Don’t Short-Change Your Focus Group Participants


Focusing on the payouts offered by focus group facilities, I'm going to challenge status quo and request a more fair/equitable rate for services rendered.

Focus on What Matters

Listen up, focus group industry leaders near and far.  I may be a focus group of one, but I have a thought with which the masses might agree.  If you want to attract good talent for your next research study, please up the ante! Gone are the days where a $50-$60 payout is acceptable.  Let me tell you why the minimum acceptable bid should be at least $80 for a focus group payout (or more even if you want quality > quantity).

Focus on What You Want

First, there are admin costs for the participant – namely joining your panel, completing screeners, and being verified for participation. Then, there are executing costs – such as driving to/from the location, arriving on time (or early), and actively partaking in the focus group activities. For all these efforts, a fair wage is due; for the purpose of staying consistent on my blog, I assign the average hourly rate of all US citizens that is $25.72.  More so, most people who are available for your study need care arrangements for their children, and where I’m from the going rate is at least $15/hr.  All and all, for the time exerted on each line item this all adds up to nearly $80. For demonstrative purposes, I’ve even supplied a nifty chart.  

Focus on the Bottom Line

As with anything in life, pulling together a project balances time, quality, and money; and, it is important to find a zen spot that maximizes all three elements for both parties involved (i.e. your company and my hard work). The main point I'm trying to make is that if I feel fiscally rewarded for my involvement, I just might take your questions a bit more seriously and provide you with less superficial comments or insights. So, please prioritize raising the focus group payout - even at the expense of your budget because it will pay off in the end.

Focus on the Present

OK - one last thought.  If we're negotiating away from the BATNA of $80, you might as well entice me with triple digits and offer a Ben Franklin (i.e. $100).  If you invest in me, I’ll invest in you!

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