Participant FAQs

What is Market Research?

Market research is one method companies use to listen to their customers. Usually small groups of people gather to discuss products and provide feedback. Focus groups are one way to make your opinion heard. They often provide the opportunity to try out new products and view new services before they are even released. Participants are usually compensated for their time, and many people often find the groups a fun and rewarding experience.

Who is Limelight Insights?

Limelight Insights is a next generation Shugoll company. We conduct market research for a variety of companies across multiple industries, and collect unbiased opinions on topics such as new products and services, new communications campaigns, the latest social issues, political trends, etc. All data collected by Limelight Insights  is strictly for research purposes only, and is never used for soliciting or fundraising

How is My Data Used?

As a general policy we do not provide any identifying information to clients. Participant information is used in aggregate, often in conjunction with other locations, to help clients make decisions about products and services offered to their consumers. In rare cases where our clients need to interact directly with our respondents because of the research methodology, we notify respondents about this requirement and get their permission to release only the specific information needed for the research study.  All  research sessions are recorded on both audio and video formats. That is primarily used for transcription and for researcher’s note taking.

Where are Groups Located?

Most focus groups are now held remotely using our online video platform, Limelight. You can participate from the comfort and convenience of your own home or office and still get paid for your opinions! Sometimes, we host in-person group discussions at highly-rated focus group facilities in your local area, hotels or conference centers. A recruiter will tell you where and when the group discussion is taking place during the screening process to see if it’s convenient for you.

What if I Need to Cancel? Can I Send a Replacement?

Please contact us immediately by calling (301)215-7248 if you have to cancel your appointment.

DO NOT send anyone to replace you.

We understand that emergencies happen and you may need to cancel, but please know that you represent a certain segment of the population and your opinion is very important to us. It will be difficult to replace you last-minute, so when you accept an invitation to participate, please make sure you’ve planned for the unexpected (e.g., childcare, work deadlines, metro delays, bad traffic, etc.).

How Do I Know if a Focus Group Company is Legitimate?

Problems rarely occur when dealing with an established marketing research company as these companies rely on the goodwill of their community to attract people like you to participate in their studies. Check the Insights Association’s Company Member Directory or with your local Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce.

Any company that asks for money is not a legitimate company. Legitimate marketing research companies conducting focus groups pay you and never the other way around! 

What Type of Research Would I Be Doing?

Typically, you would participate in a focus group discussion or an individual interview, both of which are led by an experienced moderator. The average focus group consists of about 8 to 10 people, although some group discussions can have significantly more or less participants. Regardless of whether you are participating in a group discussion or a one-on-one interview, you will be asked to share your opinions and attitudes about a particular product, service or issue. All of your responses are kept strictly confidential and are collected for research purposes only.

Do I Receive an Honorarium for Participating?

Yes – You will receive an honorarium, typically in the form of a virtual Limelight reward ecard, which will be sent to you via email after you participate in a study with Limelight Insights. These reward ecards can be used for prepaid Mastercard debit cards or major merchant gift cards. The amount of your honorarium will vary and depends on the type of study you participate in. You will be informed of the honorarium amount at the appropriate time during the study screening process. Receiving an honorarium is a courtesy to thank you for volunteering your time and sharing your opinions with us. Participation is not considered a part-time job, nor is it a source of income.

How Will I Receive My Honorarium?

Within approximately 2 to 3 business days after you complete your study, you will receive an email from Limelight Reward (noreply@tangocard.com).  We partner with a company called Tango Card to administer our reward program.  You will receive an email with a link for your reward gift dollars, and you can choose from a menu of e-reward cards offered by our partner, Tango Card.  You may choose any combination of reward options up to your total reward dollar amount. 

How Do I Use My Limelight Reward eCard?

We currently have 3 types of e-reward options available from which to choose:

  • You can apply your reward dollars to a prepaid Mastercard. Depending on the card amount, you will have the option to get a virtual prepaid Mastercard or you may choose to have a physical card mailed to you for a $3 handling fee.
  • You can apply your reward dollars to a selection of several major merchant gift cards. There are many merchants to choose from including Amazon, Best Buy, CVS, DSW, Nordstrom, Safeway, Starbucks, Uber, Walmart, Whole Foods Market, and Zappos.
  • You can choose to make a charitable donation to several major charities including the American Cancer Society and Habitat for Humanity.

