Saturday, April 19, 2014

Private Online Community Focus Group Research

Shobha Subramanian and Soniya Mahajani in an article in Brand Equity, the supplement to The Economic Times of India, on 16.4.2014 titled "Unfocused But Why?" stated that in many developed markets, private online communities are being used for focus group research.

The private online community consisted of specially recruited consumers, with whom researchers interact, converse and dialogue. The biggest advantage of this method is that members respond at a time and from a place convenient to them. The critical group dynamics is retained since members respond to what others say.

It may be limited to consumers who have internet connectivity. Hence it can have some limitations.

Focus Group Research in Marketing - Some Opinions - 2014

An article was published in the Brand Equity Supplement of The Economic Times, India with the title Unfocused Groups.

Shobha Subramanian and Soniya Mahajani wrote a comment article on it with the title "Unfocused But Why?" in the Brand Equity of 16 April 2014.

The wrote:

Focus groups are a fantastic tool.  The discussion about a subject in a focused group allows participants to dig deep into their own selves, have conversation with others and to agree and disagree.  The dynamics that come into play, the agreements and disagreements, emphatics statements, examples or incidents quoted provide rich understanding and insights to the market researchers. This research technique or tactics cannot be replaced by other methodologies.

But still we need to figure out why focus group researches in India have not delivered the expected results. According to authors, the root cause is extremely low budgets provided. The low budgets meant that people are using the technique where it is not suitable in preference to other methods. Thin and superficial researches are being conducted. The research users marketers and brands are suffering.