Building a business case for a custom panel
10th June, 2013 - Posted by Paul Kavanagh - No Comments
If you read our blog regularly, the likelihood is that you already have some idea of the benefits of using custom panels to get closer to your customers – wherever they are in the world – in order to understand their views about your products and services. Without wishing to preach to the converted, we thought you might find this post a useful reference when building a business case and securing internal buy-in or budget for your panel.
Q. What are the benefits of a custom panel?
1- A direct line to your customer
With a custom panel you’ll have direct access to your customers. You’ll be able to get to know them, their needs and wants – so that you can ensure you meet these better than your competitors are doing. By choosing to communicate with them in a way that suits them, by asking them for their views and demonstrating that you listen to and value their opinions, you can help to build a strong relationship with your customers and to reinforce your brand values.
2- Cost savings
Conducting research across multiple markets using a custom panel can be much more cost efficient than other research methods. Savings of 40 to 50% are not uncommon.
3- Greater speed and efficiency
Using a panel to test concepts and products can provide you with a rapid response and the critical insight needed to inform your strategy. On the flipside, this timely information could prevent you making costly, misdirected decisions.
4- Consistency and comparison
A custom panel will enable you not only to source feedback in a fast and cost-efficient fashion, but will also allow you to collect information in a consistent way across multiple markets to provide you with comparable data and a more complete picture.
5- Improved response rates and robustness of results
With a well run panel you will enjoy higher engagement levels from panellists and improved response rates. You can also target particular panellists with information to ensure the quality of your sample and the relevance of feedback received on a particular issue. As a consequence you are guaranteed more robust results to interrogate for insights.
6- The ability to track and identify trends
You will not only be able to use your panel to understand better individual customers’ views and behaviour from the surveys they choose to complete (and those they don’t), you will also be able to repeat surveys over a period of time to track emerging trends.
7- A revolutionary business resource
Having a central resource like a panel can help to engage employees and departments in the research process and with the insight team, revolutionising the way you work and improving business performance. Research projects that wouldn’t normally be commissioned owing to timescale and cost are made possible with a panel, providing teams with the customer insights needed to make better informed decisions.
It is important to note that the cost savings, efficiencies and features you will enjoy from a custom panel are relative to the quality of your sample, which in turn impacts the robustness of the results and their benefit to your business.
You can find out more about how to run your custom panel and key business asset in our Panel Management Best Practice Guide.
Nespresso case study: A global panel in action
“In managing this programme for Nespresso, Beehive has delivered cost savings, faster delivery of projects and all without compromising the robustness of the results”
Frédéric Laforge, International Market Research Manager, Nespresso
Research Community – benefits
9th June, 2010 - Posted by Paul Kavanagh - No Comments
The most significant benefit of a research community is its ability to enable community members to interact and communicate on specific subjects between each other; instead of just having a one way dialogue with the researcher they are able to discuss, collaborate, and coerce with others. This organic growth of conversation, similar to that seen in a focus group though on a wider scale, can take your research in directions that you never expected and reveal insight that would be harder to extract from traditional methods. With the careful moderation and administration this can deliver wider opportunities and information.
Research community feedback is more continuous; the cycle of feedback is not restricted to when you want to ask a question but rather when a community member wants to be involved. This means a subject can remain open for a longer period of time enabling the conversation to evolve. Multiple discussion strands allow many conversations to be going on at any one time enabling feedback on the same subject but looking at it from different angles. The continuous feedback enables your customers to tell you what they want to buy, how they think improvements can be made or products they would like to see without direct questioning; all you need to do is listen (and steer).
Word of mouth
Word of mouth is rapidly becoming a strong influencing factor when it comes to people investing in a brand. Some people don’t trust the word of corporations and are blind to the glossy advertisements on TV or in print preferring instead to follow the advice of their peers; having champions of your brand within these circles give you a voice where otherwise you might not be heard.
As a company, being seen to deal with any detractors or negative views about your brand swiftly and effectively can actually turn a potential pinch point into a demonstration of how well you treat your customers. Whatever the touch point with your organisation customers like to feel involved and listened to; the more positive a community member feels the more investment they have with your brand and, as has been clearly shown in many situations before, loyalty and their keenness to spread the good word of your company are linked. Thus a research community can influence behaviour and the way a member engages within their own social circle and how they champion your brand.
As a versatile research platform a community can be linked to other survey methodologies enabling you to quantify ideas that are extracted from discussions. It can also spark new areas of research that previously may have been ignored or simply overlooked and enables a business to follow customer thoughts and really listen to customers rather than trying to steer them.
As with all research methodologies though there are pros and cons and like a research panel unless the right foundations are put in place in your community and the objectives fully understood before creating one it may not deliver its full return on investment.
Further information on foundations that underpin a research panel or community can be found at www.beehiveresearch.co.uk/members.
Research Panel – benefits
20th May, 2010 - Posted by Tom Raybould - No Comments
Engage your customers
By setting up a panel you can create engagement with your customers, giving them a voice in the development of your company and increasing their loyalty to your brand. Many customers are happy and willing to give feedback and like to know that their views are making a difference. Engaging with them in the online space allows you to make use of all the exciting multimedia tools available to improve participation and increase your response rates.
Engage your business
Your research panel can make research more readily available to departments and encourages them to further learn from customers before making decisions. Also if the right hand is aware of what the left hand is doing they can work together to achieve common goals and this can encourage synergy between departments. With the cost efficient element of online research already taken into account a reduction in duplicated tasks will also save your company money.
Online research allows for more rapid turnaround of projects and having your own research panel only expedites this. The panel becomes an enabler and reduces timescales meaning the business is able to accelerate the research schedule and make more timely decisions.
Other than time savings there are also significant cost benefits in having your own panel (and these can easily amount to 30 to 50% over a year) which means your budget can be stretched further and you can in fact conduct more research. With a carefully managed research panel you can ensure that your base remains representative of your customer base, the UK population or some other pre-defined profile, giving you the confidence that any results or insight you derive will be robust. Being able to fuse panelist profile information, Recency/Frequency/Monetary data (RFM) data or a bespoke or commercially available segmentation system makes owning your own panel a very compelling proposition. Research is also not limited to just quantitative data, your panel can be used as a pool for qualitative discussion or for use in other methodologies, like telephone or mobile surveys.
Learn more about Benefits of a custom research panel