FG Connect can help form vertically targeted online focus groups using mainstream Internet channels used by your target audience: Get and form opinions.
Facilitate seeding of ideas and encourage opinion making by forming subject-centric online focus groups
Online focus groups help you gauge personal and group feelings, behavioural dynamics pertaining to a topic, and perceptions and opinions. Online focus groups can be assembled quite fast provided you have the right means to contact and get together the participants on a single platform. They are also great tools for market research. Traditional focus groups are organised at a central location.
Interactions in an online focus group can be carried out using text chat, videoconferencing or voice chat. Intriguing questions can be posed by the moderator. Transcripts and recordings can be saved for analysis and intelligence gathering later. There are both paid and unpaid focus groups and what type of group you opt for depends on your research needs. Most companies and organisations go for paid market research for both qualitative and quantitative research needs because of the professionalism it brings.
Online focus groups can be great facilitators for paid market research, consumer research, business to business interactions and evaluating people’s attitudes towards companies and organisations.
How FG Connect can help you leverage online focus groups
You may be able to find many online focus group companies in the UK and elsewhere, but we have distinguished ourselves by our ability to gather highly targeted groups very fast and deliver the results with extreme accuracy.
We have an experienced team of project managers and focus group moderators who have been conducting online focus groups for years. We also regularly work in collaboration with our subsidiary companies Focus Groups UK and Focus Groups MENA. We are comfortable using multiple web mediums including online forums, bulletin boards, comment sections under blogs, social networking websites, chat programs and instant messaging apps. Whether its technology or human behaviour, we have our finger on the pulse of every aspect of how an online focus group functions and interacts.
Advantages of using online focus groups for getting opinions and gathering intelligence
Listed below are some of the major advantages of organising and using online focus groups to get a better grip on how a certain section of people think about a particular topic, idea, product or service.
- Easier and faster assembly: You can organise online focus groups extremely fast provided you have the ready-made database of people whom you would like to gather. You can leverage an online focus group within a couple of days of its organisation.
- Enough reflection time for the participants: This is especially true in the case of online forums, bulletin boards, text chat and instant messaging apps. Some people interact fast and some people prefer to hold back for some time. The ability to post messages at their own pace enables them to think better and then present useful opinion.
- More stimulation in terms of group participation: One of the biggest benefits of online focus groups is that people can see each other’s responses. This provides the needed stimulation and encouragement. When people see other’s responses, they obtain clarity for their own responses.
- Greater transparency: When videoconferencing and voice chat is used people need to be more honest with their responses because the rest of the group can see them and hear them. This forces them to be honest with the topic at hand.
- Ready-made data: As people interact within the online focus group the data is being generated in real time. You can save the text chat scripts and instant messaging messages. You can save video recordings of the videoconference. You can preserve audio chats instantly.
What are the disadvantages of organising online focus groups?
Although, in the contemporary world, we normally don’t face such a problem, sometimes participants are not web savvy or not comfortable using instant messaging apps. This can be a disadvantage because then you may have to exclude this group of people or may have to orient them towards using the needed technologies. The elderly, for example, find it difficult to interact using web mediums in real time.
Talking about real time, some people, whether they are tech savvy or not, just aren’t comfortable expressing themselves in real time. They don’t easily share information within a group. For such people, a postal survey questionnaire is better, or a web form that they can fill up in their own time.
Another hurdle, though, it is not specific to forming online focus groups, is getting the right people together. If a database is not available, you may have to individually contact people, preferably via telephone, to get them to participate in the online focus group. This is time-consuming, and sometimes expensive.
Nonetheless, as mentioned above, the benefits of using online focus groups far outweigh deterrents that can be easily overcome with experience, outreach and the right technology.