Change and adaptation are inevitable. These two are conjoined twins that you might already familiar with. However, whereas most people know and explain the term ‘change’, adaption tends to be quite confusing to others. Some associate it with evolution – which isn’t quite true.

Adaptation means the ability to adjust and fit in with the occurring changes. Why is this important conversation in relation to business and market research? The digital revolution is causing a major disruption such that businesses that still insist on sticking to the traditional ways of collecting data are likely to succumb to the cutthroat competition.

The resulting changes in the market research, as an industry, have brought with it changes in consumer behavior, habits, and attitudes that make product selling and service delivery a rather complex process. You can’t rely on the same old techniques and expect to break through the noise.

Online focus groups are an innovative approach to meeting the needs of modern-day tech-savvy consumers by understanding their needs, fears, and aspirations. It’s not just the traditional surveys that have changed. In this article, you’ll learn the benefits of these groups and how you capitalize on them to grow your business.

What you need to know about online focus group 

By definition, a focus group refers to several people coming together with the intention of discussing or analyzing a similar topic. The intention is to evaluate opinions from the perspective of consumers of a particular product. The topics may cover products and services that are already in use or those yet to be launched or released into the market.

Focus groups are among the best qualitative research methods that give you the opportunity to explore a topic in an in-depth and exhaustive manner such that you’re able to map out the market journey of your product or service.

At its onset, the focus group concept was born with the intention of face-to-face application. However, due to its effectiveness, the concept is nowadays applied in online platforms with impressive results. During the online sessions, each of the participants is given an opportunity to respond to a number of prompts and guiding questions regarding the subject matter.

Online focus groups are different from the traditional approaches in the sense that they don’t require a physical place for a meeting. This factor makes them convenient to many people as they only need to log into the platform from their different locations in the world and participate in the sessions.

Here’s what you need for online focus groups to work

The following are the most important components for this approach to be successful.

  • Participants
  • A moderator
  • A platform

How it works

The first step is to select the participants or panelists from an existing online panel. The participants will then access the platform where the discussion topic is posted and discussed under the leadership of a moderator. For online focus groups to work best, you need to have a clear attainable objective that’s stipulated to every member at the start of the sessions.

Besides the objective, you also need to have a set of questions that ensure the conversation doesn’t go off track. It’s also important that when profiling your participants, you select them based on your interests and their ability to provide reliable data and honest feedback.

Benefits of online focus groups

  1. Representativeness: They make it easy to select participants from any part of the world something that’s not possible with the traditional face-to-face methods.
  2. Flexibility: For one, you don’t need a physical location to hold the sessions. Secondly, they’ve got a better response time since all the panelists are present at the same. Also, the discussions are held on platforms that are easy to use; even for new participants.
  3. Greater insights with online focus groups: Online participants tend to be more open and natural as opposed to physical gatherings where participants will want to filter every word that they speak.
  4. Speed: Given that all interactions are carried out online, you’re able to gather immediate feedback, ask for and provide clarifications in real-time thus saving time and transportation costs.
  5. No physical barriers: All that’s needed is a stable internet connection and you can connect with anyone from anywhere in the world. There are no issues such as mobilizations and transfers known to slow down and complicate the process of data collection.

From this conversation, it’s clear that online focus groups are a quick, reliable, and convenient technique for gathering in-depth feedback from participants. Best of all, the feedback you gather here can help you tailor your product to cover the exact gap that exists in the market.

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