Best Tools For Conducting Focus Groups Online

Focus groups are guided discussions often used for qualitative research.  When conducting focus groups, questions are asked to engage participants to gather the opinion of group members. As technology has allowed us to transcend borders, it is now possible to organize focus groups through a wide variety of online tools. In this post we will explore the reasons why focus groups are conducted and provide you with a list of some  tools which can help you conduct online focus groups in an effective way.

Why Are Online Focus Groups Conducted?

Focus groups are usually held to acquire consumer feedback for products. The aim of such groups is to perform market research by acquiring honest and informal consumer feedback which can help improve a product or service. Conducting such focus groups online can be immensely cost effective and can help acquire feedback from a more diverse range of customers from within a targeted area or even across the world. During focus groups, participants may also require responding to an ad or stimuli, sharing and viewing documents like PowerPoint presentations, as well as answering questions related to a product, service or buying habit.

Conducting Focus Groups Online

Google Hangouts

Google Plus is one of the youngest social media network online, with a wide array of handy options for all kinds of users. Google Hangouts is perhaps one of the best features of Google Plus as it allows to chat with multiple users face to face using a computer or mobile device. Google Hangouts gives the flexibility to conduct focus groups by allowing users to participate in group discussions even when they are on the go (e.g. by using a mobile device). To start your Hangout, see the link given below.

Go to Google Hangouts

Google Hangout

Skype

Skype is perhaps the most famous VOIP application. It is available across multiple desktop and mobile platforms, which makes it an ideal too for conducting online focus groups. To use this feature, at least one person on the call will require  Skype Premium or group video subscription. Like most applications of it’s kind, users will require a webcam, broadband internet connection and audio input/output system. As Skype is widely used by many people, it can be easier to convince people from a wide market segment to spare some time for an online focus group discussion. Furthermore, Skype is easy to use and does not require elaborate settings. To get some ideas regarding conducting focus groups using Skype, see this post about collaboration for online presentations and meetings using Skype.

Skype

TeamViewer

TeamViewer is a remote desktop application which has grown to become far more than just a tool for remotely accessing computers. As we mentioned in one of our earlier posts, you can easily use TeamViewer to hold online meetings. While TeamViewer can be a bit complex to use, it is an ideal tool for online focus groups, considering it has all the necessary options for engaging an audience, including video chats, desktop screen sharing options, the option to schedule meetings and more.

TeamViewer

Qualvu

Qualvu is a web service that allows conducting online meetings via web or mobile apps. Qualvu has been specifically developed for facilitating qualitative research, which makes it ideal for conducting online focus groups. Using Qualvu, participants reply to questions using webcams via their PC or mobile applications. This service supports both smartphone cameras and flip-style digital cameras on mobile phones.

Go to Qualvu

Qualvu

GroupQuality

GroupQuality is a web service for qualitative and quantitative market research, which is the ideal online tool for conducting market research and holding focus groups. This service offers three different ways for gathering valuable feedback from your targeted market segment. With GroupQuality you can create Discussion boards to engage users to discuss a product, brand, service or topic, conduct live face to face focus groups, as well as deploy surveys and gather user feedback. To find out about pricing options and features of this service, visit the Group Quality website.

Go to GroupQuality

Group Quality

Definitely the new rules on Marketing and the technology changes can make a change on how to work with focus groups, discussion boards, real time groups and perform surveys.

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About Farshad

Farshad is a Tech Blogger from Pakistan who has worked for numerous international Technology Blogs. He is a former systems engineer and has been associated with the IT industry for the past 8 years, rendering professional services related to desktop administration, networking, SEO and Blogging. Connect with him at Google+

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