Focus Group Analysis

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Focus Group Analysis

  1. 1. FocusGroupAnalysis The purpose of carrying out a focus group was to gain a greater understanding of what the target audience of my magazine like to see in pop magazines and why it is important for them to see it. I asked three representatives of my target audience to participate in focus group, where I would ask them questions regarding the two copies of pop magazines that I had; ‘We Love Pop’ and ‘Top of the Pops’. I began the focus group with some simple questions that would give some insight into the backgrounds and personalities of the target audience representatives. I asked the participants what their favourite colours were, and typically they gave responses like; pink, purple and light blue. I also asked them who their favourite artists were, and the answers giver were; Little Mix, One Direction and Justin Bieber. I started with the two different double page spreads. The article in the ‘We Love Pop’ magazine was about Nathan Sykes, from The Wanted and Niall Horan, from One Direction. The article is not very detailed. Instead, it compares the two boy band members in multiple different areas such as ‘bedside manner’ and ‘buffest body’. The article in ‘Top of the Pops’ was about Union J. It is an interview about their ‘life-changing rise to stardom’, starting with the X-Factor. When asked which article they would rather read, two of the three said the ‘We Love Pop’ double page spread because of the more fun, vibrant colours and because the text was more spread out which makes it look more interesting. The other participant said she preferred the ‘Top of the Pops’ double page spread because she liked the choice of pastel colours and because she is a Union J fan. I was interested to know whether or not the amount of text on a double page spread would affect the audience’s decision to read the article. When I asked the focus group, the participant all said that they were not put off by either article because the text was divided up into sections, which avoided the article looking like a broadsheet newspaper article. I expected this from the target audience because they are young therefore it is understandable that they would prefer the articles to be broken down and more image-heavy. When asked if they would rather read about male or female artists, two out of three said they would prefer to read about male artists. This is expected that the young female target audience would like to read about their celebrity crushes. My next set of questions were based on the contents pages of the two magazines. When I asked the focus group which contents page they preferred at a first glance, all three said they preferred ‘We Love Pop’. They liked how there was more pictures and it was more visual on the ‘We Love Pop’ contents page. They complained that the ‘Top of the Pops’ contents page had a ‘weird’ layout. They questioned the reasons behind having a picture of the front cover on the contents page when they have already seen the front cover. They also said they preferred the ‘We Love Pop’ contents because the page numbers were a lot bigger and easier to read because they are presented in bold text and in some colour. It is expected that a young target audience would appreciate bold, coloured text that is easier for them to read.
  2. 2. However, the focus group did like the idea of the pages being separated into categories, like on the ‘Top of the Pops’ contents, therefore it is easier for the young target audience to navigate through the magazine. The focus group said that it was easy to see the link between the contents page and the front cover of ‘We Love Pop’ because the font of the masthead is continued onto the title on the contents, whereas it is quite difficult to see the link between the cover and the contents in the ‘Top of the Pops’ magazine. When I asked what it was that grabbed their attention first on both of the contents pages, the general answers were the pictures and the bright, vibrant colours. Therefore it is obvious that the most important features for the intended target audience is that there are plenty of images and very vibrant colours that will attract a young female audience.Blumler and Katz proposed that the audience will seek the media that will fulfil their needs. Therefore the young target audience will look for music magazines that are brightly coloured, image-heavy and very aesthetically pleasing, which is what the young target audience which would look for in a music magazine. My final set of questions were based on the front cover of the two pop magazines. I immediately asked the focus group what they liked about the covers and they said they liked how both of the front covers used very bright and vibrant colours. They said that the way that both magazines have white text on top of a fluorescent pink background makes the text stand out a lot more. One member pointed out that she liked the ‘Top of the Pops’ front cover because it uses a blue background, instead of white, which makes everything on the front cover stand out more, especially the main image. The focus group said they liked the way that ‘We Love Pop would name the artists that are featuring in the magazine along the left hand side. They also preferred ‘We Love Pop’ because the pictures were a lot bigger and easier to see. They also preferred the messy look of ‘We Love Pop’ compared to ‘Top of the Pops’ which was almost too organised and neat. A participant in the focus group pointed out that she liked the ‘style steals’ section on the ‘We Love Pop’ front cover as it gives more of an insight as to what to expect inside the magazine. The last question asked whether or not the artists in the main image of the front cover would affect your decision to buy the magazine or not. The focus group unanimously said that the artist on the front cover will definitely influence your decision to buy the magazine or not. By carrying out a focus group, I now feel that I have a better understanding on what the target audience of my magazine value when looking at a pop magazine. This means, I will be able to design and create a front cover, contents page and double page spread for a pop magazine that will appeal to the needs and desires of my target audience. I now understand the importance of using quite bright and vibrant colours throughout the magazine and that having more images will appeal to the target audience. I know that my target audience like the general style and layout of ‘We Love Pop’, but with elements of ‘Top of the Pops’. My concern of the amount of writing that would be appropriate for the target audience on the double page spread has been solved. I now understand that the amount of text will not put off the target audience from reading the article, as long as the text is broken down some how so it doesn’t look like a broadsheet newspaper article. I know that it is important for the style of the front cover to be continued throughout the contents page and the double page spread to achieve a successful brand identity. I also know now that the target
  3. 3. audience were fond of the style of ‘We Love Pop’ but they liked how on the ‘Top of the Pops’ contents page, the page numbers were divided into categories for easier navigation. I also now understand that the target audience preferred the more manic layout of ‘We Love Pop’ rather than ‘Top of the Pops’ which had a very neat and organised layout. Overall, this focus group has given me a lot of helpful advice that will help me to make my magazine successful and appropriate for my target audience.

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