A Night at the Focus Group

coconut-palm-tree

When I received a call one evening promising $75 in exchange for participating in a two hour focus group, I figured “easy money”.  It turns out it’s not only easy money but a fun time if you’re into observing humans and watching the industrial marketing machine at its finest.

At the end of May I left the house a couple minutes past 5:00 pm destined for the office building where the focus group session was being held.  Since I was traveling during rush hour I allowed a few extra minutes to reach my destination that, according to Google Maps, was supposed to be 12 minutes away during normal traffic.

I’ll be honest.  I hardly ever drive in rush hour traffic (I’m retired).  The drivers next to me gently reminded me it’s hell, or at least a scalding hot version of purgatory.  Within a mile of my house, my minivan was almost the victim of insane aggressive driving not once, but twice.  Where are all these people going in such a hurry?  I bet commuting is the worst part of the work day for a large minority of employees.

The clogged arterial roads of Raleigh were no match for me.  I arrived six minutes before the 5:30 pm start time.  Since I asked “will there be a meal provided?” during the initial screening and was told there would not be, I was surprised to see a spread of Roly Poly sandwich wraps.  Not the best, but hey, it’s a free meal, right?  I enjoyed a few generic ham and something and something wraps, skipped the candy bars and chips, and enjoyed an ice cold cup of water.

Just after 5:30 the research company’s representative called our panel into The Room.  Our group of ten panelists played follow the leader through a series of hallways leading to The Room.  The office furniture decorating the room reminded me of every other corporate meeting room in existence. Plush chairs, but not too expensive.  Tables arranged in a tall but narrow U-shape facing the moderator.  On the table in front of each participant sat a name tag displaying their first names, except Jayson A. and Jason C. who were allowed to include a single initial after their first names so we could tell them apart.

The audiovisual dude manning the camera behind and to the left of the moderator adjusted his equipment in anticipation of the start of our focus group session.  He recorded all of us as we introduced ourselves, occasionally moving the tripod to capture each panelist as they shared their name, who they live with (demographic info for the marketers), and what they enjoy doing on a Saturday afternoon if they don’t have to work (icebreaker? or more info for the marketing team?).

Our group consisted of ten pretty average looking guys.  Some short, some tall, some slim, some heavy.  Three black guys, an Asian guy (Filipino probably), an Indian or Pakistani guy (guessing from his last name), and five white guys.  Pretty similar racial make up to our county overall, except there were zero Hispanics (10% of our county population).  The ages ranged from about 20 (a college student) to around 50 (a guy that has three kids finishing college in the next year or two).

Socioeconomically, it was hard to tell where everyone fell on the spectrum. I’m guessing most folks were somewhere in the middle class, with a few working class folks mixed in.  One guy mentioned wearing suits a lot in a past job, so it is possible he was somewhere higher up the socioeconomic ladder.  Looks can be deceiving.  The 50 year old that sat across from me could have been an early retired millionaire for all I know.  Everyone sounded reasonably well educated.  The noticeable absence of any typical North Carolina southern drawl accents which was a little strange (though not that strange since everyone else seems to have relocated here from New York or somewhere else “up north”).

The ladies were in a separate focus group in a different room but they were also a similar mix of people from different backgrounds.

 

The Focus Group

I signed a confidentiality agreement so I can’t reveal the exact questions we were asked during the focus group or even the product being studied.  Let’s pretend the focus group was hosted by the coconut industry, a powerful group representing the varied coconut interests spanning the tropical regions of the globe (surely there is such a thing as the coconut lobby!).

Imagine that the coconut industry has developed a new method to process coconut husks and palm leaves into soft, pliable fibers that can be woven into excellent fabric that is superior (in the coconut industry’s opinion) to all other natural and synthetic materials currently on the market, and much better than the current coir coconut fibers available today.

The first round of questions were general and broad.  They wanted to see how we shopped for clothes, whether we look at the tags on clothing before deciding to purchase, and how important the specific mix of fibers was to our purchasing decision.

Then we played word association.  The moderator put a word on the wall and asked what idea came to mind first.  She went through some competing fibers and clothing terms before moving to the main part of our evening.

The moderator handed out a packet of 30 statements about coconut fibers and its competitors in the marketplace.  The coconut industry trade group wants to develop talking points and selling points for its new fiber product and wants to see whether these 30 statements make us more likely or less likely to buy clothing or household goods made out of the new coconut fiber.

