Monthly Archives: December 2014

Pinterest for Online Market Research

Social media communication concept

Emerging social media sites are excellent tools to use when conducting online market research because they allow an organization to understand the thoughts and actions of early adopters and how those may filter into the rest of their target audience over time. In addition to interacting directly with consumers and focus group participants via social media, these sites can prove to be especially useful as a resource for market researchers further down the road. While Pinterest has steadily been growing in number of users over the last few years, it still represents a new opportunity for organizations to get the insights they seek in order to gain a better understanding of how people think and why.

What Makes Pinterest a Useful Research Tool?

According to Pinterest, there are 1.36 million visitors to the site every day. Pinterest users set up virtual bulletin boards to which they “pin” various items to share with others – recipes, products, quotes, etc. These pins can then be shared, or “re-pinned,” allowing followers to spread items to a much wider audience. In terms of market research, the platform is useful in a number of ways, including:

  • Gauging Sentiment – What do users find interesting? How are they talking about products and services and how do they feel?
  • Establishing Importance – Since most pins represent what people want instead of what they already have, it shows organizations what a person’s goals are.
  • Tracking Trends – By following the most popular pins and boards, your team is able to see what is gaining the most traction and what people are sharing the most. This allows you to spot trends in your industry so you can stay a step ahead of the curve.

By leveraging the information Pinterest has to offer, you will be able to thoroughly conduct the qualitative market research you need to support your advertisement, marketing, and development strategies.

How Can Pinterest Be Used for Qualitative Market Research?

In addition to monitoring activity on the site, research teams can use Pinterest as a tool when conducting online focus groups. Many photos and pins on the platform are posted numerous times, each with a different caption. By asking participants to rate the pins based on the caption, you can see the type of messaging and positioning that is resonating most with your target audience. Do they prefer emotional pins or those that use a basic description for a product that is on sale?

If you are conducting a multi-day focus group as part of your online market research, you can create an assignment for participants that asks them to create a board based on your company, your brand’s personality, their personality, or even 10 things they want to accomplish in the next 10 years. This helps facilitate discussion between participants and gives your organization more qualitative information with which to work. You can learn more about how Pinterest can be used for your organization’s research goals and the benefits of online research over in-person methods by contacting an e-Focus Groups representative today at (707) 585-7363.

Source:

  1. 13 ‘Pinteresting’ Facts About Pinterest Users [INFOGRAPHIC],” Pinterest, n.p., n.d., Web, 23 December 2014.

Smartphone Usage Leads to Improved Mobile Market Research

The number of Americans that have a smartphone and use it to access the Internet continues to grow. According to the Pew Research Internet Project, 63% of all adult cell users use their phones to go online, even those who do not own a smartphone. As such, companies are now tuned more than ever into their target audiences and have the ability to connect with them at any second. In addition to making it easier for customers to learn more about a company’s products and services, smartphones enable organizations to conduct online market research that vastly improves upon older methods.

An increase in smartphone users benefits a company’s mobile market research strategy by allowing researchers to interact with a larger audience, work quickly and conveniently, and receive higher quality responses during a focus group.

Larger Sample Size

One of the drawbacks of conducting an in-person focus group is that it is difficult to get a sufficiently large sample size as to be statistical representative of your target audience when looking for feedback. As more and more of your customers use their smartphones to access your website or app, you are introduced to a more diverse set of individuals. This gives you a greater opportunity to solicit participation in a focus group or web survey. Whether you want to ask a few qualitative questions after a purchase has been made using your mobile site, or capture demographical data for your visitors, you are able to get a representative amount of information that will truly be useful to your research team.

Quick and Convenient Results

The best time to conduct online market research is when your customer is already thinking about or interacting with your company. For example, it is smart to present a customer with a short survey on their satisfaction once a sale has been completed. With more customers using smartphones to research and purchase from a company, they can conveniently complete a web survey, and your business quickly gets the results it needs. A customer can use his or her smartphone while on the go, so that your research is not limited to participants having to stay at a home computer. Your organization also saves time and money by not having to send out a research team on location to complete interviews or focus groups in person.

High Quality Data Collected

In addition to there being more smartphone users in the United States, people are also much more willing to participate in focus groups or online market research using their phone than they were in the past. As such, you are more likely to get accurate and thoughtful information from your participants rather than someone clicking through randomly or skipping questions in order to be finished. Additionally, performing mobile market research helps you connect with your target audience using a medium that is particularly important to consumers nowadays. By listening to your customers and what they care about, you will build a relationship that is mutually beneficial.

To learn more about mobile market research online using a smartphone or other device, and to discuss your particular needs, contact an e-Focus Groups representative today at (707) 585-7363.

