There are many ways to collect data about your customers. Two of the most popular are online surveys and focus groups. While online surveys are relatively new (after all, the internet has only been a significant part of our lives for around 20 years,) focus groups, have been used since the second world war—and potentially even before that. However, just because focus groups have a longer history doesn’t mean they are necessarily the right choice for your data collection needs.
We’ve gathered some information to help you make the right choice.
When it comes to the people participating, what sounds easier: logging on to online surveys or driving to a set location and giving up a significant amount of time to take part in a focus group? Because if it is more convenient to join in a survey, you may be able to get a wider range of participants too.
The flexibility aspect of a focus group versus a survey is one worth debating. Yes, a focus group can be pretty flexible. After all, you can conduct face-to-face data collection, or you can lead segments where responses are kept private. However, today’s online surveys are just as flexible and confidential. Also, you can utilize a combination of both an online and offline survey app as appropriate to extend your reach and obtain the information you require for your particular task.
While a focus group allows you to get “down and dirty,” and discuss issues with a few people, the hard truth is that you will always have a minuscule sample size. When you use online surveys, you can gather information from a vast number of individuals. This gives you a much higher reliability factor.
Also published on Medium.