Pre-internet focus group meetings organized by gathering a select number of individuals from a local pool of volunteers. Expensive, limited by geography, and often requiring temporary hires, such old school methods require time-intensive scheduling and large budgets. Online focus market research,or analyzing reaction and sentiments within specific markets, cuts through these constraints. Qualitative research, in turn, becomes far more feasible for businesses of all sizes.
Online Focus Group Research
Companies can gather global insights through online focus group research, particularly with the aid of real time video conferencing. Services like Discuss.io conduct two types of online focus group.
- Webcam interviews are just like the traditional focus group meetings, the prime difference being that they happen in scattered locations. Those involved in this type of online focus group can see and hear their co-participants in real time.
- Bulletin board focus groups, the second one, entails a moderator or team member posting questions to the participants, who then answer at their leisure. Responses can happen in several hours, days, or months. All really depends on the research project’s focus.
The advantages of online focus groups are obvious. Less money spent, less time wasted, and minimum geographical hindrances allows pools with the best participants from the broadest range of backgrounds. This strength outdoes in-person surveys, yes, but online interviews bring more than variety. Focus groups, online and in real time, are also more affordable, simplify logistics, and allow decentralized access for research team members.
Online focus groups also include typical benefits of in-person interviews or surveys. Real time, moment-to-moment listening and observation is particularly important for online qualitative research. It is also perfectly feasible via webcam. Along with an HD, browser-based platform, Discuss.io includes automatic transcriptions and other features for capturing live reactions and commentary. Opportunity cost is an additional benefit altogether. Market research focus groups that go through the internet allow companies to follow their specific procedures and protocols…only with a lot more money still in their budget.
The Right Type of Online Focus Group Research
Depending on the research, you needs, webcam-based and bulletin-based online focus groups are vastly more efficient than traditional methods. Excellent for video presentations or visual stimulus, webcam interviews also offer true face-to-face dialogue without the assorted costs. More imperatively, this method observes spontaneous reactions and answers, offering your team the greatest range of insight. Bulletin board focus groups, meanwhile, are ideal if you need to test ideas or questions. It allows participants to consider ideas and observe customer behaviors before any input or response. Choosing one or the other really depends on the study, its direction, and its intent. No matter the research track, bringing an online element helps pave the process for maximum insight and results. Learn more by checking out some of our video tutorials.
Zach Simmons is the Founder and president of Discuss.io. Zach has 20 years of experience building software. Prior to founding Discuss.io, he was the Technical Product Manager for Amazon Web Services (S3) where he ran the team that built the infrastructure that now powers a significant percentage of the modern Internet. Zach holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
An entrepreneurial leader, Zach is passionate about building disruptive and agile SaaS based market research startups as an alternative to traditional market research. Seeing a need for change within the Industry, Zach launched Discuss.io, bringing Market Research to the digital age.