Monday, October 17, 2011

Tips and Tricks in Conducting Online Focus Groups

With marketing rese`rch becoming all the rage for up and coming businesses as well as established companies that want to gain an edge on their competitors it is no surprise that people are curious as to how exactly this type of data is gathered. There are various ways that marketing research can be conducted. Selecting what kind of approach to take would depend on your target market, what kind of shopper insights you want to collect and how much time you are willing to invest in marketing research.

In-depth interviews are the perfect approach when you want to truly grasp your shopper's insights. This is a one on one interview between the respondent and the interviewer. A few tips on how to collect the most relevant information would be to identify what business concerns you would like to resolve and to prepare the proper questions that would be most helpful in creating a resolution. Preparation is key when conducting these in-depth interviews. Because one on one interviews consume more time than other marketing research services it is crucial that you ask all the right questions. It would be a shame for an interviewer to invest time conducting an interview ill-equipped with the questions you required to further the success of your business.

Another marketing research technique that has proven to collect accurate data is online focus groups. Online focus groups consist of a website wherein a moderator, a number of respondents and observers can exchange thoughts, concerns and answer questions. It would be advisable to select a moderator that is specialized in conducting marketing research because he or she will be the one that creates a sort of discussion guide, which will be the topic in the focus group. Having a user-friendly online focus group is also a plus. If the manner in which the focus group is conducted is too profound, some respondents may be intimidated, resulting in a counterproductive group.

Recruitment of respondents is also a very important aspect of conducting any type of marketing research. You may have the right moderator and interviewer, but if you recruit respondents outside of your target market the information that will be collected will be invalid. If you are conducting more than one focus group, it would be helpful to be given some type of summary of what was accomplished. This allows you to process a small amount of information at a time, which lessens the chances of overlooking something important.

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