Cost, Leadtime and Sustainability of Face-to-Face and Internet Focus Groups
The traditional approach to focus groups involves recruiting participants in locations representative of the target market, hiring facilities in each location, and traveling to each location to interview the participants. The alternative Internet approach, on the other hand, uses either instant messaging or a bulletin board to interview the participants. This article will compare and contrast these two methods from a cost, leadtime and environmental sustainability standpoint.
Let’s pick a typical example where a single moderator based in Chicago will run multiple focus groups in three cities, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Using the traditional approach, the respondents for the study are recruited using email or mail or telephone. The moderator runs the first groups in Chicago, then flies to New York for the second group, and then travels on to Los Angeles for the third group.