Should marketers pay consumers for their opinions?

Jillian Lakritz of Sandbox Collaborative recently gave a guest lecture in my Consumer Behavior class. Jillian is an expert in consumer insight research, branding, and product innovation.

I asked her whether market researchers should pay consumers for their opinions.

Her answer:

What is noteworthy about Jillian’s answer is that she acknowledges the importance of authenticity. Professional responders – consumers who populate market research firms’ lists and are simply interested in making a few bucks – often will not give you controversial answers (they don’t want to rock the boat) nor will they interested in giving deep thought to the questions at hand (they are not highly involved). Moreover, Jillian highlights the benefit of questioning consumers in a natural environment, such as their home, which both raises their comfort level and may have cues that are relevant to the product category being investigated.