Marketing concept: Calculator on smartphone

Assessing Employee Needs with Online Focus Groups

In order to get stronger as an organization, it is important to be able to look inside to find ways that you can improve on your everyday processes. One of the best ways to do this is by surveying employees to see how the process and policies you’ve developed are being put to practice each day. Doing so gives you insight into how employees feel about the organization, how they are affected by decisions that have been made and the ideas they have for the future of the company. Online focus groups facilitate discussion between employers and employees and give each group a forum for collaboration that will pay dividends down the road. Online qualitative research is often conducted by companies for a number of reasons, including anonymity, credibility, and cost.

Employees Provide Open, Honest Feedback

Since focus groups can be made completely anonymous when they are done online, employees are more willing to participate. Employees do not want to experience backlash or be put in a situation where they feel that they cannot be open and honest for fear that their job status may be negatively affected. Bulletin board focus groups feature online chats in which participants can interact with one another and a moderator, without management being involved. This way, employees can discuss various topics with one another while management gets a deeper look into what goes on and how people feel on the job.

In addition, employees are able to participate in these discussions away from the work setting, where they may feel pressured to give certain or favorable responses. In the end, you want truth, and to see what is and is not working for your business.

Online Focus Groups Deliver Credible Results

Without open and honest feedback from participants, the results and data gathered from focus groups would be worthless. By working with a third-party company with expertise in conducting these groups, you take bias out of the proceedings and allow for the process to unfold naturally. An alaternative to the Bulletin Board focus group discussed above is the real-time, text-based focus group. Rather than taking days, such a group is typically 90 minutes and you and your team are able to communicate with one another in a virtual back room as well as with the moderator, while participants answer questions and chat with one another.

After the group is over, whether it is after 90 minutes or over several days, your research providere is able to gather and analyze responses. The resulting information can then be used to influence company-wide changes in policy and procedures while improving relationships between all employees.

Complete Research Faster and for Less

Online focus groups for your employees save precious time and resources. Not only are you able to quickly enlist employees to participate, but the fast turnaround time also means you have results in your hands right when you need them. Employees are able to take part in the focus group from the comfort of their own home, which means that the normal workday is not interrupted. Due to the nature of a focus group online, you and your team can also get real-time information and help mold the conversation to new topics that come up during the conversation.

Explore your options for using focus groups online to gauge employee sentiment and feedback by calling the experts at e-Focus Groups today at (707) 585-7363.

Hands together

What Happens During Multi-Day Bulletin-Board Discussions?

The key to conducting market research online is being able to generate the volume and quality of content needed to provide actionable insights that will benefit your organization. In order to accomplish this goal, it is necessary to have participants that are engaged and invested in the process. Without sincere feedback about your brand, products, and services, you will be unable to have meaningful data that you can use to your benefit. Multi-day, bulletin-board style focus groups help achieve your goals in a number of ways by giving your organization more opportunities to interact with participants and gather the information that’s most useful. The most distinctive thing about these multi-day discussions is that they generate an enormous amount of qualitative data for analysis. The challenge is to structure activities over the length of the discussion that will keep respondents engaged and coming back.

Assigning Activities for Participants

When running a multi-day discussion as part of your market research, it is critical that your participants remain engaged throughout the length of the focus group. Assigning activities for participants to complete not only keeps their interest in the task at hand, it also helps uncover unexpected avenues for additional exploration. Some activities that you can assign as part of an online focus group include:

  • Collages – A collage can help you and your team get a better feeling for how a participant perceives your company and its products. When conducting a focus group around a new product launch, for example, you may ask your participants to put together a collage based on the emotion they get from using the product. An experienced market research vendor will be able to structure creative variations on this technique.
  • Short Videos – Video can be an especially powerful component of a multi-day discussion. On the one hand, your organization may one or more short videos for participants to react to. On the other, many multi-day research platforms make it easy for respondent to upload short videos they create using their mobile devices. Potential video assignments include asking a participant to film him or herself using a product or expanding on a topic of your choosing, such as their impression of your advertising strategy. This gives the participant a chance to open up outside of the focus group setting.
  • Pre-Group Homework Assignments – Assignments such as keeping a diary on an assigned topic or visiting assigned websites can help prepare participants to hit the ground running so that the available time the next day is maximized.

Many Topics Covered without Pressure

Since new topics are discussed each day, a ton of content is generated over the multi-day period. Breaking up your market research online into themed days also makes it easier for both your team and participants to stay on track. The focus can be placed on certain elements that you want to observe and record without feeling that you are constantly pressed for time. A main benefit is that you are able to follow up on activities and foster deeper discussions than would be possible in a traditional two-hour focus group. For example, diving spontaneously into responses made by a participant or sparking a new conversation that was unplanned often results in deeper and unexpected insights.

Additionally, participants do not feel pressured by time constraints when an online focus group is conducted over a few days. They are able to type as much or as little as they want about a subject, which provides you with open and honest feedback. To learn more about multi-day, bulletin-board discussions and how to conduct online market research, contact the e-Focus Groups experts at (707) 585-7363.

