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In market research, a survey panel refers to a group of re-recruited individuals with shared characteristics who have agreed to provide their feedback in exchange for monetary or non-monetary benefits. Panels are used in longitudinal studies; a type of correlational research that studies variables over long periods of time such as months, years, and decades. The use of a panel allows researchers to keep the individuals being tested constant so that changing behaviours, attitudes, thoughts, and sentiments can be measured effectively at different points in time.
A global survey panel is a panel comprising of participants from different parts of the world. Online research panel providers often provide access to the global population, allowing organizations to obtain feedback from panels that consist of people from all around the world.
Global survey panels are especially useful to multinational companies that run their operations across different countries as they can collect longitudinal data from their global target market to study the changes in the behavior, sentiment, attitude, and preferences of their consumers.
There are two main recruitment channels through which participants are recruited into a global survey panel:
Internal recruitment channels refer to when panellists are recruited through a company’s internal channels. This includes their existing customers, their email lists, their social media followers etc. As these individuals already have a direct line of communication with a brand, it is easy to onboard them to the panel.
External recruitment channels are used when a company’s internal channels become insufficient. It is more difficult and more expensive to onboard respondents through external channels as they are less likely to consider working with a brand they have not interacted with and therefore have no connection to. Therefore, external channels should only be utilized once the internal channels are exhausted.
When conducting surveys and polls, it is crucial to incentivize panellists in order to gain increased engagement and a high survey response rate. Without incentives, it’ll be almost impossible to get the desired amount of survey respondents.
Use the following tips while incentivizing survey panels:
Monetary rewards are much more effective than non-monetary rewards while trying to incentivize individuals to participate in surveys. Monetary incentives include cash, gift cards, points, etc.
A sweepstake may be effective at initially luring in participants. However, a huge chunk of panellists will be left unsatisfied as they won’t be rewarded. Therefore, even if sweepstakes are used, ensure that at least a small reward is given to each panellist.
Avoid giving rewards from your company’s prize inventory (company merchandise, for instance) as this provides less flexibility than monetary rewards and may not sufficiently incentivize individuals to participate.
It is important to note, however, that there are some survey panels where the use of incentives is not required. For instance, when conducting customer satisfaction surveys, it is crucial to skip survey panel incentives as an incentive could result in consumers providing positive feedback rather than honest feedback solely to redeem the reward. Hence, in such a case, incentives can compromise survey results.
The following are a few characteristics of a global survey panel:
When conducting surveys across different countries, it is important to ensure that the survey is available in different languages as panellists are more likely to respond when the survey is available in their first language.
As global survey panels involve the collection of consumers’ personal data, it is important to ensure that the practices and software used while surveying are compliant with the different laws and regulations of the countries being surveyed.
As global survey panels are predominantly conducted using online channels, they run the risk of fraudulent survey respondents creating multiple profiles to obtain additional rewards. Fraudulent responses can compromise the validity of your study, hence it is pivotal to have a thorough screening and verification process to eliminate or minimize this risk.
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