What does your target audience really want? Market research is about finding the answer.
While there are many useful methods, consumer panel research is a uniquely effective way of gaining specific insights related directly to issues your customers face.
Through direct interaction, consumer panels aim to learn from a segment of the population that fits the description of your buyer persona. Panels can cover a wide range of demographic factors, including age, gender, location, profession, personal interests and much more. Consumer panels use questionnaires and surveys to gather feedback from participants, which you can use to inform future business decisions.
When should you use consumer panels, as opposed to other methods? While not always mandatory for every form of market research, they are effective in many product research situations, such as:
In addition, marketers use consumer panels to test out campaigns and advertising strategies. And B2B companies use panels made up of IT and HR decision-makers, as well as company executives and financial analysts, to solve complex business problems.
Wondering how to get started with panel research? We’ve developed a few best practices over the years to help you get the most out of your investment when conducting panel research:
It’s always wise to begin with a solid plan. Start by knowing what you want to achieve with your consumer panel. Consider your ultimate goal and the types of information will help you get there. Ask yourself:
Select your panelists based on your research objectives and goals. Is their age or location important to the type of feedback you’re looking for? Or perhaps you need to select participants based on behaviors, such as whether they’re first-time buyers, repeat customers, or brand loyalists.
Your sample size is also very important. When putting together a consumer panel, a safe rule to follow is the more participants, the merrier. Of course, this depends on your particular business goals. A qualified market research consultant can help you determine the best size for your specific needs.
Finding people to participate in your study is often the hardest part. Many businesses start by recruiting their own existing customers, employees, or students. However, due to the large size required, or if you have a very niche audience or industry, you may prefer to hire a market research firm to help recruit, screen, and manage your panel.
The first step to great panel results is good question development. Clear, concise language is vital, but each question should also:
A research panel lets you get to know your participants over time and provides deep insights. A qualified research consultant will guide you through each of these steps, as well as managing your ongoing panel and reporting results.
Ready to get started with consumer panels? Contact us to discuss your research project in-depth and get our expert guidance.