Market research is a crucial business function that answers questions that influence decision-making in the business. The right research strategy, when implemented correctly, generates a considerable return on your investment — which is why businesses are careful about the methods they use for research.
There are two popular market research methods: online survey solutions and focus groups. Both methods come with their sets of pros and cons in specific areas of market research.
Firsthand Feedback: Go with Focus Groups
Businesses use focus groups to analyze behavior among a group of people. The method involves people participating in an interactive group setting. It entails hosting the event at a neutral venue where participants can offer firsthand information.
Focus groups function like conversations between a company and its customers. The latter tries out a product and service and offers the business their feedback instantly. Businesses who wish to explore all angles of their feedback would learn more from personal discussions with customers. With a focus group, they learn how customers think and why they think that way.
While this method encourages good discussion, it can also be a costly and time-consuming endeavor since you have to narrow down the list of people you wish to join, as well as gather them. Also, qualitative data can be more difficult to analyze since it can be subjective.
Immediate and Definite Answers: Choose Online Surveys
If you want to get a definite answer from your customers through measurable metrics, online surveys are the way to go. By spending time designing an engaging survey, as well as asking the right questions, businesses can distribute surveys to different groups of respondents routinely. They can also get conclusive and instant results.
By choosing a representative sample, you can collect quantitative data that accurately represents your consumers. With a survey, you can:
- Gather more candid responses
- Yield concrete data
- Benchmark against previous data
- Track changes in responses over time
- Send follow-up messages or emails
Due to the rigid nature of its presentations, surveys won’t give you an idea of how respondents arrived at their conclusions. You can’t change the questions once you initiate the survey, as well. So, asking better questions is also important.
Which One should you Use?
If you aim to gather feedback or generate ideas about what customers think about your services and products, conducting a focus group survey would be more useful. Research that requires a more open-ended approach to the customer’s thought process will gain more insight from focus groups.
When it comes to collecting accurate and reliable data, however, survey research remains unparalleled. With an online survey, you have a larger sample size and more concrete data to analyze. If you require a more direct approach to gaining instantaneous and diverse responses, use an online survey for your research.
Both online surveys and focus groups have their place in market research. The next time you try to determine which method is ideal for your study, determine the nature of insight and feedback that you aim first.