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Market Research Panels: Everything You Need to Know

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Did you know that over 30,000 consumer products are launched in the U.S. each year? How do you know if your product will stand out in the crowd?

Market research is the method of gaining insights from your target audience about new products and services so that you can avoid the biggest mistake in product development which is to enter a market with a product that no one wants to buy. So it’s actually a way to save you time and money.

Market research panels are valuable resources for quickly collecting data from your target audience on what works and what doesn’t. But how does a research panel exactly work, what are the benefits of using a market research panel, who should use it, and how do you go about recruiting your own research panel? We’ll discuss that in this post.

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Introduction

In the market research industry, panels are rapidly growing in popularity. As we’ve shifted from telephone surveys to the online surveys, market research survey methodologies have also evolved.

With access to an in-house market research panel, Voxco has in-depth expertise with the process, benefits, and ways of using a market research panel for multiple types of research studies. 

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What is a market research panel?

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A market research panel is a pre-recruited group of members who have been recruited specifically to take part in market research studies such as online surveys, interviews, and focus groups. These members generally have to share a lot of personal information to be able to participate in the research panel.

Some of this information includes:

  • Demographic data (race, sex, ethnicity, age, education level, etc.)
  • Household data (icome, household size, number of children, etc.)
  • Behavioral data (shopping habits, hobbies, political inclinations, etc.)

When readily available, this crucial information makes recruitment of the research panel a lot easier for market research studies.

The two types of market research panels

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  • Research supplier panels

Market research supplier panels are typically larger since they consist of members from a cross-section of the B2C and B2B sectors. On contacting a research supplier panel, consider estimating an incidence rate to understand what percentage of their extensive database of panel members qualify for your specific research study

  • Customer or corporate panels

Customer or corporate panels are typically smaller since they consist lf only customers who purchase specific products or services, or who share similar behavioral habits or other similar traits.

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Who uses market research panels?

Third-party research panels are mostly used by market research companies to reach individuals (read target audience) who are interested in participating in a variety of research studies. 

Working with online market research panel companies requires a somewhat complicated setup process, especially for those who do not have a background in marketing research.

Market research panels are mostly used by:

Market research companies

Market research organizations that conduct research studies for other organizations, use market research panels the most.

What they do: They reach out to respondents who fit the survey criteria and are keen to participate in the research.

Organizations

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Organizations of different sizes and with different customers base also use market research panels for their research studies.

What they do: They answer online surveys depending on the research needs.

Students

College and university students find market research panels quite handy for completing their research projects and thesis. These panels help them get an accurate representation of their population of interest for research projects.

How do market research panels work?

Market research has been continuously evolving since the early 1950s.

With the booming digitization and innovation of panel research, it is now a primary market research method.

The recruitment of panel participants occurs via online channels and is done based on demographic factors, including age, sex, location, profession, education levels, etc.

This makes research panels effective in surveying a very defined target group.

Participation in research panels often comes with incentives. Respondents receive rewards usually in the form of cash or gift cards.

As part of panel research, questionnaires are sent to members of the panel. Since the panel is made up of of respondents who have been selected according to your specific needs, it becomes a sample of your intended target market.

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Why should you have a market research panel?

A market research panel is essentially a group of people who are willing to participate in market research. 

Having a readily available group of respondents presents many advantages for a company including:

Quicker fieldwork turnaround

Market research panels are great for when you have limited time and your market research needs to be conducted very fast. Also, they are great for when market research would prove to be too expensive to seek research participants through other ways and means.

Using a market research panel nearly guarantees quicker and cost-effective fieldwork.

Better brand positioning

Product owners and service providers doing everything possible to stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace. And while it’s difficult to solely differentiate based on your USP, the area that’s still up for grabs is the customer’s experience.

Market research panels help you get to the heart of your customer’s experience.

Higher response rates

Since respondents have signed up themselves and are willing to participate in the research studies, they’re motivated to take part in research. This means that they’re less likely to be “caught cold” by a survey.

Diverse viewpoints

A well-established market research panel can consist of any number of individuals from diverse backgrounds, professions, age groups, or regions, which eventually enables you to mirror your own specific audience during a research project.

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Conclusion

Research panels can deliver a broad range of benefits, from higher response rates to diverse insights, quicker fieldwork, and better brand positioning, among others.

However, the market research panel meaning we shared at the start of this article only tells part of the story.

Market research panels are largely comprised of motivated research participants who willingly sign up to participate in research studies.  

As a leading survey panel company, Voxco avoids using conventional research panels. Its survey panel tools integrate with its online survey software. It can help you maximize response rates by nurturing a loyal community of respondents. What makes it your ideal survey panel provider for your research activities is the fact that it offers best-in-class premium support.

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Great Research
Fast Insights
Best-in-class ROI

Voxco’s platform helps you gather omnichannel feedback, measure sentiment, uncover insights and act on them.

Join 500 + global clients across 40+ countries