When organizations think of market research, the two most common methodologies which likely come to mind are focus groups and surveys. Focus groups have long been a popular and commonly used methodology for new product development, testing of advertisements, and creating a dialogue with customers.
Over the past two decades, surveys have evolved with time. Years ago the most common surveys were completed by phone and mail. Now, online surveys are by far the most popular methodology used in market research. These online surveys have evolved over time to be taken via desktop, laptop, smartphone, and tablet.
Have focus groups evolved with the time? The short answer is yes, and no. In-person focus groups where organizations rent a focus group facility and recruit participants to have a conversation with a live moderator are still commonplace. Actual face-to-face time allows a moderator to understand the nuisances of conversation and create an in-depth dialogue of insights. It’s hard to argue with the value a group discussion can offer at a focus group facility.
However, slowly but surely, online capabilities have grown in the qualitative space. Things like mobile ethnography, webcam in-depth interviews (IDIs), and even video group groups are being used more and more by qualitative market research companies in the U.S.
What are video focus groups? How does the video focus groups process work? What are the key advantages of a video focus group for a brand? You have questions. We have answers.
Video capabilities are revolutionizing the world of focus groups. Learn the key advantages of a video focus group for your company.
What are video focus groups?
Video focus groups are a form of qualitative research where discussions are held online led by a moderator who asks questions to a group of participants. Software such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, and WebEx has opened doors for all organizations to run informal video focus groups.
However, qualitative research firms like Drive Research offer unique and better-suited platforms to tackle video focus groups.
The video focus groups are led by a facilitator or moderator. This moderator follows a discussion guide to ensure all objectives and goals are covered throughout the conversation. The groups typically include 3 to 6 participants to allow ample time for each focus group participant to speak. The groups typically last from 60 minutes to 2 hours.
What are the steps involved with video focus groups?
Are video focus groups right for your brand? Here are the 14 steps involved with putting together video focus groups from A to Z. Even if you would like to moderate the groups, you should consider using a video focus groups company to help you manage some or all aspects of your market research.
These types of companies offer a lot of expertise and know-how when it comes to setting up, recruiting, facilitating, and reporting on qualitative market research data.
- Reach-out: call or email a video focus groups company to inquire about your project.
- Offer details: give the company the specifications or ask for recommendations.
- Proposal: review the proposal sent to you by the qualitative market research company.
- Choose: make the choice on which video focus groups company best fits your needs.
- Kickoff: the partner will schedule a kickoff meeting with your team to go over everything.
- Workplan: the market research firm will prepare tasks, responsible parties, and timeline document.
- Screener: the screener is used to recruit and qualify participants for the video focus groups.
- Recruit: the firm actively reaches out to find participants who match your demographics.
- Guide: while the recruit is started, the market research firm will prepare a draft moderator’s guide.
- Confirmations and reminders: the partner will follow-up with participants to increase show rates.
- Instructions: the qualitative research firm will send information to aid with sign-in for the group.
- Focus groups: this is when the video focus groups take place over 1 to 2 hours.
- Transcripts: these come in handy to ensure all of the discussion is captured for the report.
- Report: the video focus groups company will prepare a detailed report with recommendations.
What are the benefits of video focus groups?
Not sure if in-person focus groups or video focus groups are a better fit for your needs? It can prove helpful to have a discussion with a qualitative market research company.
Here are 3 high-level benefits of video focus groups:
1. Go National. When it comes to in-person get-togethers at a focus group facility, the brand is restricted to recruiting participants in/around the host cities. If you are hosting a focus group in Syracuse, you are restricted to the participants who live or work in/around Syracuse. Those boundaries do not exist with video focus groups. Because the groups are conducted online, a focus group can be composed of participants from California, Texas, Hawaii, New York, and Florida.
2. Greater Access to Demographics. Along with geographic boundaries, you may also be limited by demographic or behavioral feasibility. For example, if you are looking to hold focus groups with college students who are in session, this would prove very difficult if you wanted to host the groups in rural Iowa. However, with video focus groups you could draw from this demographic across the U.S.
3. Reduced travel time and fees. Since the video focus groups are hosted digitally, say goodbye to days of travel for qualitative research, hotel fees, airfare, and Uber rides. Have a group on back-to-back nights for your company on Wednesday and Thursday where you are assigned by your boss to take notes? This may be easier to watch on your comfy couch with a glass of wine in-hand. Seems a lot more appetizing than traveling cross-country to watch the group while you are sleep deprived right?
Drive Research is a qualitative market research company located in Syracuse, NY. Need help with all aspects of your video focus groups project or just one component such as qualitative recruitment? We can help. Contact us using 1 of 4 options below.