Online, video focus groups are a popular way to remove geographical boundaries from qual research and access participants from all over the world. But it's important to not treat these sessions exactly the same as their physical counterparts. This short video covers some of the most common differences.
Preparing for Video Focus Groups
This is the first of a two part mini-series. In this first video, Charlotte Evans looks at the preparation stage of video focus groups. In the second part, Charlotte will look at how to improve moderation and analysis.
In the initial planning stages, the recruitment screener and decisions around over recruitment are the most important to consider. However, before any focus group takes place - also think about how stimuli, interactive tasks and topic guides will be used throughout the session.
In the early stages of planning your focus groups, your recruitment screener is one thing that you will need to get right. When recruiting for focus groups, it’s important that you communicate to your sample exactly what they will be required to do and what equipment they will need for the session. For example, if you are running a video session, we recommend you explain to your participants that the session will have video incorporated into it. It’s also a great idea to communicate the types of equipment, such as laptops and webcams, which your participants will need to have access to. This will prevent you from encountering any technical issues when your sessions start to run.
Taking steps to prepare for your focus group beforehand can also help you to get the most out of your session. If you’re planning to show participants stimuli such as videos, imagery or polls, these can be easily set up prior to it starting. When it then comes to your session, you can then easily show these to your participants and explore any of your key research questions about them. Using stimuli is great for visually showing new product concepts and advertising messages, so having these created ready for your session will help you get more insight from the discussion.
The last tip is to design and set up your focus group’s topic guides prior to your session. To do this, you will need establish your research goals then, curate questions that will help you to capture your key insight. Once you have these ready, you can then simply add them to the set up of your focus group and this will help you to maintain your discussion’s focus and direction throughout.
Online Research Hints & Tips
The Online Research Hints and Tips series is designed to provide quick, easy-to-digest and actionable advice to help you make the most out of online qualitative and quantitative efforts. Tackling topics that range from participant communication to database management, getting the most out of focus groups to engagement strategies - we're aiming to make the world of online research easier for everyone to understand.