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In Defense of Face to Face Focus Groups

January 11, 2010
Although online methods for conducting qualitative research are becoming more popular, resourceful, and useful, there will always be a place for face to face interviews.  

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 13, 2011 3:58 am

    Well from my opinion Focus Groups are very nice and fun, its a way for companies who are trying to get an idea of what to promote and what to invest in this is an advanced and smart way of getting a marketing strategy in order.

    I can say the groups I have been involved with are very good, I can not complain at all.. I thank all of you for your support. I am always looking for a new group to attend.

  2. February 18, 2011 1:33 pm

    Online focus groups are quickly gaining in popularity due to their ability to glean customers’ thoughts quickly and inexpensively. Many marketers have not considered all of the possible uses for online focus groups. This article looks at one that applies to most marketing situations—how to determine and assess your customers’ buying decision process.

    Knowing how your customers make their purchasing decisions can make a difference in your marketing strategy. The first step is to learn what makes your customers think about your product and brand. Online focus group are ideal for getting consumers to think about these “trigger” factors. By asking participants to tell you how and when they first thought about your product and brand, you’ll learn their stories about what they were doing, who influenced them, and where they were when they first realized a need or want.

    Next, online focus groups allow you to probe about how consumers seek out additional information about your product and brand. Do they “carry” enough information with them to decide to buy, or do they talk to others, look at advertising, read articles, search the Internet, and/or visit the store? By knowing about their information search, you can reach your customers with the right message, in the right place and at the right time.

    Many marketers think that surveys are the way to determine what attributes consumers consider when making a purchase decision. Yet, when they design the surveys, they are not fully aware of what attributes to include. Many “copy” from other surveys or include attributes they, themselves, would consider. Online focus groups done prior to designing a survey provide invaluable input on what attributes are important to your customers. You’ll gather in-depth information about them that will help you to design an optimal survey.

    In today’s economy, many consumers never make it to the “purchasing” stage. Online focus groups can give you insight about how to help consumers make the decision to purchase now. By asking questions about consumer doubts and roadblocks, marketers can design better marketing communication and provide a smoother road for sales people to close the sale.

    Finally, every marketer needs to know how to nourish, maintain, and keep current customers. They can leverage your marketing budget and become your brand ambassadors. Online focus groups can elicit customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction so that marketers can maintain goodwill and address issues before they become problems. A “hidden gem” reward of online focus groups is their “PR” value. At the end of well-conducted focus groups, respondents report feeling satisfied and validated that the company cares for them and values their input.

    Read more about online research, online focus groups and employee surveys at:

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