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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Market Research Tools: Online Discussion Forums

Online marketing research forums -- or bulletin board focus groups -- add important "time extension" to traditional depth interviews. Online Discussion Forums are virtual discussions conducted via exclusive online portals custom built for the marketing research project.

These highly involved qualitative marketing research discussions unfold over extended time frames. Forums, sometimes referred to as "qualitative bulletin boards" or "bulletin board focus groups (BBFG), deliver an outstanding qualitative method: forums have the interactive advantages of focus groups or face-to-face IDIs with the efficiencies and response validity of online interviewing technology.
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  • Forums extend for 3 to 4 days, thus permitting incubation as participants review ideas, collect their thoughts, and consider their reactions. Thus, we acquire deep insight in a short time.
  • Participants share their thoughts with great clarity and depth in Online Forums, offering an unexpected level of thinking, emotions, and understanding that far surpasses that which is normally acquired in traditional focus groups or online quantitative surveys.
  • Participants like the convenience of logging into Forums on their schedule, without the burden of appointment interviews or traveling to focus groups.
  • Multiple data capture methods: Forums rely heavily on qualitative open-ended text posts, yet short quanta-like questionnaires are also used to rate concepts, ads, and brand preferences.
  • Reach the hard-to-reach: Forums can bring together far-flung participants irrespective of geography, scheduling bricks, or time zones.
  • Multiple stimuli: Using the Forum portal, we will be able to show marketing materials such as video, print, and audio format; ideal for conveying product concepts, ads, and positioning.
  • Fast reporting: The Forum method and technology allows the moderation and analytic process to be integrated, allowing for early top-line reporting.

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