Home > Market Research Subject

Market Research Subject

July 4th, 2008 at 11:44 pm

Two years ago, during the summer I had no income coming in, I signed up for a couple of market research panels (e.g., Pinecone), after researching which ones seemed reliable and didn't ask you to buy products upfront (which lots of the survey sites do--they promise money back, but you have to give some upfront). I've been making about a couple of hundred dollars a year from this side venture.

One of the panels I ended up on (by invitation actually, this one I don't think you can volunteer for) is run by my local grocery store--actually by the store that *used* to be my main store, before I "defected" and started spending most of my grocery money at a more upscale chain.

The store whose panel I am on is trying to develop more of an image as a health & wellness-conscious store. They've definitely shown great improvement on this front in the years I've been shopping there. But a couple of weeks ago, they recruited volunteers for a special "health and wellness" assignment. I signed up.

Part one was keeping a journal for a week, recording all activities that I did that I personally considered "health and wellness" related and answering some questions about each. Based on the journals, they selected a dozen people to participate in Part two. I was chosen. So on Wednesday morning, two market researchers came to my house and interviewed me for three hours, video taping the interview and a tour of my house, with focus on things in my house that were health and wellness related. The research interview was really pretty in depth, and not very scripted--mostly the interviewers asked me to elaborate on things that I had brought up, rather than asking me a series of "canned" questions.

After the interview, they went with me on a shopping trip to the grocery store that sponsored the research, and followed me around the store videotaping my trip and commentary.

During the interview, I had waxed so enthusiastic about the store that has become my new "store of choice" that they actually came back and went with me on a shopping trip to *that* store, too (though that one wasn't videotaped, as they didn't have permission--they just snapped a few pictures with a cell-phone camera).

All told, I spent about 8 hours with the team, and got to ask them some questions, too (one has a masters in cultural anthropology, the other background in neuro-linguistic programming and design). And I was paid $250, to boot. So I brought in a wee bit of income and had an interesting experience. I'll be curious what comes of the study in terms of how the initiating store changes in the future!

2 Responses to “Market Research Subject”

  1. fern Says:

    I really like your goals, Dido. (They're very similar to mine!) Only thing i would say is that in this market environment, bank savings accounts or CDs are paying very low. This is a fantastic time to start investing in the stock market (via low cost mutual funds) if you're not already there. If you're feeling a littile skittish about it (understandable), you could just set aside a modest portion of your savings for mutual funds and then assess how they've done vs. the CDs in a year. Just a thought.

  2. Dido Says:

    Yes, savings and CD account rates are low. When I started the CD ladder, I was getting around 5%, but as the CDs have expired, of course, there's been nothing near that rate to replace it with, given that my main concern for this money is security--just in case I don't land a job in the new field I am trying to transition to by September of 2009. As the CDs expire, I've been funneling the proceeds to whatever online bank account has the highest rate at the time--so I have some funds in an E*Trade savings account at 3.4%, and I just found that HSBC is offering 3.5%, so I opened an account with them (I must say that their service is slow, and in terms of service, I vastly prefer my ING accounts, which is where the CDs are). At some point I'll consolidate all the emergency funds back into ING, or possibly put some into Vanguard's Short Term Investment Grade fund. I used to have a lot of my emergency funds in Strong's ultra-short-term fund before that firm was taken over by Wells Fargo.

Leave a Reply

(Note: If you were logged in, we could automatically fill in these fields for you.)
Will not be published.

* Please spell out the number 4.  [ Why? ]

vB Code: You can use these tags: [b] [i] [u] [url] [email]