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Banking on Digital Growth Podcast

How Effective Are Focus Groups in Digital Marketing Strategy?

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Brief Summary of Episode #40

Are focus groups effective?

Marketers have historically relied on them for insight into customers' thought processes. 

Here are 3 reasons we shouldn't:

1. Groupthink

When one member of the group expresses an opinion, the others automatically agree.

Say one person communicates a desire to save more money. Everyone will begin nodding enthusiastically. They, too, want to save more money.

But do they, really? Or are they just reinforcing what the first person said?

2. Opinions ≠ Behaviors

Opinions shared in focus groups do not directly correlate with people's behaviors.

You have to know the roadblocks to change, not just the desired future state.

For example, a member may say she wants to save money, but unless she's instituting new decision processes, she'll continue her pattern of overspending.

3. Solution-first Bias

Group participants often share insights into solutions they think they need to problems they think they have. So they start talking around feature sets, and you start executing against that. 

But they're not thinking about how they would actually apply this product to overcome a roadblock.


Key Insights and Takeaways

  • Why people make the decisions they do when buying financial products
  • How people make those decisions
  • Why focus groups hone in on the wrong things
  • How to uncover the greatest insights for your financial brand