If there’s one thing we all know, Austin sure ain’t Texas. Where there are more hipsters than cowboys and corporate buildings than ranches, and more live music than country bars, the city grooves to its own rhythm.
Of course, Austin’s quirky character and customs come directly from its people. Between techies, foodies, hippies and everyone in between, everyone
Focus groups are a perfect outlet to share your unique opinions with the world. Companies hire market research firms to search for people just like you to get real and unfiltered feedback about their services and products!
You can easily make an extra $100-200 a month just from participating in groups around the city. If you want to know more about paid focus groups in Austin, keep reading!
What kind of paid focus groups can you participate in?
Companies headquartered in the city give a clue to what industries and companies may solicit feedback via focus groups and related paid research studies. Austin packs a big punch in a diverse market. Check out some of the companies that call Austin home:
- YETI Cooler
- Birds Barbershop
- Whole Foods Market
- Amy’s Ice Creams
- Waterloo Records
- Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
- Sweet Leaf Tea Company
There’s no shortage of companies of every creed in Austin. From tech to retail to food and entertainment, small businesses and large – Austin’s got it all.
Online Focus Groups That Are Worth Checking Out
Austin is a great spot for local focus groups, but we always like to recommend online groups to help supplement your focus group fun.
Check out one (or all) of these options:
One of the leaders in market research with over 3 million members, YouGov has a consistent flow of well-paid surveys, product tests, and occasional focus groups. Once you register, they will email you only the studies you qualify for, which is super convenient.
Qualification: Residents of the USA and be at least 14 to join.
This Californian firm specializes in Surveys as the name implies, but just like most research companies, they have occasional online interviews. What’s very convenient about this one – they have a great mobile app that will let you browse available studies anywhere you are.
Qualification: Residents of USA 16+ only
3. Respondent IO Focus Groups
An online marketplace that connects the likes of eBay and Allstate to respondents – that’s you. Expect to earn $20 to $150 per online study. Some of them are fairly specific and difficult to qualify for, but might be worth the effort.
Qualification: Residents of USA, Canada, UK and Australia. Must be 18+.
4. Branded Surveys
Take video surveys, participate in focus groups, and more with Branded Surveys. Get paid by PayPal, via e-gift cards, or choose a pre-paid credit card.
Qualification: Residents of USA 14+
5. Toluna Influencers
Here you can take lots of surveys including video surveys. You can earn a wide variety of rewards (cash, gift cards, etc.). You can request a payment as soon as your account balance reaches $10
Qualification: Residents of USA must be 14+
Top 5 Market Focus Groups in Austin, TX
1. Lone Star Market Research:
Lone Star doesn’t have a public physical location, but they host groups around the Austin Area.
Studies include: focus Groups, mock trials, online focus groups, usability studies, shop-alongs, and hybrid studies. BUT they are mainly conducting online studies right now.
They get 5 stars across Yelp, Google and Facebook, where they occasionally post their available studies.
Compensation is $75-100 per hour, with some specialty studies paying a bit more. You are rewarded through cash, Paypal or Visa gift card.
Join their database to receive qualification surveys that you may match for, BUT you don’t have to sign-up- anyone can complete the surveys they list publicly.
2. Media Science:
Media Science offers exciting opportunities for anyone who enjoys media and things.
Their company focuses on TV shows, sports and social media. Study topics may be on apps, video games and related technology, sports, politics, movies, shows… phew, did I miss any media bucket??? Whatever it is, I’m sure Media Science covers it.
They have huge media conglomerates on their list: ESPN, Fox, Twitter, CNN, Disney, etc.
Still reading? They also have an excellent social reputation – with a whopping 5 stars on Facebook, BBB AND Yelp (4.6 on Google).
The pay isn’t super great – around $30-40 per study, but the fun experience can make up for it, and it’s still not a bad breakdown by the hour. Most studies last 1-2 hours.
It’s super easy to register and join their database. Once you sign up, you’ll be invited to qualify for studies.
3. Think Group:
This is a smaller firm, but they work with multiple Fortune 500 companies, as well as smaller businesses and entrepreneurs.
They have a solid reputation – averaging about 4 stars across Google, Facebook and Yelp. You can participate in shop-alongs, taste tests, usability tests, and traditional focus groups.
Their payment amounts are hard to pin down, but they do pay cash which is a huge bonus in most participants’ eyes (no additional steps to get to the money!) They are located off of the 290-E.
Fill out the form to get emails with paid opportunities you may qualify for!
4. ATI Research:
ATI Research is also a smaller local firm, with no social presence on the usual suspects like Google and Yelp. They do have 400 likes on Facebook, which is at least something.
But where they lack in social proof, they make up in clientele. ATI has tech giants such as Dell, IBM, PayPal, Microsoft, Samsung on their list.
They primarily offer surveys, but occasionally they have focus groups, product tests, and usability tests.
To receive information about studies, register to be in their database. Someone will contact you via phone or email to qualify you for studies you may be a fit for.
This seems like a great company, but their busy website leaves a lot to be desired in organization and clarity. Still, we were able to scope out some important details to figure out if it should rank or not (spoiler alert: it made the list).
Here’s what we know:
- Reviews are old but positive, people enjoy the ease of process and that the studies pay well.
- Compensation is between $75-150. Refreshments are also included 😉
- Fill out a survey via SurveyMonkey (linked above) to join their database!
Please let us know if you participate in a Tammadge focus group. We would love to get an insider’s look 🙂
Other Noteworthy Focus Group Companies in Austin
With such a big city as Austin, it’s hard to just choose 5 companies. But that’s the point of choosing the best, right? Here are a few of the companies that didn’t make the cut. They are still fantastic firms that we know have regular focus groups.
GLG – 301 Congress Ave # 1500, Austin, TX 78701
Culinary Culture – 4714 Evans Ave, Austin, TX 78751
L&E Opinions – 210 Barton Springs Rd # 515, Austin, TX 78704
Black Box Focus Group Companies in Austin
And here’s the list of other market research companies. Unfortunately, we were not able to verify that they have active focus groups at the moment. Here’s what defines a black box.
Sentient Services – 2110 S Lamar Blvd I, Austin, TX 78704
Focus Latino – 720 Barton Creek Blvd, Austin, TX 78746
Austin is quickly becoming the worst-kept secret of the best places to thrive in the U.S. Petitions to #KeepAustinWeird is only growing as disgruntled locals take a stand against transplants that are destroying the culture and driving up prices. Fodder for a focus group maybe….?
After reading this article, I hope it’s clear that your voice matters and can influence local brands, policies and products. True to form, Austin provides plenty of ways to do that, some we highlighted today!
So…. will you try a focus group from this list? I’m curious what you think, tell me your thoughts in the comments!
P.S. don’t keep THIS a secret! Share what you know with your favorite Austinites.
I am a father to a beautiful baby girl, a husband and a serial gigster 🙂 I live in Toronto, Canada. My claim to fame: I made thousands of dollars from focus groups and surveys over the last 15 years. Studied Marketing in Ryerson Univerity and worked in Marketing and Marketing Research for the last 14 years+ My mission is to educate others how to be successful with side hustles. You can contact my be email or on Facebook.