As a marketing research agency serving Syracuse NY, Central NY and Upstate NY, RMS continues to build a regional panel of respondents, which you can join by clicking here.  A market research panel is a group of recruited survey respondents who have agreed to take part in surveys and/or other market research.  They have usually shared an extensive amount of information about themselves and their households, which can be used for appropriate sample selection.  However, with any type of market research modality in Syracuse NY, or anywhere else for that matter – there are always some pros and cons.

Benefits of Market Research Panels

  • Accessibility – a prearranged target group of people willing to help you.
  • Promptness of Fieldwork – a combination of online research with opt-ins leads to speedy data collection.
  • Targeted Focus – in most cases, panels are created around interest/purchasing around specific products or services.  So, who better to survey than the people who already have your company in their consideration set?
  • Efficiency – no need to re-screen participants on key qualification criteria.
  • Longitudinal Advantages – a large enough panel gives the client the opportunity to track change in behavior over time.

Concerns of Market Research Panels

  • Cost – access to these specialized respondents is not going to come at a general random sample price.  However, in most cases, panels already have an incentive-based give away included in the price, which should trim the overall cost.
  • Practiced Bias using panel respondents too much leads to insider knowledge of your process and or product/service research patterns.  If you survey the same panel time and time again, those respondents become less like real consumers and more like informed and trained survey taking dynamos.
  • Data Quality – in some cases panel respondents are just that, panel respondents.  They don’t only sign-up to help you out, but they sign up for every panel they come across to make a little extra dough.  Again, make sure you routinely scrub your database and remove “suspect” members.
  • Using the Panel for the Wrong Study – in some market research studies – such as true advertising awareness – you would be better to use a pure random sample rather than a predetermined set of people.
  • Appropriate Mix – make sure you have the appropriate mix of respondents (demographics, usographics, etc.) that match your specifics before jumping ahead and surveying the group.

It’s up to you to decide whether the benefits of panels outweigh the concerns.  The enormous growth of panels is due to limited access to land-line phones and the increasing usage of online surveys.  Target audiences are tougher to reach now than ever before in market research.  In most cases, clients view accessibility as the most important factor in recruitment.  That factor alone typically far outweighs the cons to using a panel.