Online Focus Groups

Online bulletin board focus groups are guided dialogues of up five to eight participants in a real-time conversation with a focus group moderator asking questions and guiding the conversation. Stimuli, such as graphics, video or websites can be introduced.

Because online focus groups are real time and the conversation takes place as text typed into the computer by the participants, these groups work particularly well for participants who are more comfortable with technology and type reasonably well.

Bulletin board focus groups, on the other hand, are not real-time and take place over a period of days, making them particularly well-suited for people living in different time zones, who may need extra time responding or for topics that may require more lengthy responses.

Bulletin board focus groups can include up to 20 participants. The bulletin board focus group software is an advanced threaded discussion system that facilitates the focus group dialogue. Participants are given a new set of discussion questions each day. They are allowed to proceed at their own pace and at their own time. A moderator engages them in conversation, encourages participants to exchange ideas and questions and probes to clarify participants’ responses. Since participants are not rushed to respond in real-time they can create thoughtful, comprehensive and informative responses within the BBFG format. As with online focus groups, stimuli, such as graphics, video or websites can be introduced.

We have conducted hundreds of online focus groups and developed efficient techniques for recruiting and effective techniques for engaging participants in an online environment. Examples of some of the topics we have conducted online focus groups about include:

  • Marketing message testing
  • Membership topics, including satisfaction and value
  • Leadership topics, including strategic priorities, values clarification and goal setting
  • Exploration of the potential impact or major organizational change
  • Consumer product preferences
  • Gender differences within a profession
  • Product choice and use within veterinary clinics
  • User response to online educational products

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