Online focus groups are a highly effective market research tool. Our clients love them. They save the time and cost of travel while making it easier for participants and observers.
Most importantly, these benefits don’t require you to tradeoff for lower quality research. Online focus groups still facilitate the “brainstorming” dynamic that you get at an in-person focus group, where one participant’s comment sparks a comment by another participant and so on. The brainstorming dynamic enables the group to dig deep into an issue, so that the client can get a very clear picture of market acceptance of their product and of any issues they need to deal with.
Just as in a traditional focus group, where the client can listen in through a one-way window, the client can listen to an online focus group on a muted phone line. And we can use Web technology to poll participants similarly to a visual “show of hands” or “nod of heads” in an in-person group.
Since participants can’t see each other, making good impression is less seducing, they feel more comfortable and secure. Participates are also more open to sensitive topics because it is not an in-person session. It is also easier to involve hard to each respondents as there are no geographic limits and it is less time consuming for participants.