How Online Focus Group Research is more effective than Traditional Counterparts? | The invasion of information technology over every aspect has displayed the myriad boons particularly when it’s associated with data analysis, communication, and research crossing geographical barriers. Renowned market research companies, through various surveys and panels, support brands and companies to determine the acceptance of their products and services. By navigating customer journey maps, conducting panel research, or by forming online focus groups they collect more accurate data. In fact, according to many research analysts, online focus group research answers more complex questions than the traditional in-person focus groups that are way more effective than before. Companies or brands receive more accurate data analysis through this virtual market research.
Here, we’re about to talk about how the virtual playground has enhanced the opportunity, unlike the conventional counterparts. Let’s take a close look at how online focus group research is way more effective than traditional in-person focus groups.
What are focus groups in market research?
Focus groups are used as research tools for collecting data by conducting interviews within groups. The moderators of these group researches create a comfortable ambiance that drives the participants to stay more relaxed and comfortable to answer the questions to gather additional insights and data from them.
Previously, the market research companies had to recruit the groups in-person to run the focus groups. However, the advent of the internet has simplified the technique unlike before. The moderators can recruit more people crossing borders if they target so easily for running virtual question & answering sessions among the online focus groups.
Unlike the traditional in-person focus group interviewing, the moderators of the online focus groups have kept the fundamentals intact, however, some more features are added and eliminated because of the feasibilities provided by the internet technology.
As companies are now willing to go overseas, the market research teams also leveraged their demographic research to locate their target audiences overseas. So, if before or after launching any product or service, an online focus group is recruited to answer the questions properly- they can be hired online from the geographical locations where the business targets to reach.
Their opinion on any product or their needs and their views on similar products or services are primarily the topics of the questions asked to the online focus groups.
Instead of questioning one candidate at a time or recruiting a few more for a Q& A session, running a data analytical Q&A among online focus groups is way more insightful and successful.
There are two types of online focus groups and they are—
Synchronous Online Focus Groups
In this game-changing data collection technique, the participants answer the questions or take part in the group discussion in real-time via Zoom meetings and other video and chat messaging mediums. Known as one of the fastest quantitative data collection techniques, synchronous online focus groups are way more useful for running various surveys.
Asynchronous Online Focus Groups
This is the type of online focus group where the participants don’t answer the questions in real-time rather they interact by answering the questions later through email surveys, social media questions, and answering sessions, etc.
During product creation, innovation, designing, and market analysis of any brand, this type of online focus group are highly used as a useful tool.
What are the benefits of online focus groups & how do they exactly differ from the traditional practices?
Fast & Effective
Conducting a discussion session with the online focus groups can be done faster and more effectively. As we now breathe in the world of superfast internet connection, running multiple online focus groups across various geographical locations is possible.
Previously, when market researchers used to depend on in-person focus groups, they tend to work within a small group of a maximum of 1-8 people. However, when the online facility is here, the moderators found it more seamless in finding and recruiting more participants agreeing to answer the questions in real-time withstanding any geographical demarcation.
Whether it’s for a social reason or a business data analysis, the online focus groups are faster to reach and ensure a way better insightful data that support businesses to design and produce new products and services. The group discourse is also effective for various other surveys conducting from anywhere across the world and on any particular topic.
The online facility helps in saving more travel expenses and adds more time to the discussion that leads to an effective and insightful discourse. Previously, when the moderators had to run the in-person group focus discourses, they had to bear the travel expenses of the recruiters and had to pay the participants (depends) for a particular analysis. They also used to get less time.
By eliminating the whole complex process of the conventional focus groups, the high-tech online focus groups are conducted faster and the results are also better than the previous times. Online focus group discussions get more time and enjoy a face-to-face discourse opportunity virtually. This platform connects people from across the globe in one video conference. The result of the qualitative data analysis is more effective than the previous in-person focus groups.
Eliminating biased traditional groups
Online focus groups possess more unbiased views, unlike the traditional in-person focus groups where it was mostly found the dominant speakers had the motivation to keep detaining the other speakers and strongly impose his or her beliefs and views on the group discussions. However, so far the online focus group discussions stringently stick to the discussion and because of the anonymity that is maintained in many groups by the moderators- it helps the discussion to be more resourceful.
The aim is to make the discourse fruitful by answering the questions asked by the moderators. Via group discussion and debates, the outcome is the valuable data that is treasured by the brands to governments.
Before conducting an online focus group discussion, collaborate only with well-reviewed groups or market research companies that organize the discussions on behalf of their clients. Top companies have experienced moderators for conducting such data analysis researches.