Focus groups have been used by market research professionals for years in order to collect data and opinions about particular topics, services or products. The gathered information was then analyzed to determine actionable intelligence that can be used to aid in the decision-making process. As consumers increasingly move online, the need has arisen for new research tools to match this evolving constituency. These developments have led to the implementation of virtual focus groups. Here are five distinct advantages that virtual focus groups offer over traditional focus groups.

Virtual Focus Groups Decision Making Process

1. There are no geographic restrictions to virtual focus groups.

Virtual focus groups engage members on a global scale. Respondents who were once limited by location can now participate. This provides marketing research professionals with the opportunity to reach previously unavailable market segments and reach across continents and cultures like never before.

2. The group of respondents is larger with virtual focus groups.

Traditional groups typically consisted of 10-12 people, virtual focus groups are not limited to the number of people that can be fit into a particular room. Virtual focus groups are more efficient, offering larger sampling sizes and lower expenses (travel is no longer necessary).

3. Participants are anonymous to each other.

While group dynamics can play a role in traditional focus groups, the anonymity of being online may encourage more honest feedback. People who are uncomfortable with face-to-face interactions or who are more comfortable with being online (such as young adults) will respond better to a virtual environment.

4. If the product is also virtual, behavior can be observed in real-time.

For applications like ecommerce or website quality and assurance testing, virtual focus groups can be observed in real-time. This allows the virtual focus groups to be tweaked and based upon real-time feedback.

5. Accurate results and analysis are available almost immediately.

Data and responses are organized and statistically presented almost as quickly as they are gathered. Data is digital from the onset providing correlation possibilities not available through traditional means.

Contact the marketing research professionals at New Perspectives to learn more about the benefits of virtual focus groups and how they can provide insight and confidence in your decision-making process.