Virtual Focus Groups: Because Viruses are Icky

Ah Zoom. Whether you've used it for what seems like an endless amount of meetings, to have a socially distanced movie night, or just hearing the name makes your blood boil, it isn't going away any time soon. Love it or hate it, you've definitely used it. But why talk about it if you already know all about it? Well, hold your horses partner we're getting there.

A Blast From the Past
We've covered focus groups at length before. But to quickly recap:
  • Get participants in a room together
  • Ask a lot of questions and guide a discussion about relevant topics
  • Collect thoughts, feelings, feedback, and insights
  • Make recommendations based on feedback and implement them (hooray!)
Now obviously a lot more goes into it than that, but those are the basics.

But Now, We Have Technology!
Picture this. You're living your normal life and all of a sudden, WHAM! The band? No, worse, a global pandemic. But what about all of those focus groups you had scheduled? What will you do? Take a breath. You can rest easy knowing you have a solution. Enter: virtual focus groups which come with distinct advantages over their traditional, in-person cousins.
  • Participants don't have to be in the same room together. Besides catering to our inner introverts and satisfying social distancing requirements, this actually makes it easier to recruit participants. Previously, participants all had to live relatively close to wherever the focus group was being conducted. Now, participants from all around the country can interact with each other from the comfort of their own homes.
  • Laser focused. We've all been in a group of people before, and in that group there's typically multiple conversations happening at once. Same thing applies with traditional focus groups. But have you ever tried to have a side conversation over Zoom? It'd be easier to carry a gallon of water in a strainer. Virtual focus groups eliminate side conversations and keep participants locked into the conversation at hand.
  • Cost Cutters. Let's be real. Money is tight nowadays for everyone. Virtual focus groups are an easy, cost-efficient solution that achieves similar results as a traditional focus group, at a lower cost.
Not every solution is perfect, and virtual focus groups are no exception. However, they're cost-effective, easy to recruit and moderate, and are a great substitute for in-person focus groups in this pandemic environment.