UK Market Research
Companies will often pay people to take part in market research as it helps them improve their products, target their advertising correctly and increase sales. The research they carry out takes a number of forms including surveys, focus groups and product reviews. All market research panels have different payment rates and methods of payment. Focus groups traditionally pay the most out of all the methods of market research and review sites may not pay anything, however you will be able to keep the product you are testing.
To be invited to take part in market research sessions, you will need to register with a company. Registration is usually carried out online and is a relatively quick process. Any reputable market research company will not ask for money to register and companies who do are best avoided - don't fall into the trap of being scammed.
Becoming an active member of a focus group involves taking part in discussions about products in a company's premises, online, on the phone, or even in your own home. The discussions can be on anything from insurance to medical products and usually last between one to two hours. Each session can pay anywhere between thirty and one hundred and fifty pounds. Most companies who run focus groups will limit how many you can take part in each year, usually two or three in any twelve month period.
To be eligible for a focus group you will need to sign up with a provider and they will contact you when suitable opportunities arise. Often you will be sent a pre-group questionnaire to ensure that the company gets an appropriate mix of respondents. Companies who run focus groups in the UK include Saros, Focus 4 People, Field Initiatives, and Indie Field. There is no limit to the number of companies you can register with.
Market Research Surveys
An increasingly popular way for companies to carry out their market research is to offer online surveys for people to complete. These surveys usually offer a cash incentive of between ten pence and three pounds per survey. Once you have registered with a survey site you will either be emailed surveys, or have to check the company's site to see if there are any you are eligible for. Respondents will screened out of some surveys as the companies are usually looking for a certain population sample.
Signing up is free, but once you start to earn, there is normally a minimum balance required before you can request payment from these sites and this can vary between ten and fifty pounds. The payments can either be in the form of cash, cheque, or vouchers for high street shops. Popular market research survey sites include, New Vista, One Poll, Valued Opinions, Global Test Market and My Survey. As with focus group companies, you are free to sign up to as many survey sites as you like. The key to making money from the survey sites is ensuring you complete the surveys regularly. Cash build up can be slow, so the more surveys you do, the sooner you are likely to see a return.
Product Testing and Review
Companies such as Clix Research run market research panels which send products to volunteers to test and then provide their feedback. Large organisations such as Boots and Tesco also run their own product testing groups for market research. These company groups do not recruit all year round, but you can register your interest for when vacancies do arise. Usually, these market research panels do not offer payments to participants, but the volunteers benefit from being able to try out the latest products. Occasionally these sites may ask participants to test services rather than products. In those situations they will usually offer a cash payment.