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Anyone ever participated in a Marketing Focus Group?

Access

TRIBE Member
I'm going to be participating in a focus group tomorrow for this Media planning agency. Anyone ever done one of these before? I'm supposed to be representing males from 20-24. They said they're going to be asking me about my lifestyle, and what's cool and what's not for my age group.

I've always heard about these and how they're all evil and stuff. But since i'm guaranteed the cash they're giving me plus the free pizza, i figure I want to mess with them and give them answers that will completely throw them off.

There's no way i'm going to sell out the things I like for a few dollars and some pizza. Any suggestions?
 

chipotle

Well-Known TRIBEr
they just want to know what you are into.. if i read your post correctly.

like what you consider to be cool
what you use to communicate
what you buy
what your habits are.


so if you want to mess them up.. you could try lying...or bending your real habits.
 

vinder

TRIBE Member
it's easy, go give them your opinion. usually, the more outspoken you are the better. you get more of these deals as a result, which equals more easy cash.
 

kerouacdude

TRIBE Member
how's it evil that they want to directly communicate with you instead of presuming what someone like you wants?
And besides - you're not going to be able to "mess with them". They'll be holding more than just your session and with more than just you. Not like you're going to singlehandedly determine a six-figure campaign.
 

lucky1

TRIBE Member
The best ones i did were booze / smoking related.

the worst one was for Canestan.

Easiest 40 bucks ever. and straight cash.
 
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SneakyPete

TRIBE Member
Where can I sign up for these? I need some extra cash. I do these surveys right now and they pay me $5 per survey (it takes about 5-10 minutes), but they only give me 2-4 surveys a month.
 

Access

TRIBE Member
It's definately gonna be an intersting experience.

I've talked to someone who's done one before and he said they pretty much already knew everything about him down to what brand shaving cream he uses.

They told me its for a cell phone company. The objective of the thing to help the cell phone company to know where to put their ads to get the most bang for thier buck when trying to reach someone in my target group. So i'm saying that if i tell them that i frequent places i don't usually goto, i won't see cell phone ads at the places where I do go. (althought i'll never know if that plan will work cause cell phone ads are everywhere anyway).
 

mingster

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Access

I've always heard about these and how they're all evil and stuff. But since i'm guaranteed the cash they're giving me plus the free pizza, i figure I want to mess with them and give them answers that will completely throw them off.

There's no way i'm going to sell out the things I like for a few dollars and some pizza. Any suggestions?

ooooh...how resistant of you. :rolleyes:

you're going to take their money and free pizza, but you're not going to give them your truth cause THAT would make you a sell-out? you might as well not participate at all instead of being a lame-o about it.
 

labRat

TRIBE Member
oh, man. that'd be soooo awesome, if you, like, fuxored up their survey! like, imagine if two years later we start seeing female products being advertised for men, lol, and, like bras and stuff, lol. manziers! bros! everywhere. or tampons for men, you stick 'em up your arseholio and it sucks up the poop. just because you screwed with them. lol!

-


how about you just go and be honest with them. help 'em out - they don't have a lot of cash to do extensive surveys and they rely on students to do these things.
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Originally posted by vinder
it's easy, go give them your opinion. usually, the more outspoken you are the better. you get more of these deals as a result, which equals more easy cash.
Focus groupies - its why such products like the "new coke" came about...


The only way to get somewhat real info from a focus group is with fresh groupies. As soon as its their second group their answers and opinions are skewed and tainted. In another life (long ago), I was a partner in a company that conducted these types of qualititative studies and large scale quantitative studies as well. No matter what they tell you in school, or in the market research departments themselves - most of the info gathered is skewed by repeat-groupies, interviewers who suck or are biased, qualitative data collection transcription errors and the like.

Surveys by their nature are backward looking (they tend to talk about stuff that has already occured) and when they ask respondents to project "what-if" scenarios you end up with the "new coke" and bubblegum scented pledge.

As a point of interest,

I am quite certain many companies observe this board as a large targeted foucus group while we are all unawares. I know of at least 2 large consumer electronics companies who have admitted to me that they monitor this board and do brand name searches using the search utility to track their products and competitors products. Often.
 
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deep

TRIBE Member
the better the quality of information you provide to them, the better (in theory) products and services can be tailored towards what people actually want.

it's not selling out. people are going to sell you shit anyways. you might as well have them make it to your specifications.
 

mingster

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by alexd

As a point of interest,

I am quite certain many companies observe this board as a large targeted foucus group while we are all unawares. I know of at least 2 large consumer electronics companies who have admitted to me that they monitor this board and do brand name searches using the search utility to track their products and competitors products. Often.

whoa. that's kinda crazy.

it's not really a big deal on it's own, but it means so much more when you think about all the ways our lifestyles and spending habits can be monitored.
 
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Soundstream

TRIBE Member
I've actually been on both sides of focus groups. Answering questions, and also viewing the focus groups from behind a one-way mirror, and videotapes, etc.

The people conducting the focus groups are not stupid. Give out enough false answers and they will eventually notice the trend, then eliminate the use of all of your responses in their findings report. Also, this attitude would only be hurting yourself in the long-run, since their whole purpose that they are doing this is to improve their product for you, the consumer.

Just out of curiosity, which cellphone company is it?

Cheers ... Ian :)
 
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Soundstream

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Access
they didn't give the name of the cellphone company.
I didn't think they would. But occaissionally you can figure out from the information that they sent you.

I was just wondering because one of my mommy's clients (she is a marketing researcher) is one of the four major cellphone companies. So I thought I might warn her to be on the lookout for some shady character spewing out lies, in case the cellphone company was her client. ;) j/k

Cheers ... Ian :)
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by alexd

I am quite certain many companies observe this board as a large targeted foucus group while we are all unawares. I know of at least 2 large consumer electronics companies who have admitted to me that they monitor this board and do brand name searches using the search utility to track their products and competitors products. Often.
Which begs the question, how do you know if these companies don't have Tribe registered covertees?
 

Aerius Zension

TRIBE Member
416-777-2749

Give that number a call. Old client of mine. I've never gone for the survey myself, could't find the spare time.

But 3 of my close friends have gone. They've rec'd about $35-$50 for the study. Topics of interest were Beer (New Sleeman's Clear, Summer Coolers (Canadian Club, those new vodka coolers last year), and magazines (that Canadian Maxim one).

I'm not sure if they're taking new people, but no harm in trying. You just have to provide them with a contact number and they'll call you to invite you to focus group.
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
for the $40,000+ they are billing the client for the survey, you'd think people would get more than $50 or a slice of pizza...

in any event, access give TRIBE a lot of plugs, we need the advertising.
 

PurrLee

TRIBE Member
i have watched countless focus groups, live and on tape.
the people conducting the research are counting on you to BE HONEST.
imagine you were a painter... and you've been working on a masterpeice for the last six months...
then the person who was buying it showed it to a group of people and whatever changes they suggested had to be made to your work before the buyer was happy.
i've seen a lot of great ideas get squashed in research... simply because one voice was the loudest in a focus group.
just be truthful -- and enjoy yourself. it's easy cash and who knows -- they may even ask you back to do more.
 
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