Does My Limelight Reward Expire?

Your Limelight Reward does not expire and it is yours until you redeem it. However, once you redeem your Limelight Reward dollars toward a prepaid Mastercard or a merchant gift card, the funds that you apply toward those cards are administered by those companies and Limelight Insights no longer has access to those funds. Prepaid Mastercards do have an expiration period (as discussed below).  Typically merchant gift cards do not expire, but they may have inactivity fees that apply after a certain period of time. Please read the terms and conditions for any options that you choose before you redeem with a specific merchant.

If I Choose a Prepaid Mastercard, What is the Expiration Period?

If you choose to apply your Limelight Reward dollars toward a prepaid Mastercard, you will have 4 months to redeem your reward, or “activate” your prepaid Mastercard. Once it is activated, you will have 7 months to use your prepaid Mastercard wherever Mastercard is accepted. IMPORTANT – Limelight Insights no longer has access to your reward dollars after you redeem your reward toward a prepaid Mastercard. We are unable to reissue replacement funds for expired or non-redeemed or activated prepaid Mastercards. 

Can I Get a Physical Prepaid Mastercard Mailed to Me?

Assuming the value of the card for which you redeemed your reward dollars is sufficient to allow for the mailing minimum, you will be given the option to choose to have a card mailed to you instead of using an e-card. Prepaid Digital Solutions will charge a $3 fee for mailing your card and it will be deducted from the balance of your card. 

I Noticed My Card Says DEBIT on the Front. Do I Need a PIN Number to Make a Purchase?

No. Always select “CREDIT” when making purchases even though your card may say “DEBIT.”

Can I Get Cash from an ATM or Bank?   

You cannot use your card at an ATM or bank for cash.

How Do I Purchase an Item that Costs More than the Balance on My Prepaid Mastercard?

If your purchase is more than your Mastercard card balance, request that the merchant let you make a “split payment”. You need to know the total funds available on your card, and you can ask the merchant to charge that amount to your card to use the remaining funds. You can then use another form of payment for the balance to the merchant. Merchants have no way of knowing the amount of available funds on your prepaid Masercard. Not all merchants accept split transactions.

Where Can I See My Transactions and Check My Card Balance?

You can see card details at any time by clicking the original email link that was sent to you from auto-confirm@prepaiddigitalsolutions.com. Or, if you created a username and password for your Digital Wallet, log-in and click on the card you’d like to view. You’ll be able to see card details, mail dates, balances, PINs, spend history and more.  If you need more help you can call +1 (877) 325-8444.

Access your card information at www.prepaiddigitalsolutions.com.

What Should I Do if My Card is Lost or Stolen? 

Call Cardholder Services right away at 1-866-230-3809. Your card will be closed to block it from fraudulent purchases. We’ll send you a new card for the remaining balance minus a card reissue fee.

How Do I Make an Online Purchase?                                                                                  

Virtual cards and physical plastic cards can both be used online. You’ll need your 16 digit card number, the expiration date and the security code. Most web merchants run address verification during checkout to make sure that the address of the card and the address you give the merchant are a match. Be sure your card address is up to date.

If you move or need to make an address change for any reason, you can edit the card address at any time. Log into your Wallet, go to the Menu and click Profile. Here, you can edit your Wallet address, which means that the next card you add to your Wallet will use this address. You can also update the address of an individual card by clicking on a card in your Wallet or clicking on the original email that was sent to you. Then, select the Edit option, which is next to the address.

How Often Can I Participate in a Research Study with Limelight Insights?

Typically, you will be invited to participate in a focus group discussion or individual interview with Limelight Insights once or twice a year – with occasional exceptions.

Why Do You Ask Such Personal Information, Like My Date of Birth, Income, Occupation, etc.?

