RESEARCH PANEL MANAGEMENT1

Research Panel Management

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Use our in-depth online survey guide to create an actionable feedback collection survey process.

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Table of Contents

Panels are groups of highly suited individuals who are willing and capable of serving organizations with accurate answers to research questions. The kind of people who are a part of the panel depend upon their:

  • Eligibility
  • Availability over the span of research
  • Updated market knowledge
  • Genuine interest in the topic of study

Research panel management consists of identifying, recruiting and maintaining a group of respondents who have volunteered to participate in research for a brand or an organization. A meticulous process is designed by such organisations for panel selection.

Panels consist of a limited number of people, and so it becomes a priority for the brand to include only those individuals which can have a substantial value addition to the research and are able to provide their insights within a specific time frame to ensure efficiency in data collection and timely decision making.

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The advantage of using such a methodology for conducting research is the researcher’s knowledge about the respondent. Over the course of the study, respondent profiling activities feed information about the panelists as well as update this information from time to time to prevent obsolescence.

Hiring a third party panel is beneficial for an organization as it becomes easier to list the eligibility criteria and save on personnel time and effort while these research platforms work on finding suitable candidates.

Benefits of Research Panels

Accurate data collection: Since panels are composed of people with the requisite amount of experience and knowledge about the topic of study, they make an important contribution to the understanding of the research questions . The data supplied by these panelists is highly reliable and representative of the target population.

Updated market information : In today’s dynamic business environment , it becomes highly necessary for any company , small or large , to stay updated with the current market trends and practices. It is only the people who have high levels of interest and have been involved in particular fields that are able to supply such information . These individuals are equipped with the current market happenings , and by passing on such information to the company , they fuel intelligent decisions that are highly actionable.

Advanced research: Research carried out using research panelists is highly technical. Researchers need not worry about confusing the respondent by asking technical questions and using jargon. Panelists , being highly familiar with the field itself, are able to widen the field in terms of answering specialized lines of questioning that may not be provided by other categories of participants.

Highly responsive: Panel research consists of people who have been selected for the purpose of carrying out specific studies. Their willingness to participate ensures that surveys receive the requisite number of responses and do not go unanswered. This makes the setting of realistic time frames for the study an easy task without worrying about the inability to generate enough responses.

Quick responses: Research collection needs to be prompt for it to be used for decisions that need to be made in the near future. Sufficient time also has to be allocated for analysis, presentation and decision making. For such needs that are to be met on a short term basis, research panels offer the ideal solution by combining qualitative responses with efficiency. 

A Panel management software like Voxco allows the collection process to be completed within hours to prevent any delay in data collection.

Familiarity: The profiling activities conducted by an organization develops a high degree of transparency. These profiles are set up and updated from time to time using a comprehensive set of data points. Such a mechanism offers the relative advantage of knowing your respondents as opposed to any other research process. 

Pocket friendly: Research panels help in easing the resource burden in terms of financial investment. Companies get to collect a ton of responses from a set of highly knowledgeable individuals hand picked to serve their research purpose. This way companies get useful insights and feedback while ensuring the cost optimal expenditure.

When to use research panels?

Business research often requires a plethora of data points, all of which is not accessible through a generalized sampling process. Not every individual who knows about a product, will be able to answer specific brand studies. Thus, looking for brand experts is likely to generate better quality results.

Research carried out for: concept testing, competitive analysis and marketing and promotional strategy evaluation are a few topics where panel research is highly applicable.

Panelists know about the brand and its previous offerings. For research involving concept testing, these panelists are in a better position to gauge if the concept being launched fits into the brand personality and if it’ll impact the target audience that it is designed for.

Competitive analysis involves an in-depth knowledge base of the industry as a whole. So even though customers might be fully aware about the brand itself, reflecting on the brand’s competitive standing may not be a field of expertise for them. Such a research requires industry experts who know the preferences, trends and market sentiment and can add value to the research by putting in ideas and suggestions that can help the brands, level up.

Will an advertisement or positioning strategy influence the target market in the way it is projected? Analytics experts, individuals with a know-how of customer psychology and competitive strategies and other such specialized individuals are in a position to inform brands about the feasibility of their marketing practices. By reviewing such strategies, panel respondents provide context as well as a frame of reference that helps in benchmarking techniques adopted for accurate targeting. They also assist with the messaging and design of the content that is being marketed. It is important that whatever a company intends to convey gets incorporated in the content as well as the audience resonates with it.

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Online Surveys

Easy research tips that improve your panel research experience

1) Define your research goal: Defining a research goal should not be a choice. These research goals are important for kick starting your research journey. It sets a tone for the directional flow of your data collection. These goals serve as metrics to track the effectiveness of your research procedure. Further, objectives act as a progress bar for monitoring timely achievement of short term targets as a part of your entire research journey.

 

2) List the respondent eligibility criteria: Respondent eligibility criteria is a rigidly defined list of pre-requisites that every individual must meet in order to qualify as a respondent. It works as a filtering procedure that separates the highly suited set of people from the rest of the crowd.

 

Your eligibility criteria shall act as a standard tool used by all personnel to narrow down on selected individuals, through proper screening. Here are some criterias commonly used for listing eligibility:

  • Education
  • Age 
  • Gender 
  • Relationship Status 
  • Income levels
  • Location 
  • Product usage 
  • Brand affiliation

 

3) Determine sample size: Scaling your research is crucial. Sample size, simply put , is a question of deciding how many of such suitable panelist’s feedback is enough to make the data collected substantial. Sample size should be determined in such a way that the number of responses collected is highly representative of the target population. Set an upper and lower limit to your sample size to ensure that you get the right number of responses that makes the data actionable.

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