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At Twin Cities Market Research Companies, Your Opinion Pays

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- What if you could get paid to give your opinion? Sound too good to be true? It's not.

"It could be as little as 30 minutes or it could be up to two hours and we always pay our respondents," Deborah Seim, vice president of Leede Research, said.

Companies need feedback on products and appliances and all sorts of things. In return, research companies in the Twin Cities compensate people for their time.

Working father of five Kevin Youngquist went for it when he learned a company was interested in his opinion to help with their research.

"What a great opportunity to share mine and get paid for it so it was just a sweet deal," Youngquist said.

Leede Research is a Twin Cities company hired to determine the usability of a website or to test a product.

"We work with every type of client you can imagine, every type of product that's out there that people would be using or having an experience with, clients could come to us," Seim said.

Seim explains clients want to hear from real people about the usability of their product. Does it work the way they think it does?

"Where are they struggling? Are we meeting their expectations? Is this website easy to use? And that's what we're trying to get answered by the end of the test," Seim.

Her team searches for the clients target demographic to answer those questions. That's where you come in.

"Everyone is in our database. There isn't anyone that we would turn away," Seim said.

Sometimes Leede calls people to come into the facility to be part of a research discussion. The client is on one side of the one-way mirror watching while consumers are in the other room. Cameras capture the conversation. People are also asked to do specific tasks.

"We do stuff where they might be in their home and we watch them prepare a meal, and we watch how they use those products. Or how they are doing laundry so we can make a better washing machine or dryer or they can be in store because they might want to test the displays in the store. Are people seeing what they're supposed to see? Are they noticing the advertising?" Seim said.

The pay varies from $25 for a quick survey all the way up to $500 for a few hours of your time. The outcome benefits both sides.

"When products are usable, people want to use them and people want to buy them and that's why market research is so important," Seim said.

Youngquist found it's worth his time. He is called to participate a few times a year. It's not income his family counts on but a little something extra helps.

"So it's a lot of fun to just have that fun money to say you know what we're going to do this, we're going to do a splurge on date night," Youngquist said.

Everyone involved signs a confidentiality agreement. While Leede Research can't name their clients, many are Fortune 500 companies based in Minnesota.

There are a number of research companies in the Twin Cities. Click here to see the latest studies and for information on how to sign up to participate.

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