Focus groups are often regarded as the ultimate overpromise and underdeliver. And while that’s true for the masses, there are also many focus groups that are paying fairly and are even fun to do.
However, it can be challenging, especially, for beginners, to evaluate which opportunities are worth their time.
That’s why I scouted far and wide on the vast ranches of the internet to bring you the top focus groups in Houston. Trust me, this isn’t my first rodeo (pun intended).
Keep reading to learn how focus groups can help you reach your savings (or spending?) goals faster.
Studies you can participate in
Wait… Houston ISN’T the capital of Texas? Well, who would think as the home of the Astros, space exploration, and the birthplace of Beyonce…?! You really can’t achieve more cultural capital than that.
Industry-wise, Houston is known for gas and oil, so you have plenty of those industry giants to choose from.
Perhaps the most recognizable companies housed in Houston are Sysco – food distribution giant – and Waste Management.
Sure, not super exciting, but hey – at least you’re in Beyonce’s midst. And you can make some decent money. Life’s good.
Online focus groups that are worth checking out
If talking about gas and oil aren’t really your thing, you can try your luck with some of these online focus groups that are available everywhere.
You even save yourself the gas by participating from the comfort of your own home!
A household name in the focus group world. With over 3 million members and counting, you can get a steady stream of opportunities from surveys, product tests, and focus groups. You are notified via email when you qualify for an opportunity.
Qualification: Residents of the USA and be at least 14 to join.
This company is awesome because it’s also a mobile app! So you can qualify and take online surveys on-the-go, as well as from the computer. Definitely recommend checking this one out.
Qualification: Residents of USA 16+ only.
3. Branded Surveys
From video surveys to more traditional focus groups, you can get rewarded with gift cards, PayPal, or e-vouchers. Choose your own adventure!
Qualification: Residents of USA 14+
This platform runs a bit on the professional side, so some may be a bit specific or difficult to qualify for, but they do allow you to browse the projects available before you sign-up so you can see if it’s a good fit!
Qualification: Residents of USA, Canada, UK and Australia. Must be 18+.
5. Toluna Influencers
is another diverse firm that offers a variety of surveys and payout options – from cash to gift cards. You can redeem your reward after you earn $10.
Qualification: Residents of USA must be 14+
Top 5 Market Research Companies in Houston
Now… live and in action! We go through a detailed process to review and get you the best market research companies in Houston so you can earn some legit cash on the side. Read on to find out!
1. Plaza Research:
Our #1 pick for focus group options in Houston. They offer many groups that appeal to different groups and interests. There is a steady flow of opportunities at about 30 groups per month. The pay range can vary widely depending the study, so we recommend you evaluate the pay beforehand to make the most of your time.
They have a great reputation on Facebook, and post their studies and surveys frequently. Be sure to like them so you don’t miss out on any that may have slipped your inbox.
The form registration is pretty long, but they have many specific groups online so your chances of qualifying may be higher.
2. Schlesinger Group:
A major name and popular choice in market research. They have locations across Europe in the U.S., so they are very well-established and have general positive regard from participants. Their Houston Location is located in the uptown Galleria area.
They welcome both professionals and consumers. However, their studies can be quite specialized and difficult to qualify for. They do offer quite a bit of studies, so chances are you will qualify for a few.
You take a quick survey to register, and they send surveys you pre-qualify for directly to your inbox.
3. Creative Consumer Research:
This company gets a thumbs up in our book for their transparency of studies available and pay, which is quite rare ‘round these parts. However, the studies can be quite difficult to qualify for.
They offer a wide set of compensation and incentives including paid travel, products to test (and keep!), and of course, old-fashioned cash rewards. Cash compensation is around $60 per hour.
No registration is required before screening questions.
*Caveat: they have mixed reviews on Yelp, but an A+ rating with BBB. Consider the information above and take it with a grain of salt.
4. C&C Market Research:
C&C has over 38 locations nationwide. The Houston office is conveniently located in Deerbrook Mall.
They offer both in-person and online studies, ideal for those nights you want to earn remotely, but still feel close to city life.
Fair warning, they don’t have the best reviews on Yelp: patrons claim low pay and unpleasant experiences. However, they do have a fair amount of active groups running right now. (I love how you worded it. Well Done!)
5. La Forge Consulting Group:
This is a pretty small company with minimal presence online. However, we did reach out via email and found that there were studies available currently.
You can call or email them to ask about available opportunities.
Other Great Focus Group Companies in Houston
Here are some other great companies that didn’t quite make the list. You should still check them out:
Opinions Unlimited, Inc – 3 Riverway, Suite 250, Houston, TX 77056
ConneXion Research – 1770 Saint James Place Ste. 400, Houston, TX 77056
End to End User Research – 15355 Vantage Pkwy W #250, Houston, TX 77032
Oteri Consulting Group – 720 Rusk Street, Suite 236, Houston, TX 77002
I also found some other companies that I was unable to verify information for, but they are present online and may very well be active! Let me know if you try these out or can verify that they have quality groups running in Houston.
Tricone Marketing Research – 14027 Memorial Dr #316, Houston, TX 77079
Customer Value Systems – 6134 Queenswood Ln, Houston, TX 77008
Premiere Media Group – 808 Travis St, Houston, TX 77002
So there’s the roundup of top focus groups in H-Town! Apply to a few and let me know your experience in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.
P.S. In-person options may be a bit slower due to Coronavirus, but you should still try your luck. The ones we ranked have active groups right now.
If you are stuck in the queue, read this article about the best online paid research studies that you can participate in while you’re waiting.