Many of the statements made sense, but a few left me scratching my head.  I felt like they were trying to see if any of us panelists were thinking critically about these statements.  I was the only one picking the statements apart.

One suspect statement was “Along with providing enough fibers to clothe half the world, the fats and proteins from coconut trees can be used in aquaculture and in animal feed to solve world starvation and feed 500 million people.”  My response: if coconuts are so good at feeding half a billion people, why aren’t we already growing coconut trees everywhere possible instead of all the wheat, rice, corn, and soybeans?

“The sun fuels the growth of coconut trees.  Producing synthetic fibers consumes eight times the energy required to produce coconut fibers.”  Eight times more energy than the solar energy that feeds the coconut trees?  What about all the energy required to maintain coconut orchards?  How do you account for the effort required to clear the land and plant the trees in the first place?  How do we account for all the prime agricultural land tied up in growing coconut trees that could be devoted to higher yielding food crops?

“Rayon is a tree-based fiber product.  Harvesting trees to produce rayon leads to deforestation and environmental destruction.  Coconut fibers are a renewable resource.”  “Since when is timber a non-renewable resource?” I asked.  The moderator responded that “yeah but it takes a long time to grow new trees.”  Guess she’s never heard of timber management and the forestry industry.  I’ll have to assume she knows that timber regrows over time and can be selectively harvested and she was simply playing devil’s advocate.

In general, I felt like everyone else took these statements at face value and didn’t pick up on the implications or nuances of the statements.  Marketers love people who don’t view statements or claims with a critical eye.  A few panelists mentioned that they would like to see some evidence or proof of the claims presented, so there may be hope for mankind after all.

The Devil’s Petroleum

During the discussion, the moderator mentioned petroleum-based synthetic fibers and asked if there was a negative connotation with “petroleum”.  Almost everyone agreed yes (except me). Then she asked who knew what petroleum was.  Two people raised their hands (including me).  Apparently the other eight either weren’t paying attention or truly didn’t know it’s a synonym for crude oil and its derivatives.

Then we discussed whether “oil” is more negative than “petroleum”.  Everyone agreed that petroleum sounds worse.  I said petroleum sounds more “industrial” and that’s not good in a world that wants “all natural”.  Throughout the rest of the evening I heard oil/petroleum being referred to as “industrial” at least five more times once I mentioned it.  Don’t be surprised if you see the coconut industry scaring you into buying natural fibers to stay away from the industrial petroleum industry’s demon fibers.

 

The marketers got what they paid for

Each participant received $75 in cash for their two hours of participation.  I felt like everyone in the room participated well and offered their honest opinions when asked.  A panelist could show up and simply zone out, shrug when asked questions, and still collect the cash at the end but I didn’t observe that on my panel.

My friends Lincoln, Jackson, and Grant.

My friends Lincoln, Jackson, and Grant.

The moderator did a great job because I didn’t think about being lazy and non-responsive until the very end of the session.  I can honestly say I’ve never had so much fun talking about coconut fibers for two hours.

When asked how they would get information on coconut fibers and clothing more generally, everyone preferred online media to print or TV advertising.  Google was the go to place to search for information.  A few suggested Facebook or other social media and a few more mentioned Amazon.  No one said they would rely on TV or print media to research or learn about new fibers or clothing.  When asked what magazines people read, no one was forthcoming with any names.  ESPN? Very little interest in that either in spite of the room being all men (there were at least a few confessed sports lovers in the room).

 

Would I participate again?

After I agreed to participate during the screening phone call a few days prior to the focus group, I realized I would have to drive to the research office in the middle of rush hour through one of the worst bottlenecks in Raleigh.  Next time I’ll leave 15 minutes earlier, skip most of the traffic and enjoy their sandwich tray in a more leisurely manner.

I’d definitely participate again if they call me and offer another $75-100.  The pay isn’t bad at $25-30 per hour including drive time (plus a free meal).

It was an interesting experience, otherwise I might not do it again.  I enjoyed hearing other people’s opinions on clothing, shopping, fabric choices and their rationales that weren’t always logical (“I like synthetic fabrics today because my grandma said cotton fabrics caused me to get pneumonia when I was a kid because it made me sweat so much”).

I also enjoy staring into the soul of the marketers and seeing how they think.  The 30 statements they presented to us provided a lot of insight into how they want to motivate our consumption habits.  Appeal to our environmentalism.  Appeal to our sense of safety and health by avoiding chemicals, man-made substances, and possible carcinogens.  Appeal to our sense of tradition.  Appeal to our altruism and philanthropy.  Appeal to our patriotism and national pride.

