The Power of Focus Group Discussions for Your Market Research

The Power of Focus Group Discussions for Your Market Research

As the largest economy in Southeast Asia and home to over 300 distinct ethnic groups, winning the market in Indonesia proves to be challenging. 

Established companies, such as Indofood, Cimory, and Unilever, have to invest a lot in market research before they can gain a competitive edge and finally grasp Indonesia' varied customer base.

Therefore, before entering the Indonesian market, companies need to employ every resource they have to target the correct market segment and drive their businesses forward.

Among the methods of market research, Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) is frequently used, especially for qualitative research. What exactly is FGD, and how can businesses harness its benefits?

What’s So Unique About FGD?

A focus group discussion, commonly known as FGD, is a market research technique that gathers a group of 6-10 individuals in a controlled setting. They will be asked to provide feedback on various aspects, such as products, services, concepts, or marketing campaigns.

Typically, a skilled facilitator or moderator guides these conversations, aiming to elicit the participants' honest opinions, viewpoints, and attitudes. The discussion can last from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the subject matter.

Previously termed as "focused interviews," focus group discussions were initially employed during World War II to gauge reactions to radio programming.

Today, this method has evolved to assess consumer perceptions and responses. Market researchers use it to gain a deeper understanding of what motivates their target audience, their needs and desires, and the factors influencing their purchasing decisions.

While surveys and questionnaires focus on seeking the "what", companies use FGDs to dig into the "why" behind each consumer's purchasing decision.

Additionally, focus group discussions can also delve into social issues, gathering input on new ideas, or evaluate the effectiveness of a program.

Benefits of Focus Groups in Marketing Research

1. Support Product Development

Focus group discussion is a valuable channel to collect essential input from customers during the product development process.

By evaluating consumer reactions, preferences, and needs, companies can make precise adjustments to their offerings. It will guarantee that the final product aligns closely with market expectations.

Additionally, companies can use focus group discussions at different stages of product development, from the initial concept inception to the refinement of prototypes.

2. Effective Advertising Strategies

77% of people in Indonesia have access to the internet and 60.4% are active on social media, signifying a significant opportunity in digital advertising. However, widespread ads are ineffective without a proper strategy.

During focus group discussions, participants can share their thoughts on the advertisement's messaging, visuals, and tone, helping the company to hone the marketing campaign before its official launch.

Furthermore, participants can offer feedback if they perceive the campaign message as overly intricate or unclear, allowing the company to simplify the message in response to the inputs.

3. Reduce Cost

In contrast to conducting extensive surveys or comprehensive market research, focus group discussions offer a cost-effective alternative. Bringing together a small group of participants for a detailed discussion tends to be more budget-friendly, all while still delivering valuable qualitative insights.

Furthermore, it’s possible to conduct FGDs online, eliminating the necessity of renting physical meeting spaces and covering transportation expenses. 

This not only reduces logistical costs but also enhances convenience and accessibility, making it a particularly efficient option for businesses seeking valuable input without breaking the bank. 

4. Build a Rapport (with Customers)

Businesses also use focus group discussions to engage with their existing customers.

By interacting directly with customers, they can foster a sense of involvement, strengthening the relationship between the business and its customers.

It will lead to increased customer loyalty and brand advocacy, particularly since 31.6% of Indonesians discover new brands through word-of-mouth recommendations.

5. Gain In-Depth Qualitative Insights

FGDs delve deep into consumer behavior and preferences, offering insights that quantitative data alone cannot provide. Some key areas where FGDs excel include:

a. Consumer Purchasing Journey

Focus group discussions are instrumental in identifying problematic touchpoints within the customer purchasing journey, allowing businesses to simplify these facets based on consumer feedback.

Moreover, according to a PwC survey, 73% of people also stated that customer experience is an important factor in their purchasing decision and that 43% will pay extra for convenience.

So, by streamlining the consumer purchasing journey, you can enhance the overall customer experience, nurture stronger loyalty, and boost conversion rates.

b. Customer Behavior

FGDs can uncover hidden motivations and drivers behind customer behavior, enabling companies to tailor their strategies accordingly.

Businesses in Indonesia, especially, face a lot of challenges in grasping their target market's preferences. This is often due to the intricate social and cultural landscape in the region.

Navigating this complex terrain requires a nuanced approach, which FGDs can aptly provide.

c. Brand Perception

Every year, a multitude of brands enter and exit the market, all vying for recognition and consumer attention. In this competitive landscape, it's imperative to gauge how your brand is perceived to carve out a distinct identity and make a lasting impact.

Through focus group discussions, you can uncover valuable insights into your brand reputation within the market. This includes understanding how consumers view your brand, what associations they make with it, and where it stands in comparison to competitors.

These conversations can illuminate areas within your brand strategy that may need refinement or even help identify potential brand ambassadors among your customer base.

Ready to Optimize Your Market Research Focus Group?

Market research is a pivotal component of success in the Indonesian market, and FGDs play a significant role within this context. Our Consumer Insights service offers a comprehensive solution designed to simplify your entire qualitative research lifecycle, from planning and recruitment to moderation and data analysis. 

With, you can conduct FGDs with confidence, harnessing the power of qualitative consumer insights to drive your business forward. Contact us now!

Business 9 months ago • 5 min read

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