How to Make Extra Money with Focus Groups

Marketing is big business. Companies spend billions of dollar a year to grab your attention and get you to buy. How then, do they decide the best ways to advertise and promote their goods? The information they receive from focus groups is one valuable method. Learn how you can participate, help brands you love, and make extra money at the same time!

Ways to Make Extra Money with Focus Groups

Not all consumer feedback sessions will be the same. Here are the more common types of focus groups available today.

make extra money with focus groups

Traditional Focus Groups

Participants sit in a room and are shown product ideas or concepts and asked about their reactions or perception. They may be monitored behind 2-way mirrors by marketing decision-makers or filmed for later viewing. Sessions usually run around an hour, but some focus group participants have reported to doing half or even full day sessions.

Media Evaluation

Many of the movies shown on the big screen are first screened for a separate audience to gauge everything from how the ending was received to what music should be used in the opening credits. Consequently, one additional aspect of media evaluation is the potential for future marketing. Many screeners, therefore, are asked for their opinion after the film. The good ones may be used for promo materials when the movie is released to the public. Evaluations are also done for books, music, and video games, too!

Taste Tests

In addition to the roundtable discussions we mentioned before, these have the added element of food or drink! Sampling may take place in a restaurant, or food and beverages may be brought into a focus group room. Feedback on taste, texture, presentation, and also price may be requested.

Product Testing

While not the rule, these types of opportunities are most likely to take place in the home. Everything from wrapping paper to toy robots have been made better and marketed more effectively with the information gained from product testing. Sometimes, testers are allowed to keep the product, but if the item is not yet on the market, don’t be surprised if you are asked to mail back or even destroy the item.

make extra money testing products

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In Home Studies

If you don’t mind someone following you around your home in the course of your day, then these types of opportunities may be for you! The less common research projects may have you try out products, or simply document how you handle basic household routines. While not always filmed for later, expect to be asked if they can use video or audio recording to better track results.

Make Extra Money with Focus Groups with these 6 Companies

1. 20/20 Panel

This marketing firm conducts research at live focus groups in Nashville, Miami, and Charlotte. Furthermore, they also do nationwide online feedback opportunities if you don’t happen to live in those areas. Companies that have used 20/20 Panel to gain consumer insights include Kraft, P&G, General Mills, Disney, Frito-Lay, Yahoo, Microsoft, Molson, Discovery, and Rubbermaid.

How much do they pay?

Opportunities vary, but their registration site indicates that you can earn $50, 100, $150, or even more per event. Since many of the opportunities include product testing, you may also get the chance to enjoy a free meal at a restaurant you’ll be reviewing or even keep a toy you test!

Sign up for 20/20 Panel’s focus group opportunities via this link to start earning via national opportunities!

Participants local to Miami, Charlotte, or Nashville should sign up here.

make extra money with focus groups

2. Mindswarms

If you’re comfortable in front of the camera and have a smartphone or tablet, then you can earn some cash with Mindswarms. Participants are usually given quick, 1-minute screeners to see if they qualify for upcoming studies. If a good fit, they’ll answer 7-10 questions in front of their camera to be sent directly to the company.

How much do they pay?

Most studies pay $50 each. Therefore, payment is quick. They pay just 24 hours from the time it is completed!

Sign up for Mindswarms and start making money with your opinion.

3. Focuscope, Inc.

This company promises to conduct over 500 opportunities a year, although not everyone will be eligible for all opportunities. Focuscope offers many of the different types of marketing products you’d expect, including tastings, screeners, and product testing. In addition, they have a mobile app to make viewing and applying for opportunities a seamless process.

How much do they pay?

Focuscope offers between $50 and $250 per opportunity, and the average per study is $100.

Click here to sign up with Focuscope and start making extra money!

4. Mediabarn Research

Mediabarn offers focus group opportunities primarily in the Arlington, VA area. They facilitate dozens of events in a given year, however, most people won’t get invited to more than one or two during that time. Mediabarn request that you not sign up with a friend, as they want their participants to be strangers to one another. Finally, most events last no more than 1-2 hours.

How much do they pay?

While they hesitate to use the word payment, they give an honorarium in the form of cash or check. They pay in person at the end of the event or, sometimes, by mail afterward.

Sign up to do focus groups with Mediabarn here.

5. Shugoll Research

If you live in the Washington, D.C. area, you may be a good fit for Shugoll Research’s focus group opportunities! While they do notify you when opportunities may be a fit, they also recommend that you keep updated on their Facebook page for the best way to make extra money. In fact, this is where they list quick turnaround opportunities.

How much do they pay?

Most 1-2 hour opportunities pay $125 – 150 each.

Sign up for Shugoll Research opportunities here.

use focus groups to make extra money

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6. Focus Pointe Global

Finally, this company has a reputation for providing a variety of consumer insight opportunities. In addition to their focus group events, they have plenty of chances to make extra money with mystery shopping! They also conduct live, in-person focus groups across the country. Locations, therefore, include:

  • Appleton, WI
  • Atlanta – Buckhead
  • Atlanta – Clairmont
  • Bala Cynwyd, PA
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Chicago – Oak Brook
  • Columbus
  • Dallas
  • Kansas City
  • Los Angeles
  • Minneapolis
  • New York City
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix
  • St. Louis
  • San Francisco
  • Teaneck, NJ

How much do they pay?

Their fees range, however, sample opportunities include:

  • $60 for a 45-minute focus group on appliances
  • $65 for a cereal taste test
  • $75 for a focus group on children’s active wear

Sign up here for opportunities with Focus Pointe!