Content strategist Jennie Kim lays out the three components of a winning content strategy and...
Focus Groups vs. Telephone Surveys
In some ways, digital and social technology enable us to have continuous conversations with our consumers. But how meaningful are they as they relate to statistically significant information about what we sell or produce? Focus groups and telephone surveys are more reliable research methods when you are introducing a new concept or gauging consumers’ opinions about a complex issue. A skilled interviewer armed with a well-vetted questionnaire can elicit relevant information from respondents with both methods. The challenge may be in deciding which method to use when. Here are some things to consider.
Telephone Survey Advantages
- Telephone surveys allow you to reach a larger audience.
- Information from a large segment of your target population can be processed rapidly, giving you access to real-time data.
- Anonymity is preserved. If survey participants know their names will not be associated with responses, they are more likely to provide honest feedback.
Telephone Survey Disadvantages
- A research call may be perceived as a sales call and respondents might be wary.
- Research calls are invasive and rely upon a limited window of time to engage respondents.
- Interviewers have no ability to use visual aids.
Focus Group Advantages
- The conversation flow can provide insights you never considered when formulating questions.
- Body language and group interaction can be telling.
- Product demonstrations and visual aids can be used.
Focus Group Disadvantages
- Providing incentives to participants can increase the cost of focus.
- Your pool of potential participants is limited by geography and availability.
- Transcripts can be manipulated by focus group moderators.