The focus group stands as one of the most humanizing forms of research, and its approach has remained relatively unchanged for the last 20 years.
However, can focus groups work harder? One could argue that it is difficult to innovate on a classic, or indeed, that a classic should not be messed with at all. But innovation and crafty creative twists are what inspire and encourage deeper learning. FocusVision and Greenberg Strategy joined forces to launch a different qualitative approach: Double Take.
This particular Double Take study explored attitudes, motivations, fears, and perspectives among different generations of IT decision makers. As Millennials continue to fill leadership roles previously held by Baby Boomers, the technology industry must gain a better understanding of key generational differences.
In Phase I of the Double Take approach, a group of Millennial IT professionals remotely observed an in-person focus group discussion among seasoned IT professionals. The in-person focus group was broadcast on FocusVision’s FV360 Live system. An online moderator offered timely prompts and stimulated chatter within the streaming session, priming the remote participants for Phase II of the research.
In Phase II, the in-person focus group was dismissed, and the remote participants engaged in their own online discussion, via FocusVision’s InterVu platform. They explored their reactions to the Phase I in-person group and how opinions differed. Later the same day, this was repeated, except that the audiences were switched with the seasoned IT professionals remotely observing an in-person focus group of Millennials.
A key benefit of the Double Take approach is the ability to present unique and contrasting viewpoints, which can provide focus and stimulate conversation among participants. In our case, Millennials were able to observe and react to comments from seasoned IT professionals, calling attention to differences in learning styles, training needs and methods of communication. The research revealed important considerations for brands to ensure impactful engagement with the ever-changing face of IT decision makers.
The Double Take approach also created effective conversation in just two sessions, versus what would have ordinarily required four-to-six traditional focus groups. The discussions were packed with details that could never have been achieved in a straightforward homogenous focus group. Exposure to new and different points of view and great a-ha moments occurred when remote participants had a chance to critique, contrast and comment upon what they observed from the in-person session. The result was a more enriched, interactive and insightful research experience.
8 tips for managing your webcam discussion
In many ways, leading a focus group discussion virtually is quite similar to an in-person exercise. You still want to keep people engaged and connected as you work to capture the best insights. When using a virtual platform a few extra steps can ensure success.Read Now