Posted by Shawn Fisher ● Mon, Sep 12, 2011 @ 10:49 AM

Quicker, Deeper, Cheaper: Asynchronous Online Focus Groups

Quicker, deeper, cheaper; our clients all agree that our new qualitative market research methodology of Asynchronous Online Focus Groups are changing the research paradigm.

Since our initial launch earlier this year the Asynchronous Online Focus Groups have surpassed all other qualitative methodologies in popularity among our clients for their asynchronous online focus groupsability to provide quick and quality strategic guidance for their most pressing strategic concerns. Asynchronous Online Focus Groups are an online qualitative research methodology that invites participants to answer a series of open-ended questions and discussion topics over the course of 3-4 days. Participants are able to answer those days’ questions and respond to others’ post at their own time and pace through a forum based bulletin-board discussion website.

Quicker: On average clients are seeing a 33% reduction in time to completion in our Asynchronous Online Focus Groups compared to our traditional in-person focus groups. Where a traditional in-person focus group used to take 4-6 weeks from kick-off to report-out, the Asynchronous Online Focus Groups are being completed in only 3-4 weeks.

Deeper: In traditional focus groups only a few of the groups’ participants from one or few cities respond to the different questions and probes, but in an Asynchronous Online Focus Group each participant from across the country and even globally, can answer each question and then comment on others responses, greatly multiplying the amount and depth of data collected. Each participant can also be probed more in-depth based on their responses than a traditional focus group ever enabled. Our clients also have enjoyed the ability to ask follow up questions of individuals in real time through the online moderator versus holding questions for the entire group at the end of a traditional focus group. Additionally, the ability for respondents to share media such as pictures, screen captures and videos add innovative depth to the Asynchronous Online Focus Groups. These focus groups take place over a 2-3 day period versus a couple of hours providing a significantly increased “interaction” time and plenty of time for the moderator and client to shape and refine questions as responses come in, something that is normally accomplished in real time live focus groups through passing notes or at best text messages.

Cheaper: No airfare, no hotel reservations, no car rentals for our clients or our moderators… savings that are passed backed directly to our clients. Budgets are tight, competition for resources is fierce, but demand for strategic guidance is more needed than ever before to navigate the volatile environment. Our Asynchronous Online Focus Groups were designed to cut costs and create savings while enhancing the depth of the research results. And best of all no travel fatigue or jet lag for our overworked clients!.

Not for Every Project: Finally, not every research problem is a good fit for this methodology. Market research projects should not lead with the technique; the nature of the strategic inquiry should dictate the methodology used. Consult with your research provider, engage in dialogue over the objectives of your project and the pros and cons of using asynchronous online focus groups before committing. 

 

Alan Nazarelli is President & CEO of Silicon Valley Research Group, a global market research and strategy development firm focused on the needs of technology companies.

 

 

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Topics: Customer Feedback, Market Research Best Practice

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