While moderating groups to cover off the qual for my own projects I’ve noticed that research attendance has gone up a lot in the last 9 months.
I know we’re supposed to be coming out of recession, but attendance at my focus groups is now so enthusiastic that I think I’m going to have to dial back from recruit-10—and-hope-7-or-8-turn-up to recruit-8-and-assume-at-least-7-come.
I can only assume that this enthusiastic attendance is down to the attraction of going home with forty quid for ninety minutes work. Towards the end of last year I had put it down to the lure of a bit of extra cash for Christmas, but since I’ve had brilliant turnouts in the last three months I can only think that as a nation we’re becoming more switched on to the idea taking advantage of every opportunity that leads to a bit of breathing space in the household budget.
We’re certainly much more savvy shoppers as a nation now (as Morrisons has discovered) and have been trained by MoneySavingExpert and the like to constantly be on the lookout for a good deal. But if everyone’s sole motivation for turning up to research is the money, without even an element of ‘opportunity to get my opinions about xyz heard’ then I think we’re going to see a lot more respondents who turn up, sit quietly, contribute nothing, then head off home with the cash in their pocket.
Perhaps as Planners and Researchers we’ll have to tweak our approach to recruitment and say if you don’t play along, you won’t get paid.