Five steps to chat-based online focus groups success

Conducting a face to face, traditional style, focus group requires careful preparation to ensure the ninety-minutes spent with the panel of people is not wasted. Tasks such as checking your audio and video and making sure the refreshments are ready to be served.  You have people arriving in the waiting room where they are reading their consent slip, which explains their right and obligations by participating. The observers are already waiting for the group to start in another room looking at the group area through a one-way mirror or a video monitor. Just like traditional focus groups an online chat focus group takes the time to prepare but enables you to cut out a lot of the expense, time and logistics. However, you still need to prepare for the online group, and the more time you invest, the better the results. The advantage of online is that once you prepare for one group the easier, faster and cheaper it will be to conduct additional online focus groups. To get the most out of a chat-based online focus group follow these five steps for success. Schedule groups to run on a day and time that suits you and your participants. Forget about traffic and travel time, it’s no longer relevant, but do think about the times your participant’s might be sitting down to dinner or relaxing at home for the evening. Leave it too late and they become too relaxed and are likely to forgo participating at the last minute, start it too early you might not give them enough time to get home. Check with the recruiter, or the...

7 Reasons chat online focus groups deliver insight

Chat online focus groups involves bringing a group of people together in a web browser environment at the same time to chat about ideas and questions guided by a structured discussion plan. In a traditional focus group, people might sit around a table or in close proximity in the same room, but in an online chat focus group people are sitting in their home or in any location that has internet access. The online focus group moderator manages the group over a sixty to ninety minute time frame by activating topics in a structured discussion plan. It’s as close as you can get to focus group chat automation using a real person to control the flow of the discussion and the depth of the participant responses – in real-time. People logged in to the online focus group express their views, thoughts and opinions in response to questions or topics through live text chat. You might ask people if they would purchase a proposed product or service, and why! What do you need to do to improve an offer so your target market would be more likely to buy or use your service? It goes without saying, these are the types of agile conversations you should be having with your target audience on a regular basis. Seven reasons why chat online focus groups work It is a perfect solution to engage a group of geographically dispersed participants of between 6 and 12 to get the answers you need on any topic. No need to wait for transcripts to be scribed form audio recordings the text chat transcripts are available right...

7 recruitment tips for online qualitative research

Free participant recruitment Guide! The key to successful people recruitment for online qualitative research projects begins with the first contact. Being able to clearly articulate what you expect of participants and how you will reward them. Recruiting for online research is different from traditional recruitment methods and requires an agile and proven online approach, as well as understanding how to engage participants once they enter the group. Participants recruited need to be able to jump on-board and learn how to use the online technology while participating, and without having to be trained in how to use the software before the group begins. A requirement for participant training only adds to the cost of recruitment and creates unwanted friction before the project has even started. 7 tips for online research automation recruitment: Don’t be afraid to inform – include a summary of the purpose of online focus group or discussion. To do this you need to understand what you are asking them to do and what value their contribution will make? The incentive reward is vital, but you will get an improved buy-in if you can help participants identify with the subject matter. We all like to be valued, and the same goes for individuals’ opinions. If people feel their views are appreciated they would be more likely to log into your group after a long day’s work. Set clear expectations and confirm – include a clear list which provides a summary of what people can expect when agreeing to participate in an online focus or community discussion group. A confirmation email should outline what a participant can expect on...

Ultimate moderator’s guide: online focus groups.

There are typically two forms of real-time (live) online focus groups: the popular text chat online focus group and the video and audio online focus groups. Chat or text based online focus groups are a great way to start realising the benefits of using online focus groups. they are easy to set up and are very satisfying for participants who feel they are more part of an experience than a process. Reports and transcripts from the group discussion are available immediately. Webcam or video and audio based online focus groups are growing in popularity as internet speed and capacity increases. Video and audio groups require the participant to have access to a web camera and a set of earphones and a microphone. Not everyone is comfortable appearing on camera, but audio and chat focus groups provide a hybrid method for those topics which may require a little more personal sensitivity. How to plan a real-time (Live) online focus group discussion. Stay informed subscribe First Name Please add your first name Email Address Please add your email address Submit The success of your online focus group is determined by the time you spend preparing your research plan /discussion guide. Like most online research projects, putting together an online real-time group typically adheres to an 80/20 rule, with 80% of your time spent planning and the remaining 20% actually conducting the group. The GroupQuality® built in Plan Manager provides you with all the help and tools you need to design an online discussion guide. A discussion guide includes topics you post to the group to both initiate and guide the groups...

How to reward online research participation

The most common question we get asked is how do you incentivise (reward) consumers, or participants, who have agreed to take part in an online research project. What do we pay them to maximise the contribution and ensure ongoing engagement? First of all let me say there isn’t any easy one-size-fits-all solution, or secret formula, to ensure people log-in regularly to an over-time discussion board, or turn up to a live online focus group. Even though incentive payments are important, as equally important is the regularity of contact you have with participants before and during your online research project. Typically, online focus groups, or online interviews, run between 60 and 90 minutes. When considering the incentive the first rule of thumb is to think about how you would incentives these people if they were participating in an old style face to face (physical) focus group. The message here is don’t assume because people are sitting in front of the computer at home, or in the office, you can reward them as little as possible. You need to incentivise individuals based on time, complexity and targeting of your project. But, I do acknowledge that participants’ save time and money not having to organise travel to a physical location. So let’s look at it this way, if you were to incentivise individuals $90 to be at a physical location for an hour, then you might decide to incentives 20% to 30% less. However, in the case of a group of professionals a reduced rate may not be appropriate. Online discussion boards, or mini communities, are a little bit different as they...

Moderating focus groups – the online moderator

It’s easy to be intimidated by the idea of moderating or facilitating research in a focus group setting, but in reality moderation can be as easy as ABC when a focus group is conducted using the Group Quality™ online environment. The Internet has given marketers and researchers a unique opportunity. We can now conduct effective focus groups in a completely web-based environment. Even though a chat or webcam-based online focus group is a lot easier than moderating a traditional focus group, online focus groups are still subject to many of the same rules. Even though the format might have changed, and conducting a focus group just got a whole lot easier, the core principles of moderating a focus group hasn’t. Moderating the focus group discussion An online focus group is a structured conversation. During the group discussion, the moderator extracts the insights needed to make important decisions. Even though participants open up more readily in a anonymous chat based focus groups, people are not inclined to discuss intimate thoughts and feelings with those they don’t feel comfortable with. For that reason, the first thing any focus group moderator should do is build some basic rapport with the group participants. This can be done by simply saying “hi“ and asking participants to share a common experience. Often referred to as a warm up exercise, introductory discussion by text chat, or video and audio, helps to quickly break the ice. If a moderator appears calm, open, and friendly, the group members are likely to behave in a similar fashion. The moderator can launch a page in the focus group workspace to set down...