More than ever before, there are alternatives to focus groups. Here's why those alternatives are better.
Good managers should base their decisions on research. That’s obvious. But numbers don’t always tell the entire story.
Surveys too often tell us what we already know. They fail to find pioneering strategies and rarely show us the way forward. But qualitative research is also full of flaws; can we really base our corporate strategy on a small, random collection of people, through a method that lacks validity and reliability?
5 reasons NOT to hold a focus group
- They are expensive. You pay to seek, invite, guide, record, and analyze participants. Are 15 people really worth the $5k?
- They are small. You can have up to 15 people in a group. Even if you pay for 10, it’s still a small convening. How can we make decisions based on 150 people?
- They are inaccurate. You never really know which kinds of people are coming to your focus group. Diversity can hardly be achieved in small samples.
- They are subjective. You might reach different conclusions if you read the raw data. But unless you’re part of the group, would you really have time to read it?
- They are biased. Groupthink is inevitable. In focus groups, listening to participants can sometimes skew responses.
Alternatives to focus groups
Unlike the myth of old-style researchers, there are alternatives to focus groups. There are two types of solutions: passive and active.
Passive tools deduce qualitative insights from your target audience without getting them involved. Data mining of posts on the web is one example. You can understand the general sentiment by analyzing keywords from social networks.
Active tools turn your clients and employees into partners, which triggers joint brainstorming around your challenge. Instead of getting insights by reading between the lines, clients and employees can help you find solutions directly.
Whereas the traditional managers used passive tools, the leaders of today boldly leverage active tools to get insights from their target audiences. Clients not only know what will serve them, but they also have a vested interest to promote it. Modern managers are not afraid to ask directly.
How can insights help?
The Insights platform helps you get qualitative insights from large audiences, at a fraction of the cost & time. Not only does it leverage the crowd to analyze the answers you receive, but it also keeps everyone informed of their impact. This way, you gain both valuable insights and trust from your audiences.
Commitment from stakeholders is by far the most important asset a brand can achieve. Dedicated clients, employees and citizens create long-term success, not just temporary gains. By building communities of trust, senior executives can both collect better insights and create more strategic partnerships.