Online Focus Groups


Online Focus Group demo


Online focus groups are becoming more popular because they are a quick, convenient and cost effective way to gather qualitative data.


As with traditional focus groups Business Advantage will recruit members of the target audience to agreed guidelines to meet at a pre-arranged time, except here, they interact over the internet by logging on to conferencing software.


Business Advantage develops the discussion or moderator's guide in collaboration with the client and has this translated into all the target languages. Our multi-lingual team of experienced moderators provides a complete and professional moderation service for groups in the Americas, EMEA and Asia/Pacific.


What are the benefits of online focus groups?


  • respondents do not have to travel to a central location as with traditional face-to-face focus groups so their time is not taken up travelling and travel expenses are avoided.
  • there are also cost savings as a venue and refreshments are not required.
  • the project can be completed quicker as the convenience and simplicity of this method makes recruiting respondents easier.
  • respondents do not need any special equipment and can participate from the comfort of their own computers.
  • respondents can be invited from all over the world and from difficult to locate areas - ideal for international market research, and the software allows respondents to participate in their native language.
  • stimuli such as videos, graphics, pictures, movies, flash presentations, text files, polls and web links can be used to engage the respondent.
  • respondents often open up more online than they would in person which is valuable for sensitive or technical subjects.
  • respondents interact with each other as well as the moderator in real time to generate deeper insights about the topic.
  • clients can also log on and view the focus group whilst it is taking place, in a virtual backroom, and can even prompt the moderator to ask a follow-up question to gain additional insight.

What can Online Focus Groups be used for?


Online Focus Groups can be used for any topic where qualitative input is required. Business Advantage has completed numerous online focus groups in EMEA, APAC and the Americas to great effect with participants from many vertical sectors including: students, mechanical engineers, architects, broadcasting/media design professionals and print managers. The response from participants has been very positive. They found the solution easy to use and everyone seemed to really enjoy the experience.


Using this technology works particularly well with participants in hi tech industries and the benefit of bringing together professionals from around the globe at a time and location convenient to them is fast becoming apparent to our clients. Transcripts are available for download shortly after each group which is a real bonus for our moderators who are often located in different time zones. Focus groups can be conducted in Asia/Pacific for example over night and our US clients have a top line report in time for breakfast.


All the data that is gathered is stored on the server and can be accessed for further analysis. Once the analysis is completed Business Advantage provides a full PowerPoint report covering all the salient points from the research for the client.


The report is then presented by telephone, NetMeeting or in person at a location of our client's choice.


Bulletin and Discussion Boards


Business Advantage can also provide bulletin or discussion boards, an alternative to online gocus groups which can provide detailed responses and lenghthy transcripts over time.


Participants can join the discussion at their convenience from anywhere in the world and this often leads to greater contribution to the discussion.


The moderator has the opportunity to vary the questions on a regular basis over an extended period of time giving the participants more time to consider their response.


Click here to view our case study