Research Panel

Research Panels

Research panels are key for conducting high-quality quantitative marketing research in today’s online and digital world. Whenever your company is planning to release a new product or service, upgrade an existing one or meet many other business objectives, it is incredibly important to conduct market research with a dedicated research firm.

EMI Research Solutions man at computer

Research Panel Benefits

With the right research panel provider, you can discover valuable information about your target audience. This intensive market research allows your company to better develop new products and improve existing products and service offerings before release or launch. By targeting specific respondents, we make sure that the data collected is relevant and personalized to your business and industry.

Diverse Respondents

EMI actively manages its network of panel providers to make sure it is always up to date current and has the target audience that fits your project specifications. We offer access to a wide range of panels comprised of respondents from many different demographics that cover target areas such as:

EMI Research Solutions diverse panelists at a computer
  • Consumer
  • B2B
  • Health Care

At EMI we excel in finding panel members from hard to reach groups so that we obtain a sample that fits your exact needs. Our access to so many diverse respondents means we can deliver quality results for even the most challenging sample groups and quotas.

What is Panel Design in Research?

With research panel design, a consistent group of individuals is used to answer survey questions repeatedly instead of relying on the selection of new survey respondents at different points in the research process.

In some industries, the repeat interviewing of regular respondents allows for the tracking of variables over time. For example, food companies or toy manufacturers may want to track the evolving habits and preferences of parents over a given time period. Tracking the same group repeatedly provides enhanced insight into changes in consumer behavior versus finding new parents for each review.

Panel design also makes it possible to more quickly and affordably tap a consumer group in a time-sensitive situation. When cultural issues or sensitive topics arise, having an established sample of persons provides more immediate access to feedback to formulate the next steps forward. For product and service providers, the same principle applies when a product faces consumer backlash or a company is struggling to resonate.

In business-to-business research, panel design makes it possible to target a specific industry and gain valuable insights into new market areas. In healthcare, it can provide easy access to panel members who face specific health issues or meet certain criteria needed for research purposes.

What is a Research Panel?

A research panel is the group of established survey participants a research panel company has on hand, either for a specific study or overall, to provide data and feedback to companies, governments and non-profits researching consumer behavior and other trends.

With panel research, this established group of survey responders are typically prescreened through preliminary data provided to the organizers. This data includes the answers to questions on basic household demographics, income levels and other personal information to streamline the selection process for particular research panels or surveys. For example, a group of survey respondents selected for a car manufacturer may eliminate those who do not already own a car or who do not like to drive.

Through these efficiencies, panel research makes the process of obtaining consumer data faster and more affordable for companies. It also means increased responses to online market research efforts when compared to forming a panel from scratch for one-time or sporadic consumer research.


How Do You Make a Research Panel?

Making a research panel requires a firm understanding of an existing customer base and the customers a business is attempting to reach with a new product offering or service.

For the business wanting to maintain customer loyalty and focusing on an existing customer base, examining the demographics of regular purchasers can provide insight into the preferred composition of a research panel. A high-end toy company would focus on parents of a certain income level while a drugstore cosmetic brand may focus on low- to moderate-income women in specific age brackets.

A research panel may be recruited through targeted social media advertisements and email blasts to existing customers. A consumer-facing brand can also select a research group from the membership of existing survey panels or market research firms with an in-house base to screen for likely participants.

What is a Panel Company?

A panel company acts as the intermediary between a business looking for survey respondents and the respondents. These companies have an established consumer base at their fingertips and can filter through would-be participants based on the specific demographics a brand requires, allowing companies to reach extremely niche audiences for specific brands and services. They also provide an online cross-section of respondents across many consumer classes for businesses wanting to feel out new areas for product development. It is important to note that they may charge an upfront fee for screening and also assess a fee per completed survey.

Panel companies also undertake a lot of the heavy lifting in the research process by weeding out members who may provide responses without actually reviewing product information or who are responding without reading questions or otherwise engaging with the content provided.

What is an Audience Panel?

An audience panel is the people who are actually taking a survey. They may work directly with the business conducting the research in-house or work through an intermediary firm like a panel company or a firm focused on market research.

These people may actually test physical products and provide feedback virtually or in-person or operate 100% remote through online surveys featuring images and details on potential products and services offered by a firm.

An audience panel may also provide more generalized feedback to companies based on hot-button social issues or long-term concerns in a given industry.

When an audience panel is obtained from a panel company, the company typically processes any compensation provided to respondents from fees charged to the business requesting the survey.