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Why Your Mobile Customers are the New Focus Group

January 31, 2017

By EmilyCarrion

Posted by EmilyCarrion

What if you didn’t have to wait months to find out how a new feature is resonating with your audience? What if you could hear from 25 percent of your audience on a regular basis — not just the vocal minority?

I’m going to show you how you can leverage your mobile app audience for rapid feedback loops and why traditional focus groups are dead.

The problem with focus groups

Yes, focus groups are a great way to learn about how a potential demographic will respond to a yet-to-be released product. They can give you a sense of how your brand resonates in the market as a whole. They often provide insight into usability, overall experience, and more. They’re also a great way to learn about what’s going well and what can be improved with your online experience.

But there are a few common issues with focus groups that are tough to avoid, especially when you work in software:

Small, localized groups typically aren’t generalized.

A rule of thumb in inferential statistics: To confidently apply the findings from your focus group, your sample group needs to reflect the makeup of your larger customer base.

The sample group may not be a good representation of your actual customers, whereas a random sampling of your engaged mobile customers has a much higher chance of being less biased.

There’s a gap between what focus group participants say and what they do.

When observing people in a controlled environment, it’s likely their behavior will be a bit different than what they would typically do without being observed.

Take the cautionary tale of the yellow Walkman, for example. Sony conducted a focus group for a new yellow, sporty version of the Walkman. All of the participants in their focus group said they loved the yellow Walkman and that they wish they owned one. To thank the participants for their time, Sony offered them their choice of a black Walkman or a yellow Walkman at the end of the session. Based on the positive feedback they received during the focus group, you can imagine Sony’s surprise when all of the participants chose the black Walkman.

The “vividness effect” can impact both the focus group participants and the observers.

People’s perception of an event is affected when they witness highly graphic or dramatic images, or, in the case of a focus group, witness something in person. Visually witnessing something affects the way people process situations.

When research is observed in person, the vividness effect causes observers to automatically be drawn toward sensational, vivid, and extreme examples. If a particular person in the focus group is animated and dominates the discussion (common with dominant, extroverted group members), what they say is more likely to dominate the conversation and be remembered.

You can avoid the pain of using focus groups by leveraging mobile customers as a built-in focus group for your business.

Why mobile customers are the new focus group

1. Your mobile users are …read more

Source:: Moz Blog