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Global Mapping International

Online Focus Groups Generate Valuable Feedback


GMI Research Services can assist your ministry in conducting online focus groups.  Our online focus group facility is easy to use.  Our professional research staff has moderated dozens of groups for all types of organizations, and can handle any or all aspects of planning, recruitment, programming, moderating, analysis and report production.

Researchers have used focus groups for decades to learn about audience attitudes about ideas, products, companies, candidates and messages.  Groups can be formed from any constituency of interest – executives/boards, staff (or prospective staff), suppliers, users or recipients of a product or service, and many other constituencies. 

Focus groups are qualitative research, designed not to measure or predict behaviors and attitudes, but to learn how and why people behave or believe as they do. Focus groups benefit from the group dynamic, with responses leading to objections and ideas generating further ideas.   

Like in-person groups, online groups are usually guided by a trained moderator who has the freedom to use or deviate from a prepared discussion outline. The moderator can probe as needed. Representatives of the sponsoring organization can look on discreetly, without being noticed by participants, and can send private notes to the moderator.  Visual and audio exhibits can be shown/played for the participants to get their feedback.

Unlike in-person focus groups, participants in online groups don't all have to be in the same place at the same time. People who are broadly dispersed across the country or world can participate at times convenient for them. A group can last for several days or even weeks rather than a set, two-hour window. To blunt "group think," online moderators can require participants to respond to questions before they see others' responses. Online groups can support more participants than live groups because everyone can "talk" at the same time without interrupting.

Perhaps most importantly, online focus groups can be done for a fraction of the cost of live groups – no travel involved, no food to buy, and a written transcript is produced automatically!