Focus group survey Vs Online survey: How to choose the best method for your Market Research

Blocksurvey blog author
Jul 10, 2023 · 4 mins read

One of a company's essential investments in its business, marketing, and sales strategy is market research.

This can assist a company in better understanding its competitors, market trends, and customers' wants, needs, and purchasing habits.

While market research is precious, determining which methodology best suits a company's specific aims and objectives can be complicated.

Focus groups, for example, are a popular qualitative market research technique, whereas online surveys are an excellent quantitative technique.

So, how can you know which method is ideal for your company's research needs? Here are the advantages and disadvantages of focus groups vs surveys to help you make an informed decision.

What is a Focus Group?

By definition, focus group is a group of people chosen to discuss a product or a service and provide feedback about a campaign. It is helpful to get an opinion on a predetermined topic and to perform a group analysis.

Typically, the goals of a focus group are to learn about people's opinions on a product, company, or concept.

Simply, a focus group means, group of people guided by a moderator who asks participants questions and frequently stimulates debate among the members. As such, focus groups aren't designed to reach a consensus or make a choice among the participants. Instead, they are used to identify thoughts, attitudes, and perceptions that might aid strategic planning.

This form of market research can be done in person at a focus group facility or online using Zoom or another video conferencing software.

Companies are increasingly using online focus groups to reach customers across the United States without holding several group discussions in different parts of the country.

Using Focus Groups for Market Research

Businesses use a focus group survey to observe the behavior of people participating in an interactive group environment.

It's essential to arrange a focus group survey session in a neutral environment where potential customers feel comfortable providing honest feedback after being introduced to your products or services for the focus group to provide insights on which a firm may act.

After the business representatives have given the focus group members an informal introduction to their products or services, the members of the focus group should be free to experiment with and utilize the products being tested.


  • For various reasons, focus group surveys are an excellent approach to gathering input and data.
  • By their very nature, focus groups allow participants to interact and discuss subjects with one another during the discussion (which can lead to insightful comparisons).
  • Face-to-face engagement encourages individuals to think about one other's views and opinions.
  • This is advantageous because participants can fine-tune their ideas, resulting in more reliable data for the organization to use.
  • Although qualitative data is more difficult to categorize than quantitative data, getting a glimpse into customers' brains can be incredibly beneficial.
  • Companies can use the moderator's capacity to ask quick follow-up questions and chat with participants on issues of interest because focus groups are built to be flexible.


  • Focus groups for market research have several drawbacks, including the fact that they are costly, time-consuming, and resource-intensive.
  • Members of the focus group may require payment, depending on the structure, which adds to the company's cost. In addition, each focus group requires both preliminary training and ongoing supervision to ensure that they understand how the process works.
  • Focus groups are a means to gather individualized input in a group setting, but they take more resources and supervision than internet surveys.

What Are Online Surveys?

Online surveys are a common way to gather information about the general public or a specialized group.

Simply said, a survey is a set of questions that people answer, and the results of which can be gathered and analyzed. The information gathered through surveys can be generalized and broadened to cover a larger target group.

There are two main elements of online surveys:

When a specific subgroup of the target demographic is chosen to answer a set of survey questions, this is referred to as sampling.

A vegetable firm, for example, wants to poll grocery buyers who buy apples at least twice a month. The actual survey draft or questions asked in the research are known as questionnaires.

Using Online Surveys for Market Research

When it comes down to it, online survey questions are the least expensive method of target market research with the highest return.

Businesses can save time by regularly drafting and developing an online survey, distributing it to diverse groups of respondents, storing all response data in a centralized and safe area, and efficiently communicating their findings.


  • Perhaps the most cost-effective market research tool is online questionnaires. Because the majority, if not all, of the process, is completed online, it helps cut down on project administration and additional costs associated with other qualitative research.
  • Online surveys can be completed in as little as 24 hours in some circumstances. It's also worth noting that the speed with which fieldwork is conducted does not mean you're losing quality.
  • Survey sampling also enables businesses to estimate a wider population's characteristics accurately.
  • This is a tremendous benefit for significant or geographically distributed populations, and it justifies the use of survey research.


  • The main downside of online surveys is that they are risky. Because a representative is not always present in the room with the survey respondent, the respondent may misinterpret the question, resulting in false response data. On the other hand, this problem can be effectively avoided if survey creators adhere to survey best practices.
  • Unlike focus groups, online surveys do not allow for a back-and-forth interaction between the administrator and the responder.

To Survey or Not to Survey

In market research, both focus groups and online surveys have a place.

Consider the nature of the feedback and insights you're looking for the next time deciding which method to use for your research. Use a focus group instead of an online poll for more conversational, interaction-based input.

Also Try: Market Research Templates

Like what you see? Share with a friend.

blog author description

Vimala Balamurugan

Vimala heads the Content and SEO Team at BlockSurvey. She is the curator of all the content that BlockSurvey puts out into the public domain. Blogging, music, and exploring new places around is how she spends most of her leisure time.


Explore more