Market Research Online

Advantages of Online Research over Face-to-Face Interviews

When your company is in the market research phase of product development, or just want to solicit feedback from loyal consumers to help improve your brand, it is necessary to find a method that allows for both you and your audience to work as efficiently as possible. Market research and focus groups help your business connect with your consumers outside of the usual company-customer relationship. Online focus groups create a comfortable environment for participants so you can get the honest information you need for your organization. Your company can also realize a number of benefits that will aid your efforts moving forward.

Online Research Saves You Money

One of the toughest things to do when conducting face-to-face interviews is finding a large and diverse sample size to get the highest level of accuracy in your findings. This costs a good amount of time and money, because you need to employ a research team, send the focus group moderator and client team to various locations around the country, and pay for expensive of shipping any related materials such as concept boards and so on. Online research is beneficial in this regard in a number of ways, including the following:

  • Cheaper to conduct online focus groups and/or surveys online
  • No need to pay for focus group facility and associated costs.
  • No need to send a client team around the country

As a result, you see significant savings without sacrificing the quality of data you are able to collect.

Online Research Enhances Participant Comfort

Recruiting for traditional, face-to-face focus groups may be more challenging because of the burden placed on respondents to travel to the facility, deal with traffic, find parking, and so on. Online focus groups alleviate this by permitting respondents, moderators and clients to interact from the comfort of their own home.

Online respondents do not need to commit as large a block of time out of their day to deal with travel to a facility. Instead, online market research is completed quickly and painlessly. Participants enter virtual focus group rooms that may be text-based or that use phone/webcam in order to provide vital feedback that companies can use for everything from product tweaks to their next advertising campaign.

Online Research Elicits More Accurate Responses

Face-to-face interviews may be intimidating to participants who are self-conscious in group settings or who are uncomfortable speaking candidly to a researcher. We find that many people are more comfortable sharing their opinions electronically rather than the awkwardness or contentiousness that can result from an in-person focus group. There is a good chance your respondents will provide better quality and more truthful answers online. Also, multi-day bulletin-board style discussions allow respondents to answer in as much detail as they wish rather than being under the time-pressure of a face-to-face group and having to take turns.

Finally, research discussions related to medical or other very personal concerns may be too embarrassing for candid disclosure in a face-to-face setting. For this reason, people may shy away from an invitation to join an in-person focus group centered on these topics. Instead, online focus groups give participants the freedom to open up about their feelings and situations, so that clients get the honest information they need to the key insights which will lead to the success of their products and/or services.

Learn more about how online market research will benefit your organization by contacting an e-Focus Groups representative today at (707) 585-7363.

hen your company is in the market research phase of product development, or just want to solicit feedback from loyal consumers to help improve your brand, it is necessary to find a method that allows for both you and your audience to work as efficiently as possible. Market research and focus groups help your business connect with your consumers outside of the usual company-customer relationship. Online focus groups create a comfortable environment for participants so you can get the honest information you need for your organization. Your company can also realize a number of benefits that will aid your efforts moving forward.

Online Research Saves You Money

One of the toughest things to do when conducting face-to-face interviews is finding a large and diverse sample size to get the highest level of accuracy in your findings. This costs a good amount of time and money, because you need to employ a research team, send them to various locations around the country, and pay for expensive materials and survey equipment. Online research is beneficial in this regard in a number of ways, including the following:

  • Cheaper to conduct surveys online
  • Don’t need to pay for a survey moderator or third-party staff
  • No need to send a client team around the country

As a result, you see significant savings without sacrificing the quality of data you are able to collect.

Online Research Enhances Participant Comfort

A main reason that organizations have trouble finding the amount of willing participants they need to conduct thorough research is that surveys can be an inconvenience. Face-to-face interviews done outside of a retail location may be rushed because consumers have other things they need to get done on a busy day. Online focus groups alleviate this by permitting survey moderators and participants to interact from the comfort of their own home.

For the respondent, this also means that they do not need to travel to a research facility or commit blocks of their time to assist your company with its research. Instead, online market research is completed quickly and painlessly. Participants enter virtual focus groups that are either text-based or which include video chats in order to provide vital feedback that companies can use for everything from product tweaks to their next advertising campaign.

Online Research Elicits More Accurate Responses

When conducting face-to-face interviews, it may be intimidating to participants who may not want to speak so candidly to a researcher. Anonymous or not, people are more comfortable sharing their opinions electronically rather than the awkwardness or contentiousness that can result from an in-person focus group. Your respondents will provide better quality and more truthful answers online.

In addition, some research that relates to medical or personal information is embarrassing for people to speak about. For this reason, people may shy away from an invitation to join an in-person focus group centered on these topics. Instead, online focus groups give participants the freedom to open up about their feelings and reality, so that organizations get the honest information they need that will be helpful in the future.

Learn more about how online market research will benefit your organization by contacting an e-Focus Groups representative today at (707) 585-7363.

Market Research Online