As online panel providers and researchers, we are responsible for ensuring the best outcomes possible. The quality of market research studies directly correlates with how motivated panelists are to share their consumer experiences. Actively engaging panelists to keep them interested is key and requires effective communication, creative thinking, and flexibility.
Motivation is important for panel management for a few reasons:
When genuinely motivated panelists bring their A-game and participate like true rockstars. Engaged panelists are more likely to complete surveys with more accurate and thoughtful responses enabling researchers to obtain quality data and gain better insights into their opinions and attitudes. When panelists “phone it in,” meaning they don’t give their best effort, it’s evident in the data quality, thus not helpful to the study.
Motivating panelists is essential to sustaining engagement throughout the survey process, and there are ways to measure that engagement. Tracking engagement metrics can indicate panelists’ motivation levels and the effectiveness of your survey design. Taking surveys can feel like a marathon, leading some panelists to abandon them early. If panelists don’t feel valued, they may disengage or provide biased responses to please the researcher (response bias) instead of the answer they really want to give. However, with thoughtful survey design and the appropriate incentives, panelists feel appreciated, are more likely to complete the surveys with genuine responses and be willing to participate in future surveys. It’s like having a faithful band of fans! They’ll show up for you time and time again.
Just as positive shopper experiences drive repeat retail purchases, positive panel experiences contribute to higher survey completion rates. To cultivate a thriving panel ecosystem, crafting a first-class experience for panelists, from recruitment to retention, is imperative. Create an environment that fosters ongoing participation and loyalty by prioritizing panelists’ needs. This enhances the quality of the research and establishes a strong foundation for long-term engagement and mutual benefit.
If you want to learn more about our strategies to keep our ThinkNow panelists happier than a guitar player with a solo, reach out to me.