Customized Online Panel Communities – How many of us are tapping it??

Capture the BUZZ!!

“Those were the best days of my life…” one of the done to death lyrics of Bryan Adam’s Summer of 69 song – ever wondered what were all those things that made that era – the best and the most remembered phase of our lives….hmmm countless reasons (especially if you are reading this article on MONDAY!!!). CRAMPED up in a small cubicle on a weekday often those memories give a short lived respite. The article illustrates how companies are capturing the REAL EMOTIONS of their customers which are not maligned by simulated bland questionnaires.

If you ask me it was the freedom to express yourself in the company of people (read friends) where you never cared what the heck you are saying – the thoughts came so fluently and smoothly. I suppose those were the days I spoke from my heart and not from my mind or with the fear how I might be JUDGED.

My friends helped bring out the real me out of the “politically correct” person I enact every day of my professional life. Imagine a situation where in your boss asks for an opinion – “so Jack what do you think of the Nokia N96; I am planning to buy it” – well your answer will primarily comprise of technical jargon, trying to impress your boss with your knowledge BUT had it been one of your colleague/friend you will come out with the choicest of expletives if the product wasn’t of your liking.

In a nutshell with friends or people with whom you feel free to discuss your opinions the out pour of your thoughts are truer in nature.

Today social networks like Facebook, Stumble Upon, LinkedIn etc. are doing the same thing. They not only help connect with your friends but like old days they enable you to freely discuss any topic / incident under the sun for hours and hours. The network communities help build a trust and ensures generation of information through ideas been thrown around. Tapping into it are a growing number of online panel companies which are fast moving towards building customized panel communities for their clients.

A custom panel gives you access to a group of people that are profiled as per the client’s requirement and can be approached at a moment’s notice. The client can track the panelists’ attitudes over time. As the respondents are driven primarily for making their opinion count, the feedback is more honest and accurate.

Benefits of owning a custom panel:

1- You can act faster

2- Research Integration with your corporate DNA

3- Deeper Insights

4- Increase Customer Engagement

5- More Precise Research

Very few of the current panel giants have taken a plunge into this potential market though the initiatives from other companies too have been started. The ad-networks (an important source of panel recruitment) are still not been able to target that precisely in case of recruiting a very niche audience and a combination of other offline methodologies have to be used for the same.

The opportunities are enormous as well as the questions in terms of refining the process. Appreciate if can have your take on it. Feel free to comment!


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About akshay kanyal
Understanding Survey Research

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