Very few of the 30 statements actually made me want to buy more coconut fiber products, and those statements that did have a positive impact on me related to practical concerns like comfort and hygiene.  Most other panelists were influenced by the some or the majority of the statements, suggesting that many are easy prey for marketers.

One guy admitted to a mind-blowing fact.  He never tries on clothes in the store.  If he buys it and doesn’t like it after getting it home, it goes straight into his closet forever and never gets worn.  This helps me understand the “need” for the massive walk in closets that are common in new house construction today.  Where else do you store stuff you don’t need and will never use?

I enjoyed the learning aspect of the focus group.  I’ve never put much thought into the fibers that make up my clothes and linens at home.  Now I know there are half a dozen competing fibers in the fabric marketplace, all vying for space in our closets.

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Want to sign up for your own focus group and pocket some easy cash? Head over to sign up with L & E Research (the firm I signed up through a couple years ago).

 

 

Have you ever participated in a focus group or market research study?  Would you participate for $75?

 

 

76 comments

  • Amazon Web Services includes me in their usability studies from time to time. They are a little different than a focus group, but the overall idea to improve the product is the same. It pays a $100 Amazon gift card (equivalent to cash for me) for an hour of my time. It is done via WebEx.

    The material is fairly technical stuff, so not everyone can do it. A former Amazon employee got me the list. If it weren’t for those two limiting things I’d give more information here.

    It’s a sweet gig when it hits my inbox. The only downside is that there are no sandwich wraps provided. (The lack of a commute easily makes up for it.)

    • I’d trade you my sandwich wraps to skip the brutal rush hour commute over there. 🙂 Although that was a nice reminder of what most working stiffs do every single day. In fact, my former office for 6 months was very near the focus group office building, so I knew the craziness of that commute already (though the pain dulled over the years).

  • Wow that sounds interesting and definitely worth the $75. If I had more time and was retired like you, I would have participated as well. Not a bad way to make a few extra bucks on your own terms.

  • As someone who has been formally trained to run focus groups, this is awesome to read and consider. I haven’t ever participated in a focus group like this but I would definitely do it now that I am FI. I agree though – if it wasn’t fun and if I didn’t feel like I was being helpful, I don’t think I would do it again. The rush hour part wouldn’t excite me either… I consult now on occasion and always try to schedule meetings at 10 am or 2 pm – outside the traffic times.

  • I signed up for L & E Research – focus groups are always interesting to me. I put down your name, so hopefully you’re that much closer to a $20 gift card! I always appreciate your blog – the content is good but it has an extra level of understanding since you only live about ~20 miles from me. Bloggers who live far away make me wonder if their COL is wildly different than mine, but here I know we have nearly identical COL. It’s a nice bonus. And, it is strange that there are so many transplants from up north here, but I can’t fault them – I am one!

    • Thanks for signing up through the link – it took me a year or two before they finally put me on a panel (after a couple of phone calls that ended up with me not qualified for their study).

  • haha great article and what an easy way to get $75 “for free”, nice experience and I look forward for a kind of activity here in Switzerland.
    cheers!

    keep up posting it’s great for all of us.

    HdLR

  • Loved reading this and gives me ideas for some easy post FIRE entertainment / income. I have a fascination with all things marketing even though I’ve never worked in any remotely similar field. I think it’s as you said – figuring out how the marketing folks figure out how to get in our heads!

  • I’m on the list of a local marketing and research firm that does many focus groups. Once I attended the first one (which I presume was a random call) I was asked if I wanted to be considered in the future. I responded affirmatively and have participated in 5 others over the past several years. There are many other calls that I have fielded from them that I have not qualified for (they had already filled their quota for my subset – probably age or gender related). I have been paid $100 for the first five of these which are only 1 hour sessions. The last one, which occurred only a few weeks ago paid $150 for me to be a floater. I had the option of $100 for a certain slot or $150 if I made myself available for up to 2 consecutive one on one focus meetings. I was there as a fill in if there was a no show. The first candidate showed up as did the second candidate, and they released me 15 minutes into the second session. So $150 and dinner for sitting there for 75 minutes. That’s $120/hour. Not bad, but I was sort of disappointed that I did not get to have the one on one.

  • I have never participated in a focus group. I have a feeling this kind of thing is more prevalent in cities rather than small mountain towns. But I love collecting these ideas for part-time gigs in retirement. Thanks for the idea!

  • Sounds like a fun way to make a couple bucks!

