I probably shouldn’t be writing this for a couple of reasons.
1. I don’t need you taking my easy money. It’s almost unfathomable how much these people will pay you to sit in a room for 60-90 minutes and unload on their products.
2. I’m sure it’s unethical on some level to get in on a study group and then talk about what everyone else said. But I didn’t sign anything, so screw it.
Let me back up…
A couple of weeks ago a marketing research company here in St. Louis called me up. If you’re not familiar with these places, it’s basically a phone call telling you that you’ve got free money waiting to get picked up. They’ll ask you about 10 questions ranging from your living situation to your salary and you answer them. If you qualify, you come in after work and make about 75 bucks to talk about what you like/dislike about Thing X with a moderator and usually 6-8 other people.
They hand you a real check after you leave and all you need is a first name.
No forms, no complicated procedures. Show up, talk about Thing X and leave with the check. That’s it. That’s the gig.
Again, I shouldn’t be telling you this, since the more people that do this, the fewer studies I’ll have the chance to do… but whatever- this one is worth sharing.
So in the past I’ve personally done these for stuff like new TV shows, razors and chicken pot pies. They’re easy and fun, but not anything I’m really passionate about. Which makes sense. I shave, but I’m not passionate about razors. If Gillette can figure out a way to move my needle and get me even a little excited about a razor? We’ll I’ll probably buy Gillette. Get enough guys like me and all of a sudden these focus groups pay off.
So when the company called and came right off the top with “Who do you think the NL MVP should be?” I knew that this was going to be a study I wanted to be in on.
I gave sufficient answers and they booked me for last night.
All the guys in this particular study were 28-35 year old males that loved baseball. I would describe the 9 other guys as 7 pretty pure (get rid of the DH etc) hardliners and 3 fairly progressive (pitch clock wouldn’t be that bad) moderates. Everyone seemed to have a girlfriend and a dog. One guy plugged Viva El Birdos and another accidentally gave the URL where he steals MLB games online.
That was actually pretty awkward for everyone. Anyway…
In no particular order, here are the things we learned:
+ MLB is really interested in metal bats for the Home Run Derby. This was brought up at least twice separately for discussion by the moderator and mentioned a third time in passing. In the room, even the purists were OK with tinkering with the HR Derby and didn’t feel like it would be sacrilegious to change the format of the thing completely.
VERDICT? I don’t know how they do this with people in the OF stands… but I sure as hell was vocal in supporting seeing what these guys could do with the pipes.
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