Can You Run Your Own Focus Group?


research, questionnaire design, research design, validity

Teaching Notes

Larger students groups are required for this activity – probably around 6-10 per group. One acts as the moderator and one student takes notes. You could also have an observer to consider how well the focus group was run.

You may also choose to re-run the focus groups after addressing Q1 and Q5 below.

Review the activity below or download the PDF student worksheet

Student Worksheet: Can You Run Your Own Focus Group

Student Discussion Activity

For this activity you will be conducting a focus group. You will find, listed below, a focus group discussion guide (which reviews consumer behavior in the fast food market).

You need to select one person to be the moderator to run the group. Ideally, they should be the only one to have the discussion guide open in front of them.

Also select one person to record the key points of the focus group discussion (that is, to act as a ‘scribe’).

The Focus Group Discussion Guide

  • Welcome – today we will be discussing various aspects of take-away food.
  • How many times a week would you get take-away food or go to a restaurant?
  • Why do you choose to eat-out, rather than prepare food at home?
  • How often would you buy/eat McDonald’s food?
  • Why/why not visit more often?
  • What new menu items have McDonald’s introduced in recent years?
  • Do these new products make you more/less likely to visit McDonald’s?
  • What recent McDonald’s advertising are you aware of?
  • What is the main message/s of this advertising?
  • Does this advertising make you more/less likely to visit McDonald’s?
  • What new products or other changes could McDonald’s make for you to visit their stores more often?
  • Thank you for participating.

Student Discussion Questions

  1. How smoothly did your focus group run? Were there any problems with running the group?
  2. What were the key findings of the focus group?
  3. How valuable would this information be for fast-food companies?
  4. What do you see as the limitations of this style of qualitative market research?
  5. How would you improve upon the above group discussion guide?

Related Activities

Running a Focus Group

Research Bias in Focus Groups

Evaluating a Questionnaire

Evaluating the Design of a Questionnaire