You can indeed get paid for conducting market research or studies for companies online.
This article looks at how this online paid focus group discussions work.
It also tells you all you need to know, such as what to expect, how much time is required and of course how much you get paid when you participate.
Most importantly, it also shows you some of the best focus group companies that really pay, to save you from falling victim to those that don’t.
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What Are Paid Focus Groups?
Focus groups are a selection of individuals between 8 and 12 or more who are usually put together in a room to give their honest opinions about a product.
Unlike with paid online surveys that are mostly done online, focus group discussions can be online and offline.
With focus groups, the discussions and questions shared within the group are controlled by a trained human moderator.
You also be required to use visual and physical aids in the room.
Focus groups could be in-person focus groups where you are required to be physically present in a research facility with other strangers for the discussions.
Often the participants in each group would have common traits, experiences, or characteristics, which make the discussions interesting and informative.
There are many types of focus groups but I am going to categorize them under:
- In-person focus groups
- Online consumer panel or online research study
Online Consumer Panel or Online Paid Focus Groups
As the name implies, this is usually done completely online.
It requires the digital collections of individuals who share certain demographic, behavioral, attitudinal, or preferential characteristics in common.
In other words, a group of participants convene online to give their opinion and feedback about a product.
This can be done from the comfort of your home or office. That’s why this is a very creative way for stay at home moms to make money online.
With online paid focus groups, a moderator also controls the panel discussions and participants may use cameras, microphone, etc, during the discussions.
This is the preferred type for many people but isn’t always readily available.
Of course it doesn’t usually pay as well as those conducted in a physical location but the pay can add up if you do enough of them every week or month.
How Paid Focus Group Market Research Studies Work
There’s usually a trained human moderator who asks questions and controls the discussion in the room.
You must be ready to give your honest response to a question about the product or service in question.
And when it comes to giving your opinion in the group, it’s always a good idea to be as honest as you can – as that’s what is going to help the market research.
There are usually no right or wrong answers when it comes to these things, and they tell you that from the very beginning.
What they are looking for is not how correct participants are or how smart they are. Instead, they are more interested in what your opinion is, right or wrong.
Note though that despite the answering of questions, this is different from programs where you get paid to answer questions.
Focus groups can be selected from individuals who have participated in innovative-based research.
This is the type of market research where the individual or participant is asked to test and try a product or its prototype for a stipulated period of time.
He/she would give feedback on his/her experience while using the product.
The feedback could be provided by filling out a survey.
The subject of any focus group can be as wide as necessary. However, one needs to understand that, ultimately, companies use such groups and their feedback to improve a product or a process.
Focus groups and product testing are part of marketing research conducted by firms for product improvement.
Again, it doesn’t matter whether you think are not smart enough to participate in these as that’s not what is more important. It’s your honest opinion that is more important, right or wrong.
How Much Time Does It Usually Take and How Much Do You Get Paid
The time commitment for Focus Groups is usually between 30 minutes to 2 or 3 hour, although some may take more time.
Compensations or incentives is dependent on the time and the sensitive nature of the product.
As a participant, averagely you should expect to receive between $50 to $75 per hour after the study, depending on the location and/or product involved.
So, for a three hour study you may earn between $150 and $225.
As you can see, that’s good money that can add up pretty nicely overtime.
Other Related Ways Of Getting Paid:
- Get paid good money to donate your sperm and centers or clinics that really pay.
- Get paid just for listening to music online (you don’t even have to review the songs).
- Get paid to be an extra in a movie and some companies that help get you these jobs.
- Get paid as a mystery shopper and genuine mystery shopping companies that pay.
- Get paid just to eat food as a paid food taster and companies that help you get paid.
- Get paid to lose weight as a way to keep you motivated when trying to lose weight.
Best Focus Group Companies That Really Pay
Of course with everything else, there are good, bad and outright ugly focus group companies out there. You don’t want to waste your time signing up with a company that can’t be trusted.
Thankfully, I have taken the time to research and provide you with some of the very best focus group companies out there.
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While they can give you free gift cards as payment, you can actually also get paid cash.
They pay you for sharing your opinions and thoughts on products or services.
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2. Focus Pointe Global
Focus Pointe Global is a very large focus group recruiter in the US. It provides the opportunity for individuals to do things like:
- Participate in focus groups
- Test new products
- Take online surveys
Participants can accumulate “pointe” at-home testing stuff and doing online surveys.
100 online pointes is equal to $1.
These “Pointes” are redeemable for Google play gift cards, general gift cards, cash, and even other merchandise.
Focus Pointe Global Focus groups compensation varies and is dependent on the project.
You can be paid via prepaid Visa™ card or check, at the end of each session.
3. Plaza Research
Plaza Research is one of the best ones to consider because they have been providing focus group researches since 1982.
They pay focus groups for viewing and giving their opinions about products or for testing products.
The focus groups are conducted by professionals representing the clients or manufacturers.
You may be asked to sample a new product, preview a TV commercial, or talk about future products.
Yes, in terms of previewing a TV commercial, it’s one of those programs where you get paid to watch ads.
Even though you may be asked to sample a new product though, they won’t give you free cosmetics, perfumes and other makeup samples. Instead, you actually get compensated with cash.
Averagely, you can earn $50 to as much as $200 for a 2 hour session. It’s definitely a good way to make 200 dollars quickly.
And yes, you are compensated immediately after each session.
Fieldwork is a popular marketing research company that has focus group facilities in various US cities.
Generally the topics can include, but not limited to:
- Real estate
- Consumer products
As a participant in the Fieldwork focus group you would usually engage in a round-table discussion with other participants.
