.
Drive Research is a qualitative market research company located in Syracuse, NY. Our company has a full-service focus group facility on-site and a team of recruiters to help us find, qualify, and sign-up focus group participants.
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