Tip of the Week: How Businesses Benefit From an Online Research Panel or Branded Community

Research panels are a hot marketing trend in 2013. You've probably seen things out there like the Fox Viewer Panel, Zynga Important Players, US Airways Dividend Miles, and many more businesses that are making better decisions by listening to their valued customers. A very wide range of benefits come along with the implementation of your own research panel. This article is a great resource to help you understand and learn more about a panel and if it would work in your favor - and if so, we would love to help you make an intriguing business case to have everyone on board.

Along from research benefits that come along with a panel, you can have the opportunity to find the voice of your customer. By taking in feedback from your community, both positive and negative, you have the opportunity to prove your advocacy and dedication to drive you forward. Your customers like to feel like they are being listened to and also like to reassure the level of service they receive in their investment. When your customers truly benefit from the changes you are making, they are eager to share. Happy customers are priceless, they give your business positive mentions, case studies, testimonials and more to help market your brand and tell your story. They also play a great part in referring new business to come in.

Research panels are the best place to get started in businesses or divisons that are currently conducting very little or no research. Many businesses wish to take advantage of customer feedback, but the "know how" is very limited. Many managers are left to make these decisions with a little budget and little knowledge of how to be effective. A research panel is like having your customers right in your office to tell you the cost effectiveness and overall impact of your product or service. From these new insights, executives can make key decisions in the right direction and predict outcomes with information they have not had access to in the past.

Getting the Most Out of Your Panel: Best Practices to Reach Full Potential

  • Make sure your panel is set up on a strong and reliable foundation
  • Provide easy support for your panelists if there is a problem
  • Recruit the right panel members using the right methods
  • Integrate social media to give panelists an interactive user friendly experience
  • Use a profiling survey to make sure panelists signing up meet your requirements
  • Panel should be designed properly to maximize engagement
  • Use panel management software to stay on the same page internally
  • Remove bad e-mail addresses to keep response rates higher
  • Provide value by offering small rewards and incentives for the panelists time
  • Make your research panel mobile compatible for an even better user experience