What are Bulletin Boards?

Researchers have taken the well-known idea of a bulletin Board and taken it online into a useful methodology used for Qualitative Market Research. The virtual tool acts as a discussion thread with user logins and the ability to post comments, answer questions, upload and download files and content – the board goes on! The concept works similarly to an Online Focus Group, the difference being that the group do not need to attend altogether, which is a benefit when targeting audiences who have busy jobs and responsibilities, limiting them to be able to attend a full discussion face to face or online.

Who benefits from Bulletin Boards?

As we mentioned before, hard to reach sectors are well suited for this style, B2B consumers are best affected due to the differences in work times and geographical locations being anywhere across the UK or Internationally. The convenience of being able to do it on their own accord helps with the incentive of partaking. Sectors like manufacturing and Industrial have used Bulletin Boards to share on-site issues to their superiors to see issues and allow for group discussion and resolving of issues quickly.

Are Bulletin Boards Supervised?

Yes! There is always a moderator who can dictate the direction of a board, setting up a discussion and probing areas of interest as and when needed. This is useful for clients who can also see the boards, and if an area of interest has been raised by the respondents, they may ask a moderator to set up a follow-up question or pose a new task based on this point; we think it helps generate new and relevant ideas from the brands very own target audience. We also can draw out participants who are not as interactive and aren’t contributing enough towards the overall goal, which can then be incorporated into a breakout group or an individual session.

What other benefits are there?

We believe that a big part of why people are willing to share experiences, offer advice and collaborate with people is the anonymity aspect; helping especially with sensitive subjects. We believe because people aren’t Identified, the pressure and embarrassment aspect that could arise no longer occur, and they can speak more freely.

There is also a benefit of being cheaper than a focus group, as you don’t need a location to host it and venue costs can be eliminated.

Are there any drawbacks?

Where both Focus Groups and Online Focus Groups have the upper hand is the real-time experience you receive, with our expert Qual Team being able to uncover true feelings through instantaneous facial expression and body language.

We also believe people are more honest with their instant answers. Thoughts can change during explanations and so people may not post what they first thought, whereas Focus Groups allow you to see and understand initial responses and see a potential change in opinion later on in the discussion.

There is also the aspect of having the ability to go through the material together and to view a buyer’s journey on both Focus Group platforms that can be missed from a Bulletin.

Overall like all methodologies, there are areas that different surveys cover that others don’t and so it is always important to find out what works best for you and your brand, as insight is the key to building a successful brand and keeping it growing!

To find out more about Bulletin Boards enquire using the button below, or if you would like to look at some more Online Qualitative Methodologies, you can find out more using the other button.

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