Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Focus groups – either live or online, and other forms of qualitative research – provide an interactive forum that lets our clients learn the fundamental attitudes, preferences, motivations, and opinions from those you are interested in reaching or serving. Typical surveys only scratch the surface of this type of feedback.

This type of research also enables research participants to share what they believe are relevant issues; the feedback is not just a response to the issues an organization might know about in advance. In this way, the findings can better reflect the range of opinions present in the marketplace.

Trained interviewers typically handle the recruiting portion of a live focus group, or the recruiting for an online focus group might be folded into a preliminary survey with respondents invited to participate by email.

Campbell Rinker handles every step, from recruiting to reporting. This research collects data in a highly interactive, dynamic format. Interaction between participants is encouraged.

The table below outlines some of the main differences between live and online qualitative research. After conducting hundreds of focus groups, we find that online qualitative provides a better depth of feedback (especially in the chat or long-term online panel format), while the live focus group is best for allowing clients to get a first-hand look at their constituents and see their emotional engagement.

Live Focus GroupsOnline Focus Groups
Geography25-mile radius from group locationParticipants from anywhere in the world
Duration~1.75 hoursUp to 3 days or longer
LocationProfessional facilityOnline chatroom format OR
Multi-person video
Participants14 recruited, to seat 8-1030 seated, with 20-25 responding
RecruitingPhone and/or emailEmail with phone confirmation
Exhibits/StimuliAudio, Video, Print, DigitalAudio, Video, 2-D Images, Digital
Bias ControlPrivate, on-site rescreener, moderator interactionsRespondents answer privately before seeing answers from others
DeliverablesTranscripts, report and/or videoTranscripts, report, video in the case of video focus groups
Client AccessLive (in observation room)
or via streaming video
Audit chat room or video
from any browser
ModeratorLive Campbell Rinker moderatorRemote Campbell Rinker
Incentives~$150 per-participant~$75 per-participant
Cost per Respondent~$750~$325

Depth Interviews

Another form of qualitative research is called depth interviews. While depth interviews are typically live – either in person or by phone – they are usually conducted either one-on-one or with at most two respondents (e.g. a husband and wife who both share an equal affinity for a non-profit and prefer to participate together).

Depth interviews are usually conducted in a series of six, eight or ten interviews for each unique segment or constituent group to be interviewed, using the same script each time. The interviews are recorded, transcribed and analyzed in a report for client review.