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Focus groups can be conducted in person or online.

They are normally used for market research for new or existing products to be able to determine people’s attitudes towards specific branding, usability, packaging, or ideas. They can also be used for political campaigns and opinions research. You can think about paid focus groups as much more in-depth surveys.

How focus group work:


If you find an in-person focus group near you, you will be expected to attend the interview in person. You will normally be interviewed within a group where each participant is able to talk to each other.

There is normally a researcher or moderator to lead the group, take notes, ask questions, and record the results.

If you join an in-person focus group, you might need to go to more than one session, but you will be paid for each session you attend.


An online focus group is very similar to an in-person focus group. You’ll need to join online via chat, on your tablet, or smartphone. You’ll normally receive a link to access the focus group, and from there, you’ll be able to join the discussion and give your feedback.

There are some online focus groups that also use video or specific web-based software. You’ll need to download the software ahead of your focus group research.

More and more research studies are now opting for online focus groups as it’s a lot less expensive for them. They can cut down on money spent on materials and staff, plus it makes it a lot easier to have a bigger pool of possible participants in the research study.