Online Focus Groups – Focus on the group, not the location…

Whether you’ve actually conducted one or not, you’re probably familiar with focus groups through commercials or TV shows: A group of people sitting around a table engaging in discussion about a product-led by an enthusiastic moderator while every detail is observed from behind a two-way mirror by shadowy executives. Focus groups are a great way to collect real-world opinions from people just like your actual customers, but if you’ve ever conducted one, you know how much work is involved. You have to design the study, select the sample group, secure the location, travel to the location, and hope that all the participants show up on time. And that’s before the first question is even asked—not to mention all the time it takes to translate the collected data into digital assets to be further analyzed.

At Mindspot Research, we’ve moved the focus group online, eliminating most of the hassle involved with setting up a focus group, allowing you to focus on what matters: the invaluable first-person insights.

The first benefit should be obvious. Online focus groups are less expensive than traditional focus groups. Not only is there no physical location to worry about renting (and equipping with the necessary technology), but there is also no travel necessary. This means that even if your company is spread across the country or even the world, anyone who wants to observe the live session can do so without ever leaving their desk…or couch.

This brings us to participants. Yes, the panel you will be querying still must be screened with traditional methods, but because the physical location and travel concerns aren’t an issue it’s much easier to find the perfect group, including people with tough work schedules and those with mobility issues. It’s quicker too, with recruiting taking days instead of weeks.

And don’t think the ease of gathering participants comes at the cost of limited functionality in the online environment. In fact, it’s the opposite. Our online software offers a wide selection of methods for interacting with the focus group, including card sorts, lists, creative exercises and games, and sharing of storyboards and ads with streaming video. And we’ve seen firsthand that participating online affords the participants a sense of anonymity that lessens the effect of some psychological biases associated with focus groups.

Because the entire focus group takes place digitally, transcripts and recordings of the discussion are delivered within 24 hours after the session ends, allowing for immediate analysis by your team. Also, many of the tools we use to interact with the respondents export right to Excel, so you don’t have to waste time processing paper exercises and surveys.

A large part of the success of a traditional focus group lies with the moderator, and it’s no different online. We supply you with an experienced professional well-versed in all the functionality of the software platform to make sure you’re getting the most out of the participants. And at the close of the final group, the moderator will present their final summary, which includes key takeaways and recommended next steps.

Focus groups are powerful tools for marketers. There is nothing quite like having real people interact with your product. We think our online focus groups provide all the benefits of in-person discussion while eliminating many of the downsides and adding advantages unique to the online format.

About Mindspot Research:
Mindspot™ is a full-service global marketing research company specializing in online research. Known for fast, thoughtful marketing research with actionable insights and results that improve in-market success, Mindspot is the choice for companies needing quality work completed on a tight timeline. Services include Online Surveys, Online Focus Groups, Focus Group Moderation Services, Video Customer Profiles, and Strategic Marketing and Research Initiatives. For more information, visit Mindspot Research at www.MindspotResearch.com

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