Online Focus Groups

Online Focus Groups

Gathering insights and data allows you to better adapt your product and services to customer wants, needs, and fears.

When engaging in market research, there are many options. Researchers can interview individual people through quantitative and qualitative surveys. They can make face-to-face conversations with an interviewer. The drawback to such interviews is that they can be time-consuming and expensive. Plus, the interviewer may know very little about the target demographic. In such cases, it can be hard to know WHAT exactly to ask via interviews when marketing a product or service. These situations make online focus group research a smart choice.

About Online Focus Groups

A focus group is an assortment of individuals brought together to learn more about a product. It is a standard qualitative research method used by businesses for marketing purposes. It asks participants for open-ended answers conveying feelings or thoughts. With this type of research, marketers can get more open and complete viewpoints. They can get a better idea of what prospective buyers think about the product or brand.

How it Works

Part of the research may involve testing the product or service. Researchers can find participants through a range of methods. These companies help recruit focus group participants. The right way to ensure people want to take part in a focus group is to offer some form of compensation. You can give them money, gift cards, or something else desirable for their honest opinion.

Most focus group sessions last two hours or so. Each meeting has only five or six big/key questions to encourage talking. The first thing that happens is, the researcher shows the group the product or service. The interviewer can ask pre-planned questions. Alternatively, he can ask the group to share their thoughts. He notes these positive as well as negative opinions. The company then uses this feedback from the focus group research to help tweak the product.

The key to focus group research is to keep in mind that one group may not reflect all opinions. Marketers may find that doing several focus groups is a useful exercise. Look out for if a particular theme starts to emerge in all the groups. For example, do all the groups dislike the color of the product? That would illustrate a critical point to consider. Focus groups are fantastic for generating discussion and gathering opinions/data. These qualities are the biggest and best benefits of using them for market research.

Benefits of Online Focus Groups

Focus groups are great for market research. They are instrumental when it is hard to predict how people will react to a product or service. By getting a group together, individuals will feel more comfortable. It’s easier than going one-on-one with an interviewer where the power-dynamic can feel imposing. This group setting will be relaxing and help people to “Let their guard down.” They can offer their genuine opinion as opposed to wanting to say the right things to not seem rude to an interviewer.

Human beings, in general, can have a wide range of beliefs, experiences, and attitudes. The world is diverse! By drawing upon this diversity, marketers can gain insights for decision making. If there is a particular target market in mind, the focus group can reflect that. For example, a shaving cream advertised to men 18-30 should have a focus group that reflects that. When it is unclear whom a product or service will appeal to, a focus group made up of a wide range of people can work wonders. Such a group can help the marketer to determine the primary target segment for his product or service.