Our clients want to interview a representative sample of the general population. You represent a particular segment of the population, and we use your basic demographic information to pre-qualify you for as many focus groups as possible. Remember, your personal information is kept strictly confidential.

If I Wasn't Invited to Participate in a Group, Did I Answer a Question Incorrectly?

No – In market research there are no wrong answers. We ask that you answer all screening questions truthfully, and eventually you’ll be invited to participate in a focus group when the dates and times available match your schedule. There are only a certain number of slots for each focus group, and some fill up quickly. Please be patient and do not get discouraged.

Can I Invite My Friends and Family to Participate in the Same Group I'm In?

The answer to this question is typically “no.” We find that you can be more open and unbiased in sharing your thoughts and opinions when you are not influenced by family or friends. Occasionally, there is an exception, but we’ll tell you up-front during the screening process.

Can I Bring My Children, Family, or Friends With Me to The Group if it is In-Person?

No – Limelight Insights does not provide childcare and is not responsible for anyone who isn’t an official study participant. You must be fully vested in participating, and we need your undivided attention. If there is an exception – like when we want to interview a parent and child at the same time – this will be fully explained during the initial screening process.

What If I Don't Want Limelight Insights by Shugoll to Contact Me Again?

Please inform the recruiter who contacts you, or email participate@limelightbyshugoll.com and we will remove you from our database.

What is the Pre-Screening Process and Why Can’t You Tell Me Immediately if I Have Been Placed in a Study?

In market research, the goal is to achieve a representative sample of the target population for each study. To do this, we ask a series of questions, usually ranging between 5-15 minutes, to determine if someone is an immediate fit for our study. If we have too many people who are too similar, thus unbalancing our study, or if we believe someone is very close to what we are looking for but may not be an exact fit, we will place them on what is called a HOLD. This simply means we are trying to communicate with the team running the study to ensure we can use that participant prior to committing them to a group time. During this process, at no time is any identifying or contact information released. Participate PII is only used by the Limelight Insights team to update research participants as we find we can use them.

Will I Be Watched? Will I Be Informed of Who is Watching Me?

Our focus groups, one on one interviews, usability studies and other research are frequently observed. Observers are often other members of the research team taking notes so the facilitator can focus on engaging with research  participants. All information released is kept with the strictest confidentiality. Unless expressly stated, only non-identifying information is used, and it is only used for the research study in which participants are engaged.

Because we do our best to keep participants’ information confidential, we also do our best to keep researchers’  information confidential. This is why participants typically do not meet the full research team during the study. This is also another way we can ensure the research team cannot continue to contact participants after the study.

Will I Ever Be Dismissed Without Pay?

To be paid for our study we only ask that you answer our pre-screening questions truthfully and that you arrive to our study on time. If a participant’s answers differ during the focus group or interview from his/her pre-screening answers and we cannot use him/her, we will not be able to pay that participant. This is why we call all participants the day before their study to read their answers back to them. If any answer does not sound like it matches what a participant told the interviewer during the initial screening process, we ask that you let us know. It is easier for us to determine whether or not we can accept a slightly altered profile a day or two prior to a study than it is to make that determination the day of the schedule research session. 

For all studies, we request you log-in to our online platform or arrive at the specified physical location 15 minutes early. All research sessions will begin on-time, and we cannot delay the start of a discussion to accommodate an individual participant. Although we try to touch base with all participants as the start time to their session approaches, it is best to be proactive and give us a call if you know you are running late. 

What If I Am Dismissed Early?

We do occasionally dismiss participants from groups early, but in these cases, compensation is almost always offered, unless it is determined that someone has truly been inconsistent or dishonest in the screening process.

To account for those who do not show up or cancel at the last minute, we often  operate similar to an airline and  over recruit for a research session.  As such, there will be instances where all participants are not needed to participate. If it is determined that your participation is not needed and you have shown up on-time as requested, we will still pay you the promised incentive.  Our research participants are the lifeblood of our business and all of your opinions are truly valued. We hope that you will continue to participate in our screening process so that you will have another opportunity to participate in research with us again soon. 

Register Today & Share Your Opinion.