Local News

Triangle Focuses on New Ideas, Quick Money

Posted August 27, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— More and more marketing ideas are being spawned right here in the Triangle. Companies are flocking to Raleigh to hear what you have to say. You might not know it, but the Triangle is becoming the nation's leader when it comes to focus groups.

We're constantly being swamped with ideas, slogans, and pitches. Companies just want to strike a chord with the customer. Those ideas often come from customers themselves, and they come from rooms like the one at L&E Research in North Raleigh.

"You name it and we've probably done it," says L&E Owner Ed Eggers. Eggers says the Triangle is a hot bed for focus groups. With a booming, diverse population, many companies see the Triangle as a window on America, a perfect place to get feedback.

Eggers also believes focus groups are getting a lot of good press. He says companies are just coming aware of it. They take a look at the demographics and say "holy smokes, let's go down and talk to some of these people."

A moderator sits in the room trying to get the focus group to express opinions on a company's idea or product. Meanwhile, the client sits in the other room watching and listening by video or through a two way mirror. Having focus groups that can express opinions intelligently is the reason the Triangle is one of the best places for research in the nation.

Eggers says it's the closeness to the customers that marketers like. They are listening to what the customers have to say, and they act on it. They want people to tell they what they think, and people do that in focus groups.

With seven univerities, the state capitol, Research Triangle Park with thousands of PhD's, and rural communities not far away, the Triangle is a cross-section of America. Companies want to cash in on how we feel.

People who participate in a focus group get paid anywhere from $30 to $50 dollars for hour and a half sessions. There are a number of different research companies in the Triangle.

If you're interested in participating, the company we spoke with says its always looking for people. You can call L&E Research at (919)782-3860.