How To Conduct Online Focus Groups That Work For Market Research

Your market research can make or break a company. When you invest in products, your market demand will drive sales. Even if you can reach your target audience, your marketing efforts are useless without the customers’ need. In the past, companies used focus groups to get customer feedback and input. Today, marketing professionals conduct online focus groups to get the same insights. Naturally, online focus groups are cheaper and more efficient. In this post, we’ll show you how focus groups work online.

Define Your Ideal Customer Segment

To start your focus group research, define your target audience. Initially, you will require a clear idea of which customers to engage. Identify key attributes and traits of your customer segment like Philip Nel. You can use geographic location, income, interests, employment, industry, education level, etc. Quite simply, a targeted list of attributes will help you narrow down the field to find the best participants for your online focus group.

Choose A Online Focus Group Software

Depending on your company size, you have many options to run focus groups online. There are focus group software that range from free to very expensive. Of course, you can run a simple social media focus group, using Facebook Live or Google Hangouts. Or, you can use a market research platform that stream lines the entire process. Additionally, you can use online meeting software to bring people together. On the higher end, you can also pay for enterprise focus group software that allows you to format your questions in multiple ways. All of these focus group software can be tailored to suit your marketing department’s needs.

Plan The Discussion And Questions

Afterwards, create a discussion plan for your questions. Online focus groups can have various formats. You can let users login for 30 minute or 60 minute sessions. Or, you can schedule the entire group to meet online at once. To get the highest level of interaction, you should schedule groups to interact together and facilitate discussions. More so, video conference call technology allows participants to converse face to face and really engage with the survey. Alternatively, you can keep the focus group individualistic. Simply, ask questions and have them answer in a template format. If possible, try out a few different online formats to conduct a successful focus group.

Recruit Focus Group Participants

Of course, you can start by marketing to your focus group participants online. For companies that already have a strong social presence, you can invite followers to participate directly. Or, startup companies might ask prescreen market research companies to provide them with participants. Either way, you can pay people to participate or give them a reward for giving their input. If you choose to offer an incentive, there are many focus group websites that help individuals find opportunities like yours. The recruitment process couldn’t be any more streamlined with the number of online platforms available.

Take An Objective Approach

Eventually, you will realize that online focus groups yield unexpected feedback. While conducting an online focus group, make sure the moderator encourages positive and negative feedback. In a discussion or questionnaire, the best insights are derived from these two extremes. Your marketing department can focus on the negative input to improve products, relieve pain points or communicate essential features and benefits. On the other hand, the positive feedback give you insight to what is going right, and why! An objective approach to holding focus groups will materialize in strong market research.

Take advantage of how online focus groups work. Conduct them with your ideal target audience using different platforms and formats. The best software or solution is the one that works to get your customers together and talking about your product. By attracting the right people and getting them into an online focus group, you will have the best market research to analyze for your company.

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