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Focus Groups or Group Discussions

Focus Groups are the most common form of qualitative research and is the research method that Talkclub most often has to recruit participants for.

Focus Groups or group discussion usually comprises 6-10 participants. The discussion is guided by a researcher or moderator and will normally last a couple of hours or longer. All participants are paid an incentive for their participation and this incentive can range from £30 to £100. Most discussions take place in a studio designed for hosting discussions or in a hotel or other venue.

Qualitative research not only involves research groups but also individual interviews, or small groups of 3-5 participants. Sometimes individuals are recruited to participate in other research methods such as keeping a diary about how you use a product or service, or contributing to a blog with like-minded respondents.

It is Talkclub’s job to find participants or respondents for focus groups. We work to a brief from our clients to find participants who are able to attend on the correct day.

Here is a brief summary of other methods focus groups use for research studies:


For a diary you will be asked to keep a record of how you are using a product. For example you may be asked to record what you eat everyday for 4 days. In addition you may be asked why you ate what you did eat and what food you bought over the 4 days. Diaries can take other forms, maybe sometimes asking about the programmes you watch on TV, or the interests you pursue.

Blogs Or Bulletin Boards

Sometimes consumers are asked to contribute to a blog or bulletin board. In this case a researcher will send you questions via email or a blog for you to respond too. With some blogs or bulletin boards you are able to see how other participants respond. Usually these take place over a few days and upon completion you receive an incentive for your contribution.

Accompanied shopping

Occasionally researchers like to see how you decide which product to buy when you are in a shop. In this case you may be asked to go to a shop with the researcher and discuss the products on display and how you choose the one for you.