Advantages & Disadvantages
You can use focus groups broadly, whenever you need to learn about people, customers, target groups. Ask them questions, dive deeper into their answers, discover their needs. This is possible especially in an online focus group, where people don't see each other, so they are much more encouraged to be honest about their feelings and experiences.
'Your brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room', create 'the room without you' for all discussion time.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO and founder
AdvantagesThere are many benefits of focus groups
What does 70% in survey results mean?
If 70% respondents of your survey said they like your product and 30% said they don’t, what does it mean? What do they like and what not? Do they don’t like it at all or just specific things?
Chat without video camera
Get much more honest answers than in traditional face-to-face focus groups when chatting online without video camera giving your respondents full anonymity and space to express their real thoughts.
Edward F. Fern showed a long time ago that interviews with one person (IDI) are much more creative than focus groups. And online focus groups have a lot in common with IDI’s.
Open questions give room for insights
According to Jakob Nielsen, Ph.D. and co-founder of Nielsen Norman Group “in the single test user, you only need to test with 5 users”. Learn about your customers during discussion instead of asking closed questions.
Text chat is the way we talk every day
In the comfort of their home or office, customers feel safe to participate in the discussion. And it’s the same as communicating on WhatsApp or Messenger.
Perfect environment for creativity
Crazy and bold ideas are lost when their authors don’t have confidence to share them. Online focus groups create safe environment where everyone can be heard.
Everyone has a voice
You can get more answers and from all participants online than in traditional setting. It’s much harder for one person to dominate online discussion and much easier for everyone to speak their mind.
Initial product interactions are online
Most customers interact with your product for the first time on the Internet. Why not talk to them in the same context?
Are you honest all the time?
Do you brush your teeth every evening? Do you take any medicaments? Can you swim? Would you answer these questions honestly if asked face to face or on video chat? When somebody sees you, do you always tell the truth?
There are few things you need to consider, but are they really disadvantages?
What do you want to know: how many or why?
If you need representative results, quantitative methods like surveys might be better suited to your needs. Qualitative research answers “Why?”, not “How many?”
Sometimes words are not enough
You can’t see people so you don’t know their body language.
Traditional face-to-face focus groups might be better if you want to have a deeper connection with your respondents.