Panels play a critical role in the execution of market research projects. A well-formed, enthusiastic group of panelists allows researchers to engage with their target audience and get the kind of feedback they need to make smart business decisions.

The problem is, building a Panel is hard work. Aside from the technology needed for housing the database and the internet interface for registering online, Panel building requires a broad and sustained marketing effort to ensure that new and qualified, potential panelists are continually registering to be members of the panel. And as they say… more is better. Then once they’re in the panel, it’s important to regularly communicate with and engage the participants so that they stay committed to their involvement.

Further, when dealing with a specialized panel (in this case, Hispanic), those issues are further exacerbated because the opportunities to market the panel are even more limited. So, what’s a Hispanic Panel builder to do?

According to Mario Carrasco, co-Founder of ThinkNow Research, “We’ve developed a unique recruiting process and methodology that not only delivers numbers, but has proven to provide a Panel that is truly representative of the U.S. Hispanic population as a whole.”

Here’s how they did it… Hispanics, in general, are very high adopters of technology… as high as any other segment of the population – but that doesn’t mean that they are necessarily heavy users of the technology or respond to online advertising (which is where you’ll find most promotions from panel providers looking to add members).

So the challenge becomes… how do you get to those who have access to online, but aren’t frequent users or ad clickers? In addition, how do you eliminate some of the geographic biases related to online adoption (for example, Hispanics who are the heaviest users of technology are more skewed to the northeast U.S.)?

The answer… TV advertising! No kidding!

In late 2012, ThinkNow Research of Burbank, CA tested the first-ever television advertisement for recruiting participants to a panel… in this case, for recruiting Latinos to their Hispanic Panel. The advertisement, written by the team at ThinkNow (themselves, Hispanics) was shown broadly on Spanish-language TV stations like Telemundo, Univision and ESPN Desportes.

In the 6+ months these ads have been running, the initial results have been nothing short of remarkable:

  • Overall, new additions to the Panel are coming in at clip of nearly 3,000 per month, up from a few hundred per month prior to the ad running.
  • More importantly, because of the high numbers and broad reach, the new additions to the Panel are ideally representative of the U.S. population, covering the broad socio-economic range that panel buyers desire.
  • And because of where these ads are running, the vast majority of the new panelists are Spanish-speaking.

Want to watch the advertisement? Click here >>> Hispanic Online Sample and click on the Television Recruitment tab #3.

Facilitating the registration process is a simple client sign-up page – available in Spanish and English – with complete details about how the program works and the benefits of becoming a panelist. Visit the registration page at www.DigayGane.com.

As stated earlier, getting new names into a database is only the first step. Once there, these new panelists need to be communicated to and engaged on a frequent basis so that their participation in the Panel stays top-of-mind.

Carrasco explained, “We’re in a position, unique among Hispanic panel providers. Because we’re a full-service Hispanic market research firm, one of the services we provide to our clients is sponsorship of a monthly nationwide omnibus study. The opportunity to participate in the omnibus study is sent out to every single member of our panel every single month… ensuring they keep our panel in their thoughts, as well as benefitting from the participation itself.”

The bottom line is this… we live and work in an online world. But it’s not solely an online world. So, to make sure to reach out and touch as many Hispanics as possible, including as many different sub-groups as possible, mass marketing is sometimes required. At ThinkNow Research, TV advertising for Hispanics has proven to be the single best way of supporting the growth and quality of their Panel.

So, when you need a Hispanic online sample, make sure the provider is covering all their bases when building the panel… you’ll be glad you did.