The discussions are often moderated by a market research professional.
Also, you can spend 1-2 hours and receive compensation starting from $75 for participating in a Fieldwork Focus Group.
5. Chasen Research
Chasen Research prides itself as a premier national market research recruitment services organization.
It has been in operation since 1986.
It provides a wide range of market research activities like Focus groups, online research studies and panel surveys to help clients grow their businesses.
You can earn from Chasen Research by becoming a focus group participant.
The compensation may not be as much as people get for, say, paid clinical trials, but that’s also because it’s not as risky.
The actual compensation you get varies and would depend on the nature of the project.
On the average, participants in a focus group can expect to be paid between $40 and $150 for their time.
Click here to check out Chasen Research.
MindSwarms is another research company that pays you for completing a session of focus group discussions or surveys.
If you complete any survey with this company you would be paid $50. They usually pay straight to your PayPal account, making it one of the ways to earn money with PayPal.
With MindSwarms you get to record your insights or opinions about a product or service with your smartphone video.
You can choose MindSwarms and get paid to share your opinion doing mobile video.
7. Nichols Research
Nichols Research is an independent marketing research company based in San Francisco Bay Area, US.
This company carries out traditional focus group research as well as other types of research including mock juries, product tests, and shop-alongs.
Nichols Research incentivizes its participants by reimbursement, gift or honorarium to offset any expenses incurred as a result of volunteering to participate.
Cash and other incentives such as free food are stated upfront and are awarded as soon as the research project is excused.
Payments may vary according to the type of study or research.
Focuscope Inc. is a research community based in Chicago, USA.
It has been providing marketing research services to clients since 1980.
This company conducts focus groups and interviewing as an integral part of its research program.
They provide a wide range of services that also include things like:
- Field management
- Mock juries
- Taste tests
- On-site interviews
You can participate in focus groups and in-home studies with this company and get compensated for your time and effort.
You will be paid cash on the completion of the project.
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9. Pragmatic Research
Pragmatic Research, Inc. (PRI) is a marketing research firm located in St. Louis, Missouri.
It has been in business since 1985 and has been providing qualitative and quantitative marketing research for clients.
The study based researches conducted on behalf of medical clients may include:
- Focus Group and In-Depth-Interview Hosting
- Data Collection
- Qualitative and Quantitative Research Projects
If you are have experience in online medical transcription jobs and would want to participate in medical-related focus group, you should consider joining the database of Pragmatic Research.
The pay varies and it’s dependent on the nature of the study.
On the average, in-person survey may attract $25 an hour.
10. 20/20 Panel
20/20 Panel is a company that has focus group facilities in different locations. Some of these include:
- Charlotte, North Carolina
Participants can be paid $50 to $150 per research study of 1 to 3 hours.
Only US participants are allowed by this company, and you can voice your opinion on any product or service.
11. Orman Guidance
Orman Guidance, Inc., is another marketing research company that connects clients with their target audience.
This company provides different services like Research & Guidance, Project Management, Facilities & Hospitality, etc.
In terms of hospitality, those involved in jobs that require travel will find it very easy working with this company.
Orman Guidance delivers effective marketing research through studies by engaging qualified participants whose opinions help their clients’ businesses.
You can join any of the paid research studies conducted by Orman Guidance.
The paid research may be in form of Focus Group, in-depth interview, online survey, product testing, etc.
Compensation amounts vary, generally ranging from $50 to $200 per hour.
12. Indy Focus
Indy Focus is another company that provides full-service research facilities in the United States.
It is strategically located and provides clients with the best of In-house recruiting, skilled moderators, extensive research capabilities, and a commitment to technology.
This company wants your feedback and like the others, is ready to pay.
Those looking for work from home nursing jobs will find it very easy working with this company.
Whether you are a consumer or more specifically a professional in the healthcare industry, you can be one of those taking part and earning from this company.
You will likely receive anywhere between $50 to $200 per session of 2 or 3 hours.
You will be informed of your pay as you sign up.
13. Probe Market Research
Probe Market Research is marketing research recruiting firm based in New York & San Francisco. The company was established in 2005 and helps clients recruit the best collaborators.
The services of this company to its clientele include:
- Nationwide Database
- Focus Groups
- Website Usability Tests
- In-depth interview
- Product Trials
- Online Bulletin Boards & Surveys
You can sign up with this company and get adequately compensated for time spent.
On its website, it is stated that “Focus groups are normally paid between $50 and $400 and in some cases you may not even need to leave your home! It’s one of those types of ways to earn money working from home.
Unlike other jobs such as cat sitting jobs or dog walking jobs that you can do on your own, interviews are conducted in groups, by phone, or online—depending on the amount of time assigned to that particular study.”
14. Product Report Card
Product Report Card is another company that can help you get cash rewards for providing your opinion.
You get to sign up for free, complete their online surveys and earn rewards for your time.
Rewards could be cash, amazon gift card codes or free products you have tested.
You can participate and earn $150-$200 per study in a Product Report Card Focus study.
Participating in home product tests can earn you even more.
15. Accurate Data Marketing
Accurate Data Marketing is another company well known for recruiting professionals and consumers for marketing research studies.
This company has well over 20 years’ experience in various research projects like focus group researches, products placement, surveys, products testing or medical tests, etc.
You can become a participant with this company and help carry out product testing and other studies for pay.
You are compensated for your time and feedback because the clients are willing to pay for your invaluable contributions that would help them with their products.
As awesome as getting paid for market research can be, you have to do all you are required to do, before you get paid. In many cases you even have to get to the physical location before getting paid.
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