On-line marketing research surveys are becoming more common. What are the pros and cons of using the Web to conduct a focus group? How does the statistical validity and reliability of a quantitative on-line survey compare with the validity and reliability of a telephone survey? Responses are to be shared with the class for discussion. The on-line marketing research surveys are made of respondents with access to personal computer and web browsers based on research specifications. The respondents are predicted to be more open and verbal than in traditional focus groups because they cannot be seen. The clients conducting on-line focus group are able to witness the entire session from their own PC’s. The researchers are able to communicate with one another from different locations as well as with the moderator. The respondents do not see these backroom communications. The problems with on-line focus groups are that the security of these sessions is not tight as with live sessions. The inability to view the respondent’s body language and the inability to quickly and effective show external stimuli in case studies. “Telephone interviewing is the best method for gathering information quickly.” (Kotler & Stevens, 2008, pg.196) With the on-line survey, you don’t get the opportunity to expand on a question therefore, the answer may be left up to interpretation. Also, with the on-line survey the chance of a person embellishing is greater. Telephone interviewing provides the opportunity to explain and expand on a question. A person’s is less likely to embellish while verbally being heard. Reference:
Kotler, P., Shalowitz, J., & Stevens, R. J. (2008). Strategic marketing for health care organizations: Building a customer-driven health system. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.