She’s a Repeater, But Not a Cheater. Is That So Bad?

Cheater, a photo by SlapBcn on Flickr.

I’ve a friend who frequently participates in focus groups and quant studies. She LOVES earning money for her opinion. She calls it “her job” and enjoys encouraging other friends to get on her recruiters’ list so they too can reap a financial reward for sharing her usage, behavior and point of view. It makes my skin crawl a bit, but aside from making mental notes about the facilities she visits and making sure she isn’t a respondent in any of MY groups, I’ve stopped voicing my disapproval.

Truth is, she isn’t a “cheater” … she doesn’t lie, she participates honestly and enthusiastically. But traditionally, both “cheaters” and “repeaters” were qualitative market research taboos. But lately, I’ve started to consider that “repeaters” — once frowned upon and avoided like the plague — are really no different from engaged participants in an MROC.

Now of course, there are going to be situations where I’ll ask my recruiters to fight to find virgin respondents. But maybe, just maybe, past participation worries can go by the wayside.

I’m all for the debate friends … thoughts?