I was shopping with my husband today, carefully going down the list of sales teamed with coupons, when it happened. I saw a hair care product I just HAD to have!
My husband looked at me, and, being unfortunately well-trained by me at the bargain hunters’ game said:
“That’s not on the list.”
“I know” , I responded.
“Is it on sale? It’s not marked. I didn’t see a coupon.” Totally deadpan, serious.
“No, BUT I HAVE TO HAVE IT”.
Clearly he had no concept of the importance of full-thick-shiny-volume-without-frizzy tresses.
“It will make my hair look better”.
“Your hair looks fine.”
“No, it doesn’t. It lacks volume and shine. My hair is getting thinner. My color is dull. I’m getting old.”
He stares. 24 years of marriage; nothing on earth could get him to cross into that discussion.
“You don’t need it, and it costs too much.”
He obviously has no appreciation for my plight.
I threatened not to buy HIS favorite shampoo. Oops….
We left the store without any hair care products. Or words. Lots of feelings, though.
And then I just started laughing. Why?
I had fallen victim to the unpaid survey!
Many of us sign up for consumer panels and surveys believing that we will influence manufacturers’ product development. And influence we do, but not always in ways we anticipate. Unpaid surveys provide a unique opportunity for marketing professionals to evaluate consumer impressions. Surveys can persuade local retailers of the market for the product, and also predict sales rates, and resulting shipment and warehousing requirements.
Surveys provide an equal opportunity to make an impression on consumers. The 20 minute survey introduces potential customers to new products and promotions. The same product advertisement, photo, description, and price are viewed and revisited repeatedly, while the consumer is quizzed on the product:
• How well does the ad convey that this product has ingredients xxxx?
• Why is xxx good for you?
• Are people who use this product a) confident, b) successful, or c) joyful?
• Does this product make you feel like a better spouse, parent, team player?
• Does the price outweigh the potential benefits to your baby/family/pet’s health?
The products themselves may not be captivating, but the survey process may hold you captive. If you cancel out of the survey, you won’t receive rewards, points, or possible prizes. If you fail to respond appropriately to the questions, you will be unceremoniously booted out of the survey, and lose any possible rewards. You may also be denied opportunities to take future paid surveys. And, there is always the chance that at the end of a survey, if you have answered all the questions just right, you’ll have won the lottery: a follow-up survey or panel position with significant rewards. It’s a bit like kissing many frogs before you find a prince.
These surveys go beyond even a 20 minute commercial, with a focus designed to help you realize how desperately you need this product. It can’t make it to the store soon enough! The price is incredibly reasonable for such an innovative product.
Sound like brain washing? If you sign up for it yourself, it’s just good marketing!
Are you Paying for those Unpaid Surveys?
April 30th, 2006 at 09:19 pm
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