Behind the Scenes of a Successful Insights Panel
14 Dec 2021

Behind the Scenes of a Successful Insights Panel

Whether you are constantly fielding fire drill requests from internal stakeholders or trying to keep a pulse on the ever-changing consumer landscape, a custom insights panel is probably on your research wish-list. Many research professionals are tasked with answering some BIG questions with a little budget, and having a pool of consumers at your fingertips 24/7 is a game-changer. 

While we all appreciate automation thanks to smart technology, sadly, these panels cannot operate as a “set it and forget it” solution. Here are some tips to optimizing member participation so you can prevent your panel from fizzling out: 

  1. Get Up Close & Personal

Get to know your members, and then get to know them again and again! Approach your initial recruit like you would a first date. Ask a lot of questions (like, a lot) and onboard your members with a survey designed to get to know them. Take inventory of their interests, hobbies, daily routines, and lifestyle choices. Members can get discouraged if they are constantly terminating out of surveys, so these profiles will help target future activities to only those who qualify.

And just like the seasons change, so do people’s interests, attitudes, and routines, so check-in frequently. A good rule of thumb is to re-field a version of your profile survey at least quarterly to keep up with these consumer shifts.

  1. It’s a Destination, Not a Distribution List

Treat your insights panel as a true online community. A landing page will encourage members to visit without being prompted by surveys. Create a destination where they can interact with other members, participate in discussion boards & forums, and view content (i.e., news, tips, lists). You can even share results of fun polls and surveys they participated in so they can see the fruits of their efforts. In fact, it’s not just about cashing out – many members value the intrinsic rewards like leaderboards, badges, and member spotlights. Remember, these people are opting in – so make it worth their while.

  1. Let Your Members Loose

The world may not be back to “normal,” but your qualitative research doesn’t have to suffer. The pandemic got us all comfortable using technology, so why not have your members lean in? An insights panel makes it easy to recruit for virtual IDIs and focus groups, but members can let their voice be heard in other fun & interactive ways, without the hassle of scheduling interviews. 

Instead of members typing out their open ends, give them the option to submit a selfie response. Offer big points for mystery shopping and encourage members to whip out a smartphone in-store to get real-time top-of-mind reviews and experiences. Don’t be afraid to have fun with your research; your members will appreciate a break from agreement scales and pre-lists (and you will too!)

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