    I like the guy that doesn’t try on clothes and just leaves them in his closet – what a waste of money!

    For some reason, I have a craving for a piña colada right now.

    — Jim

    • The not trying on clothes guy might be the highlight of the evening. 🙂

      • I don’t try on clothes in the store, but that’s cause whatever standard they use for large fits me. Course I also prefer loose clothes, and I never have to wear a belt.

        I don’t know, I never thought it was abnormal to go into a store, grab some shorts, t-shirts, jacket, pants throw them in the cart and leave. Heck, nowadays I buy a lot of clothes online without ever worrying about if it’ll fit me or not.

  • What a fun way to make $75. Did they talk about ‘coconut fiber’ durability? Natural fibers tend to fall apart compared to synthetics materials, which hold up much longer. I wonder if they accounted for the fact that you might have to buy 2 or 3 times as many clothes because they wear out so quickly.

    But I’m no expert on ‘coconut fibers’. Hehe.

    • I seem to recall something about durability coming up during the discussion. I think they claimed they were 2-3x more durable than synthetics which meant less clothes in the landfill. They had a statement or two suggesting the huge amounts of waste in the landfill from discarded clothing was a big deal, though given how long clothes last (100 wears? 200 wears?) it’s just not that much volume. And synthetics aren’t biodegradable while coconut is (even though landfills tend to be anaerobic and slow down decay; the decayed mass is still going to sit there buried with the other trash anyway).

  • That sounds like a good way to get out of the house for a few hours. 🙂
    I did a focus group a while back. It feels too much like a meeting at work to me and I haven’t done it since. The timing usually isn’t good either. I have been getting some focus group emails about kid toys. Those sounds interesting, but the kid isn’t the right age yet.
    The guy that just put the clothes in the closet if it doesn’t fit is nuts. I can’t imagine doing that.

    • I kept thinking “WTF WTF WTF really?!!” when the guy started talking about that. Who does that? He said he was really into fashion, which would make me think he would be more concerned about getting something that fits him well and looks good on his frame, but nope. He’s probably the guy paying $1.89 for a pack of gum in the checkout aisle when he could have purchased the multipack of gum with 3-5x more product if he would have grabbed it in the candy aisle for the same price. 🙂

  • I think I would probably participate for $75 in cash. That sounds like an interesting evening. I would also be that guy asking why someo of the statements seemed to be half-truths or even deceptive.

  • I’ve been on the other side of the these studies. All I will say is the auto industry pays better for your opinion and you get to drive cars.

    • I need to get hooked up with those studies! 😉 I probably wouldn’t qualify since I honestly don’t plan on buying a brand new car any time soon, preferring to buy used instead.

  • I work in the marketing dept. of a large company that you’ve heard of and I’m on the other side of the table with focus groups. In fact, I just returned from a business trip where we did focus groups for three days.

    Interesting to read your take on the whole thing. As a marketer these are so helpful in fine tuning an existing product or figuring out how to best position a new product launch (or relaunch).

    I’ve always wanted to be a participant, but alas I’ve never been invited. 🙁

    • I can see how they would be very helpful. In this case, they got a lot of consensus on a few of the 30 statements they asked to evaluate. Many people thought a few were great and would strongly influence them to buy more coconut fibers, and many people thought a different set of statements were horrible and that they wouldn’t buy any more coconut fibers (or would buy less!).

  • Great way to make $75!

    I have only done a few online surveys, this sounds a lot more entertaining

  • Haha — I am sometimes one of those people behind the glass at focus groups, but not for the reasons you might expect. 🙂 It’s funny, though — there’s always one person in every group who seems to take it upon him or herself to pull back the curtain for the other participants, who are deemed too unquestioning. So congrats on being that guy! 😉 In truth, most focus groups these days are filled with “professional participants” because it’s so hard to get most people to say yes to showing up. So probably the other folks in your group who didn’t question much were that way because they’ve done plenty of these things, and have learned to just go with the flow. The folks who have the “Wait, am I the only one who hasn’t noticed that the emperor has no clothes?!” reaction are usually the first-timers. But maybe you can break the mold and keep doing them and keep pointing out the flaws in manipulative marketing!

    • I think half the group raised their hands saying they had already been in a focus group previously, so presumably the other half were first timers (or weren’t paying attention!).

