“Customers want high quality at low prices, and they want it now.”
-Bill Gates

The need for speed in conducting focus groups was brought to light recently when a client shared plans for moderating a series of focus groups on a new product. During the design stage and, thanks to her own due diligence, she discovered her client’s competitor had filed a patent for a similar product. She knew she had to get the research completed quickly. Assembling a series of focus groups across the country – and doing so rapidly — was a top priority.

Your clients know that speed-to-market is essential in today’s dynamic business environment, where just a few days can have a big impact on success. You’re frequently under pressure to deliver qualitative information quickly. That’s because savvy businesses know that being the first to talk to customers and prospects about a new idea often reveals windows of opportunity they may not have thought about before. And it fuels momentum for their product, giving them the ability to roll out marketing programs that will earn them the label “first to market.”

In chess, the first-move advantage is well-known. The player who makes the first move has an inherent advantage. According to Wikipedia, statistics compiled since 1851 support this view. The player using the white pieces, who moves first, consistently wins more often than the player using the black pieces, usually scoring between 52% and 56% of the time.

Similarly, in business strategy, first-mover advantage is achieved by being the first to occupy a market segment and launching the task of customer retention. Moderators, too, understand the consequences of ignoring the need for speed:
⦁ It gives competitors the opportunity to dominate the segment, even with a substandard product, simply because they got there first.
⦁ It casts you and your product as a follower rather than an industry leader.
⦁ It gives the competition an advantage when it comes to innovation, giving them a head start on capturing “first generation” customer feedback to use for improving their product.

By industry standards, research vendors typically require two weeks to put together a focus group. But times and changed; the new standards CAN be 2-5 days when using the right vendor and strategy. Think of it as the difference between old-fashioned snail mail and today’s email.

Speed can be a game-changer!

In recent years focus groups have evolved to include a vast array of new digital technologies, including online focus groups, advanced video and graphics. As such, a focus group is even more beneficial as a tool for capturing and delivering the insights demanded by today’s marketers, offering greater speed, creativity, flexibility and collaboration among a variety of subject-matter experts.

What has remained unchanged, however, is that the investment must quickly yield information that your clients can use. As Bill Gates surely would agree: Success belongs to the speedy.

At Focus Groups of America, we can provide quick-turn projects in one week or less using Focus Groups on the Go™ and Pop-Up Focus Groups™. Learn more about them Here.