Want to know what you customers want to buy today?

Try an Online Focus Group Survey and Win!

A few years back, I listened to homeschooling moms ask other homeschooling moms about what curriculum to buy for their children. The questions I heard them asking were the same ones my wife and I asked, and we knew (5+ years into the journey) we too has asked the same, wrong questions. I knew there were answers, so I held focus groups for moms who had homeschooled for 5+ years to identify the questions they wished they had asked. We paid them in $25 Target gift cards for each time they visited the focus group. In all, we identified over fifty questions, but that was too many. After our third focus group with 20+ moms at each meeting, we narrowed it down to the Top 15. In doing this, my wife and I created a minimum viable product (MVP1) prototype and shared with our first investor. The next day, the investor didn’t agree to invest. Instead, their question was, “Give them a number to buy the IP outright.” We did and they agreed. In all, we paid about $1500 in Target Gift Cards, spent about $12,000 on the prototype and in a matter of 6 months sold the idea (known as intellectual property or IP) for a good sum of cash.


Focus groups are key to your success. The point of a focus group is not to merely confirm what you hope is true, but also to uncover the nuggets that you didn’t even know.


For many companies, the market has shifted right in front of their eyes since early March 2020. In these ever-changing environments, you need to constantly ask your market key questions to ensure their needs align to your offerings. When developing or launching a new product, service, or business…or having to re-innovate due to market changes, you’ll want to know if your target clients and prospects are still receptive to your offering.

Many companies will pay ridiculous amounts of money (and wait months for the results) for market research. Startups and mid-tier companies will ignore doing any research due to the time and costs for that insight. To get to the heart of the needs of today’s customers, running an online focus group survey is the fastest, most cost-effective means of getting answers.

What is an online focus group survey? A focus group is a small group of people in your representative target market that you probe with select questions to identify their core needs and the words they use to describe these pain points. The goal is to gain a deep understanding of how to offer/modify existing products and services or what new products and services to create to meet their needs before you design and roll it out.

In times where social distancing is still in place, and to reach a larger demographic, I recommend online surveys (ex. Survey Monkey) for delivering the questions and tracking the responses.


  1. Choose your core audience. Focus on one or 2 target demographics. You do not want these key insights and data to be skewed
  2. Carefully craft your questions. Use trusted resources, like Rootloud, and key clients/prospects to help you in using the right verbiage and pain areas.
  3. Select an online tool to create your questions and that gives you analytical data to your questions. Don’t require anything more than a name and email to get them started. The more steps you put, the less input you get.
  4. Create an offering to attract participants. (ex. $20 Starbuck cards)
  5. Recruit and schedule participants. We recommend a minimum of 50 participants.
  6. Send your online focus group survey questions and track what time of day they interact and how long it took them to interact. Sending follow up reminders may be needed to get the number of responses you desire. (Note- When they interact is key for future marketing.)
  7. Give them a deadline for completing the questions and the fact that the gift will expire as well. (Note- I promise you’ll see 30%+ complete on the last day of your deadline.)
  8. Analyze your data and incorporate in a feedback loop. The data and information will be a great tool to use in following up with clients/potential clients to get deeper feedback. Also, this will be key to improving your messaging in your marketing.

As stated, analyzing the feedback and incorporating it into your product/service design, 2021 strategy, marketing and sales will be key. Your feedback loop should look something like this.



I highly recommend an online focus group survey prior to any 2021 Strategy Off-Site and Budget Planning.


A good focus group survey will provide you with plenty of responses, angles and actionable ideas to help your business scale. After the completion of the surveys, , have your team compile and analyze the commonalities of the ideas presented and what changes, if any, they warrant to the product, service, or business in question.

Want to run a successfully focus group survey?

Rootloud’s methodical approach to running a focus group can equip your team with the insights they need to be more successful. The goal is to gain deeper, more insightful feedback from your clients and prospects. Like fishing, when you know what they are eating on, you fish with that bait for higher success.

For more information about Rootloud helping you create a successful online focus group survey, email us at [email protected]

Mitch Smith
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Sailing in uncharted waters or need guidance on next steps?

Contact Mitch Smith at 803.466.3220 or [email protected]