      The folks were into it, just not that critical at all. Once I broke the seal, I’d sometimes get a couple of “yeah me too’s” to go along with my objections, but not always. 🙂

      I also figure I would be the one vote in a jury up against 11 peers voting the opposite way, if based on the facts and the jury instructions, I felt compelled to vote a certain way. I’d also do my best to persuade others why I’m right and they are all wrong. Even if it meant a mistrial due to deadlocked jury.

  • I recently signed up to participate in online surveys through the NORC out of the University of Chicago. You don’t really get compensation (“points” to redeem for random stuff), but I like knowing that my views are more likely to be taken into account and included in serious studies that are often the basis of future public policy discussions and legislation than if I didn’t participate.

  • Nicely done, although this sounds like my definition of torture…I would have to be bored out of my mind to participate in something like this for 30$/hr.

  • I’ve never been in one, but I would totally participate in a focus group for $75! I don’t think that’ll happen anytime soon though, considering I live about 70 miles from a large city. What were the other participant’s reactions to the guy that kept all his clothing?

  • I live 15 miles south of Raleigh. I signed up!

  • Sounds like an interesting experience! $75 to sit there and give your opinions? HELLS YEAH!

    I’ve never participated in a focus group before, but I did get paid $50 a piece for 2 essays I wrote in college for a research study. That was pretty fun.

    I’m still on the look out for “Beer tasting” focus groups. Getting paid to drink beer? How could I possibly say no to that?

  • I’m guessing coconut fibers are actually hemp fibers since that’s all my Facebook feed seems to promote day in and day out…I could be wrong, but what other fibers need to be researched for marketing purposes? And then they…Facebook’s fake research websites, that hemp oil cures cancer and other scary stuff.

    lol…yes, pot is the new martini/penicillin or so everyone West of the Mississippi keeps reminding me. A growth industry that apparently needs lots of marketing data….I could be wrong, wink 3 times and do 3 reverse hand springs if I’m right. Something tells me they won’t have to market it too much once it’s avail in all 50 states for recreational purposes.

    I was about to sign up for the focus group and then I realized that I would probably end up being like a hostile witness on the witness stand. I have a particular dislike of marketing and advertising agencies who have, in my opinion, given capitalism a bad name (and yes I worked in the industry for a short time). Marketing, to a large extent gets us to buy stuff we don’t need by trying to get us to think we DO need whatever junk they’re selling.

    Whenever I think I need a new something, I just go into my garage and look at all the crap I bought that I never use. I take full responsibility for buying the junk, but I’m sure if the media wasn’t full of subliminal messages, I would have never bought that electric bed with adjustable mattresses for 70,000$.

    ; )

    • Dude, what have you been searching on/reading about/smoking where you get tons of targeted advertisements on hemp products? 😉

      I can’t say whether it was hemp or not. Lots of natural fibers out there including coconut husks.

      Yeah, marketing sucks. My soul died a little bit every time I heard one of the panelists say “yeah, I’d probably buy more of this” whenever they were presented with a claim that was at best misleading.

      • ‘petroleum’ compared to the term ‘crude oil’ and ‘coir’… it was fun translating this into the real item names. Coconuts, Mangos, and Husks are all the same thing 😛 Fun hearing about the study group, and getting to see marketing from an outside perspective.

      • lol…Milo Yiannopoulos may be the algorithm culprit, but it’s hard to tell…there’s so many possibilities. In actual fact my feed isn’t full of targeted hemp ads, they are full of my friends sharing hemp stories about how cannabis oil cures this and that, or slows this brain disease and that cancer – without an ounce of medical data to back it up. I would be very happy if it was true, but my friends are more hopeful than scientific about those theories.

        I can’t think of many other natural fibers that would need to be focus grouped AND be tied in with peace, love, understanding and social justice, but then I just got back from Colorado… : )

  • Neither of us have participated in a focus group before but we’d both be open to it in the future.

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Justin.

  • Haven’t done a focus group but sounds interesting. I’d definitely do it for $75. When I was in college/recent grad I used to do psychological studies which were paid and also kinda fun too. It is very interesting that the guy said he didn’t try on clothes and didn’t return them if he didn’t plan on wearing them. Heard the same thing on a podcast about selling on Amazon. The seller said he was surprised that some customers admitted to not trying the product (it was a dietary supplement) yet continued to order more! And I have a long commute…it really sucks!

    • I feel for you guys in NYC with the long commutes. Every time someone from up there tells me about their 1-2 hour commutes (each way!) I’m thankful for my typical 7-12 minute commute while I was working.

