Market panel research is the technique of repeatedly collecting data, from a pool of pre-recruited people. The persons in this panel usually provide demographic, behavioral and household data, which makes carrying out future research studies easier.
Market research is evolving continuously every day. This change is due to the evolution of the style of collecting data and the tools used to collect data. It makes no sense for organizations to spend too much time screening respondents to collect feedback. They strive to cut costs and time while gathering the most recent and accurate data as possible. Here’s where Market Panel Research comes in the picture.
Top 10 reasons to conduct a market panel research
There are many advantages to adopting a market panel research approach. Below are the top 10 reasons.
- High completion rate: The completion rate is the percentage of respondents who complete the survey out of the number of potential participants contacted. Adopting a panel to gather responses for a study gets you a high incidence rate. Response rates tend to be high as respondents have opted-in to take part in the research.
- Time-saving: Panels are built to give easy access to willing research participants. By nature, research panels build convenience samples. A project using a panel takes a fraction of the time it would take to complete the same project using a different sample recruitment method. For example, an organization may post an online survey to Twitter, and other online mediums and may generate a ton of completes. But, there is no guarantee that these respondents want to participate. Creating a panel guarantees individuals to take part in the study. Research activities can be finished quickly. The findings can be analyzed on time. This allows organizations to react quickly to the findings.
- Cost reduction: Saved time translates to cost savings. Using the market panel research approach saves the organization’s money. It is as simple as that! Before, you had to print out questionnaires and provide pens to your respondents. Also, organizations had to target random persons from the general population and then screen them to fit their quotas. Now with a ready to use panel, only the right sample is targeted to gather data. The survey questions are deployed online, thus tapping the right respondents within a very short period. These surveys can be monitored in real-time cutting down costs to a great extent.
- Focus groups and market panel research: Focus groups and in-depth interviews are based on a set of questions or discussion points. It is very important to target the right persons to take part in an in-depth interview because they let you explore people’s opinions and attitudes. (e.g. what they feel about your products and what improvements they would like to see). The respondents of the panel are asked open-ended questions. The data gathered is deemed as ‘close to accurate’ as these participants already know about the product. Setting up a market panel research for focus groups is the most convenient way of gathering true, accurate and timely data. These respondents have agreed to participate in the various research tasks conducted by an organization.
- Better screened resources through market panel research: A market panel is a collection of qualified people. They are prepared to engage in surveys and give feedback on a product or service. This panel is pre-screened and profiled according to the nature of the survey. Screener questions either qualify, disqualify, or help segregate your respondents. They help to ensure that respondents meet your target specifications. Having a readily available panel, all the respondents are pre-screened and recruited for studies. At the deployment of the survey, the surveyor already knows who to target and who is the best fit to take part in the market panel research.
- Bandwidth: Large organizations may afford to conduct a study from scratch as they may have resources available to conduct the study. But what about smaller organizations with less bandwidth and fewer resources? Or other larger organizations who are on a thin budget or even departments in these organizations who wish to conduct such research? They may not be able to afford to dedicate individuals for taking part in the research activities at every level. An audience panel managed by experts saves you time to focus on your core business. Market panel research providers are experts in their field at providing the right respondents and gathering high-quality insights in lesser time. Leave the data collection part to them as responses gathered by an expert through a pre-screened set of respondents will save you the hassles of data collection.
- Good panels are always up to date: Market panel research providers work day-in and day-out, recruiting respondents for various surveys. These panes are large, with a population in the thousands. As a practice, these providers are always on the move to grow and improve their panels. They keep updating their database, eliminating respondents who tend to not respond to surveys. As panelists join panels out of their own will, they also contribute to keeping the panel updated by updating data points like age, income, location, brand preferences, etc.It is important to conduct panel refreshment not just to keep your information on panelists up to date, but additionally to keep the response rates at suitable levels. Reward seekers are eliminated via panel refreshment. This is done because they do not add value to the study but focus on receiving the incentives. Just like your vehicle requires maintenance over time, so does your research panel. Refreshing the panel helps keep panel data current, clean, and ready to meet your business needs. And that’s refreshing!
- Better samples and sampling: Resources within a panel are pre-screened. Their data is always refreshed and updated continuously. This practice helps in targeting and sampling respondents in a jiffy. As these samples perfectly represent the general population, it is easy to make decisions to suit the target population. You are likely to achieve a higher level of accuracy. Sampling saves a lot of time by lessening the volume of data. When you have limited time, surveying without using sampling becomes impossible. By using sampling, you can get detailed information on the data even by employing a small number of resources.
- Better tracking studies: A tracking study’s objective is to track data over time, forming an ongoing measure, facilitating the identification of trends and comparisons, spikes and dips. In today’s fast-paced marketing environment, tracking is an essential component of managing your brand and maintaining a competitive advantage. With the continuous improvement in market research tools and methods, tracking a study live is now possible. Customer experience optimization and loyalty tracking can be conducted in real-time. This leads to real-time strategy forming and decision making.
- Sensitive issues (x-rated products) can be researched: It is very important to consider a respondents potential reaction to sensitive topics. Market panels can report on more sensitive issues, including X-rated products, alcohol, sexual attitudes, and cigarettes to name but a few. One can easily tap the smoking/alcohol-consuming community with ease. It does not make sense to survey respondents randomly to know their preference for x-rated products and other sensitive topics. People who have opted for such surveys will be at ease answering questions about such products. Knowing your audience can save you a great deal of cost and time.
Should you go in for a market panel research? The verdict
Using consumer panels for research can be very beneficial to organizations. It’s up to you to determine whether the advantages of panels surpass the concerns. The enormous maturity of panels is due to the increasing usage of online surveys. Reaching target audiences for market research now is tougher than before. Online market panel research has become one of the most important tools of the modern market researcher, and if used properly can generate valuable insights.