Online Discussion Boards

Customers Are Changing: Are Your Research Methodologies?

Online discussions are an ideal way to engage and understand your customers in our digital age.  Technology and its connectivity has totally transformed how we communicate in our professional and personal lives.  To capitalise on this change and better reach today's consumers, the approach to qualitative research (gaining insight from discussion) has been adapted to the ‘social era’ by blending the traditional face-to-face focus groups with digital methodology to create moderated online discussion boards.

Online discussions are an ideal way to discuss private and sensitive topics, understand complex issues, interact with hard to engage audiences and reach geographically spread target markets.

Over the last two years, we have used online discussions as a highly effective research tool for topics such as understanding consumer behaviour and experiences, target market segmentation, new market analysis, new product development and advertisement concept and product label testing.  We have worked directly with clients as well as through consultants and research agencies.  Our end clients have included multi-nationals, Government Agencies, manufacturers/exporters and retailers. 


The COVID-19 Solution - Online Discussion Boards:



Online discussions provide a comfortable space and environment for participants to share their thoughts and opinions.  As we all face the challenges and stresses of COVID-19 and required social distancing, online discussions provide an ideal solution for conducting research projects traditionally suited to face-to-face focus groups.


Online Discussion Client Feedback:

I worked with Rachel on behalf of a technology client which was entering the b2b market and seeking the perspectives of small business owners about existing and future products. Rachel drove the project, provided excellent customer service, and delivered a very comprehensive report on time and budget.' Paul O'Leary, Director, Pursuit Public Relations, July 2020

We engaged TSMR to investigate how our new products would be received by different demographics and nationalities. The information we received was invaluable to decide which factors were important to which type of customer. We also tested our packaging and marketing materials and have since altered them based on the market feedback.’ Katherine Reardon, Waitaki Biosciences, December 2019


Online Discussion Participant Feedback:

Participants of all ages, gender, ethnic and socio-economic groups enjoy engaging in online discussion:

To receive more information and our Online Discussion Board flyer email


What is a Moderated Online Discussion Board?

Our moderated online discussions (AKA a private and secure online forum, online bulletin board, online board) are set up on a well-established platform.  Only participants invited to participate, login to respond to set open text questions and single or multiple-choice polls.

Once they comment on a topic, we encourage participants to comment and engage with other participant's earlier posts and illustrate their viewpoint by uploading documents, screenshots or images.

Interactive tools such as heat maps and white boards, add to the level of interest and engagement of participants.

We adhere to a structured discussion guide and clients have the option to login to observe the discussion.

We actively moderate our discussions to take advantage of the opportunity to seek clarification by probing and questioning responses as well as reinforcing participant's efforts.  Each participant knows they are engaging with a real moderator who will read what they have written, comment and when required ask for additional information to flesh out a response.

Our discussions typically run over a period of 3 days with participants, who meet the required demographics and criteria, logging in to the discussion on their PCs, tablets, iPads or phones from anywhere and at any time during the research period. 

To receive more information and an Online Discussion Board flyer email


The Benefits of Online Discussion:

It is easy to understand why our online discussion methodology is increasing in popularity with benefits such as:

High Quality and Quantity of Output:
Improved Quality of Discussion:
Increased Participant Reach:


How Online Discussions Work:


How Online Discussions Work in Pictures:

Procedure-wise posting and commenting is similar to the concept of Facebook and LinkedIn although the project is completed on our private and secure online discussion platform.


Groups of questions can be scheduled to be released throughout the research project:


Single or multiple-choice polls provide quantitative (numerical data) responses to key questions in order to support the free text discussion:


Once a poll is answered, there is the option to display the current poll results to date, on the participant's screen:


For more information about running an online discussion board contact Rachel today

Download Trailblazer Research Online Discussion Flyer