  • This looks like a great way to increase passive income! it sounds a little bit like mystery shopping. $75 to talk, learn, and feel coconut fibers sounds like 2 hours well spent.

    • I tried mystery shopping several years ago while still working. It was a pain in the butt given the pay ($5-15 in pay and $5-10 in free food or groceries) for 45 minutes to an hour per “shop”. Lots of overhead time of watching what shops are available and signing up for them, and going through the training materials or standard operating procedures. I quit after a handful of shops. It was an interesting, worthwhile experience since you get inside the detailed operations of restaurants and grocery stores (the 2 kinds of shopping I did).

  • I have participated in a focus group, but it was for a nonprofit trying to figure out better ways to get their messages to resonate. It was fascinating, but I did not get paid. I would probably do one for $75 for two hours.

  • Yup. Focus group experience seems appealing to me. I always like to experience it. Not to mention $75 and free meal to go with. Can’t say no to that!

    • I’d definitely do another one from time to time, though wouldn’t want to rely on this for anything other than the occasional time waster and money maker. I can see how they would get boring after a while.

  • Yeah I did a bunch of focus groups back in university, when my free time to money ratio was really skewed. Getting enough money to pay for beer for the weekend was a big deal. I generally recall them being pretty boring, but I also happened to mostly be in food related ones for some reason so at least we were fed 😀

  • Focus groups are popping up everywhere. I signed up for 2 of them, but never had the chance to qualify for some reason. I do the survey then they tell me, thanks but no thanks. Oh well have to get my side gig money from other sources.

    • That’s happened to me a few times. They call or email with an opportunity, I fill out the quick survey and it turns out I’m not eligible. Oh well! Eventually you’ll hit pay dirt.

  • I don’t think that I’d be a great focus group participant. When making an unsolicited decision, my choice is based on convenience, price, familiarity, and perceived value for whatever utility I expect to derive from the product.

    But when people try to convince me to buy something, I get skeptical and detail-oriented (because I don’t have a desire – there’s nothing on the line for me at that point). Take the “synthetic fibers use 8x the energy of coconut fibers” statement. There’s no way that’s true; you have to seriously constrict your definitions of “energy” or “synthetic fibers” to get to that kind of conclusion. Does it ignore startup costs? Does it not count the sun’s energy as “used”?

    Basically, I don’t think that any conclusions that marketers reach from my responses will help them sell products. For the average consumer, their clothing could be made from the crushed hopes and dreams of small orphaned children, and as long as it was inexpensive, convenient, and of decent quality, it would sell.

  • I don’t know why, but this makes me remember the days where the med school at my uni would advertise for volunteers for pelvic exams for obgyn students (speculum clackers).

    Not really the same thing, though. 😉

    I once participated in a focus group about stand alone emergency centers. Turns out the other ladies there, along with me, had all visited the same center, who gave our phone numbers to the marketing company!

  • You work too cheap

  • I used to be a farmer and one time I signed up with one of those “get paid to take surveys online” organizations. Apparently this was awesome for internet research marketing firms because over the following two years I took about 12 surveys that paid between $50 and $100 each (often for 20 minutes time) mostly evaluating how particular words made me feel. It was obvious that they were developing new industrial weed killers and wanted to name them “appealingly”. I recall some had very “soft” names like (making these up… it was a long time ago and I probably signed an NDA of some sort) “Collinature” or “Grazineve” (if these are real words, oops). Others I always thought of as killer robot names, things like “Haxzord” or “Teknolaze”. Little did they know I was an organic farmer who would never use such things to begin with (ergo was not a representative of their target marketing group) and was going to school for social psychology which included survey development (the key reason I signed up – I wanted to critique their methods!)

    Not the same as a focus group exactly, but paid for my (honest) opinion several times. 10/10 would do it again.

    Watch out for the ZornXyzer spray..

  • That was easy money! Future side hustle right there!

  • Hey Justin,
    Generally yep, I enjoy a focus group or 2, especially if it is at a convenient time 🙂
    I find them great to understand, mix with people of all different types & earn some cash while I’m at it!

  • hahahah this reminds me of when my husband and I signed up for every random experiment conducted at our university when doing our MA degrees (the psychology department was in some serious need of help for their thesis projects lol)….as long as they are not giving me new drugs or injecting things on me, I am in…. (and we may/may not have earned a couple of dinners during university days by doing some ‘dares’ for money, you know, very mature things like ‘I bet you cannot finish 2 litters of ice cream in 10 mins, 10 saltines in X time, a gallon of milk… etc. you get the picture).

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