What’s the problem with focus groups? While there are good sides and bad to putting a bunch of people together in a room and asking for their opinion on your (hopefully) strategically sound creative concepts, that’s my biggest problem with focus groups: you’re getting “their” opinion. Not his opinion. Not her opinion. Their. As in group. That’s not how your first impressions will be delivered in real life, is it?
Sure, research like this can provide valuable insights. (Rumor has it that KFC’s old “finger lickin’ good” slogan came out of said mass opinion gathering.) It can let you know if you are on the right track – or on the really wrong one. But come on, marketers. In today’s social media age, it’s more important than ever to get the thoughts of the one, not just the many. And there are so many more ways now to get those thoughts now vs. the old “let’s pay everyone $50 to come in for an hour so a loud mouth or two can steer the others in their direction while the quiet folks say nothing.”
There’s also something to be said for a brand simply having the balls to go for it without market testing. But those brands (like Apple) seem far and few between.