Conducting focus groups, a vital part of medical market research is a way to help you gather genuine insight into who your users are, what they want, and how they use your product. They lead towards the creation of more user-centric marketing strategies and a stronger relationship with your users, and in turn, greater profitability for your company.
The question is this: how can one conduct a focus group for medical market research successfully?
Enlisting a market research company grants you access to more participants, a greater variety of them, and professional expertise on market research in healthcare. An expansive database of medical market research specialists, access to respondents and a systematic communication and recruitment process are all important factors to consider. A good market research company must be able to gather feedback on different types of goods and services, generate and evaluate data from different types of users, and develop focus points for future research activities such as questionnaires and interviews.
Establishing clear, measurable objectives is the most vital step in running a focus group. They provide direction for the whole operation: they decide your topics, influence the questions you ask, and guide the evaluation of your data. They give you data that you can actually use.
To define a research objective, ask yourself these four questions:
Specifically describe the action that must be performed in order to gather data, e.g. “Get reactions to five different healthcare product concepts”
Specify who you will ask to gather information, and why. An example: “Mothers, because it is a product aimed at children”
Narrow down on which areas you require feedback, e.g. “preferences, beliefs, and interest level”
Finally specify what you will use the information for, e.g. “To decide which concepts are viable enough for further development.”
After defining the medical market research objectives, list down the main topics that you want to cover. Topics must be broad enough to encourage open discussion, yet must remain relevant. It is also important that the questions remain unbiased: if the environment of the focus group is not relaxed and non-threatening, the participants will not be able to freely express their opinions.
Choosing the right people for a focus group is another vital step in conducting market research in healthcare. According to Greenbaum (1998), the right individuals must be recruited for a focus group. If not, the process would be worthless or unhelpful. Failing to put together the correct group profile is one of the most common mistakes in running focus groups.
Bring all these points together and carefully select a market research company that specialises in the healthcare industry and you can drastically increase your chances of collecting high quality, useful medical market research.
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