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Conducting Online Focus Groups Successfully

For qualitative research companies have for long have relied on focus groups in order to gather opinions, perceptions, and reactions of customers about products and services. In fact, focus groups have emerged as a go-to methodology for various companies, because the results help in understanding human behavior in a better manner. While focus groups have held their ground in the market for qualitative researches, the world is beginning to move towards online researchers for the convenience, in-depth knowledge, and time and cost saving attributes attached with it.

Online Focus Groups
The advancement in technology bought in the changes in the manner qualitative research work was conducted. Online focus groups can be seen as a new age market study that a number of companies are trying out to connect with a vast population in different geographical regions at the same time. The online focus groups can be conducted in different manner, which are explained in the next section.

Ways of Conducting Online Focus Group

Bulletin Board Focus Group
These focus groups provide text-based platform to the target audience, thus making the responses neither real-time nor synchronous in nature. Generally, conducted over three to five days, the research gives participating audience enough time to upload images or videos of their responses. The moderator post questions that participants need to answer within the time-frame and the answers are analyzed for future working.

Webcam Interviewing Focus Groups
The need to get real-time responses and analysis prompted organizations to try webcam focus groups. In this platform moderator and participants gather online for discussion and review initiatives, while seeing and hearing each other via webcam. The sessions generally last for about 1-2 hours, while researchers get to see and hear the view of participants live.

Points to Consider While Conducting Focus Group

Participants
Since participants are an integral part of market research, you need to select the respondents carefully. You must select people who fit the description of company’s targeted audience.

Equipment
For webcam focus group it is very important to have the right equipment and accessories in place. The webcam should be of good quality and the internet connection should be of high speed to ensure uninterrupted interviews

Questions
The questions that are to be asked in the interview must be relevant to the company and focus upon the product or the service you need to review. Asking unnecessary questions will result in irrelevant data; thus, hampering your research quality.

Lastly, when you opt to conduct an online webcam focus group, it is very important to plan it properly, in order to maximize the results.

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