06 November 2010

Deliberately Flawed

Research is flawed. Incentivising it creates a defective outcome.

But as I sat in a focus group the other day I couldn't help but wonder if someone had ever deliberately partaken in their competitors' research just to screw with the results.

That would make a great blog post.

9 comments:

  1. Your ignorance of Research is astounding. And if you've seen more than a parcel of Groups - then you'd know that consumers would happily shoot down anything that doesn't fit their outlook.

    Incentive doesn't equate to a positive result, ever.

    A lot more happens beyond the glass, you know. Ask any Planner worth their salt.

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  2. So you're suggesting it's not possible it influence a group of people?

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  3. Don't try and twist my words - you believe that incentive = result, which is totally wrong.

    Of course it is possible to influence people in groups (isn't that what advertising is for?) - but you'll notice that the best researchers remain impartial, don't lead respondents or guide their thoughts.

    They're the consumer advocates, and it's in their best interest to channel the views of consumers (and not those of the client).

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  4. Well it's not hard to twist your words when you write so ambiguously.

    Are you suggesting I believe incentive = good result or incentive = a totally wrong result. Because I believe in the latter.

    And this post is suggesting that it is not the researchers that manipulate focus groups, but a participant from the competitor. I was merely pointing out how interesting it would be for someone to do, measure their influence and of course highlight how easy it is for someone like myself to lie when we tick the box that says we don't work in advertising.

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  5. Mmmm I'm coming from your previous, uninformed attacks on Research at large (which you hyperlink constantly to reinforce your position).

    The incentive is an afterthought once the group has begun.

    And I believe that if a Marketer ever stooped so low to partake in competitiors research - then they're not exactly confident in their own marketing activity.

    And you can always weed out the plants.

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  6. Can just throw my 2cents in the conversation. Whenever I do focus groups I totally know who's doing it, so I base my answers to what they want to here, because I know there's 100 bucks riding on the end of it. As does pretty much every person. The best research is by that french guy who takes the guys on a 3 hour "Journey" and totally puts them out of their element to break the participant down and get to the core problem. I believe the word he looked for was "Dominance" when it came to hummers... And that's why they're bloody rediculous. Anyway the original point is that I twist my way to get the 100 bucks :D

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  7. I'm sure the recruiters you've signed up with would be interested in that post, Jason.

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  8. Don't you get paid either way Jason? And how I hope the comment above is from a recruiter of yours! Owned! :P

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  9. BAHAHAHA... Nah I use a woman called Marg. She reminds me of an old hag who has her girls working on street corners. LOL!

    Yeah I have actually been to a focus group such as the one described. It was for Mars bar and it wasn't as well executed, so it came off as lame. The guy who was taking the research obviously didn't believe in this method. HA! However I think it still worked to some degree.

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