Searching for a focus group quote from a number of market research and qualitative recruitment companies? You're likely to get a wide range of price estimates. This is due to a number of variables including hourly rates, estimates on how difficult the audience is to find, amount of rewards they are paid to participate, and other criteria.
This is also due to some focus group quotes being all-inclusive while others being bare bones. Some qualitative recruitment companies choose to only include a few items in their recruit and charge extra for a number of items once your organization signs off on the project. This type of pricing is not 100% transparent.
Here are 5 items to check in your focus group quote. It is in your best interest to see if these items are included in your focus group quote or not as they will impact your final price.
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Item 1: Recruitment Fee
This is probably the most obvious of all of the focus group fees. The recruitment fee is the amount charged per participant for the recruit. B2B participants are more costly to recruit than B2C participants. The more screening criteria you have the more expensive your cost per recruit will be.
The cost per recruit or recruitment fee is often based on incidence rate or IR. This is the percentage of the general population that would qualify for your study. So if you know 1 in 10 people drink your beverage and you only want to recruit drinkers, your incidence rate would be 10%.
To recruit focus group participants with an IR of 10% is more expensive than recruiting a focus group full of those where the IR is 90%. This per recruitment fee should be included in your fee. Did they add any stand-by recruits in case of cancellations? What happens with no-shows? Ask these questions.
Item 2: Honorarium
This is another item you want to ask about. The participants need to be paid for their participation in the focus group whether this is $75, $100, or $250 dollars. When you multiply this fee times the number of participants this cost adds up quickly.
So if Company A sends you a quote for $3,000 and Company B sends you a quote for $6,000, there is a very good chance Company A did not include honorariums or rewards in their cost. This is something you will want to clarify with your focus group quote.
Item 3: Facility Rental Fee
Are you looking to rent a facility or conference room for your focus group? Ask the market research firm to either include pricing for a focus group facility rental or find you a focus group facility to host your groups. Expect this to increase the cost of your focus group quote by anywhere from $500 to $1,500 per day. Some less expensive options to host include library rooms, hotel conference rooms, or business conference rooms.
Item 4: Respondent Food
The market research firm typically charges per head for respondent food. This is likely to include light food, snacks, and beverages. This may range anywhere from $8 to $25 per recruit. This is often not included in the initial quote to drive down cost. Then once you sign on the dotted line the firm will add this cost in which depending on the number of groups could add a few hundred dollars to the focus group quote easily. Also, if you choose to serve lobster instead of sandwiches, it might hike the price a bit too.
Item 5: Equipment
Double-check this in your focus group quote. Do you need access to an HDTV for your focus group? Do you need the focus groups audio and video recorded? Do you need access to any other type of technology or equipment? Some focus group facilities include these as part of their fees while others add them to the final cost if requested.
When you receive a focus group quote make sure you are comparing apples-to-apples. Some focus group quotes will be bare bones where all extras are added on top of the initial quote. While others will be all inclusive. So although at face value they appear to be more expensive or double the cost, in reality these more expensive focus group quotes may be less expensive once you add in all of the extras on the cheaper one. Always understand the line items in your focus group quote.
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