Conducting panel research is an excellent way to give you more detailed and in-depth information. While surveys and opinion polls can be appropriate in some cases, you can get a lot more relevant answers if you interview a group of people from a certain target group and ask about your new product or planned development. The most important source of information is your customers, as customer opinion drives revenue and market growth.

The quality of a decision depends on the quality of the information.  Relevant information is a key to practically every decision made within a company, but it is particularly important for those decisions that may affect the future revenue of the firm, for example, decisions concerning new products or product development.

What are the advantages of panel research?

Panel research has several advantages. Directing your questions at a specially chosen panel ensures that the responses belong to the correct target group. Panel members often receive a monetary reward for their participation so they are motivated to give honest and full answers. They are also usually experienced and may volunteer extra information that could lead to you gaining new insights into your product from the customer’s perspective.

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Designing your questions for best response

Once you have made the decision to invest in panel research, it only remains to decide on the questions. Here are a few considerations to take into account:

  • Simplicity. Although panellists are more motivated than the average respondent, anyone can misread a question. Ensure that your results are of high quality by making the questions easy to understand and simple to answer. For example, use multiple choice answers and keep your questions short.
  • Make your questions engaging. Again, even experienced panellists will have an easier time concentrating if you make your questions engaging. Use images and diagrams, colour and perhaps even humour to keep up people’s interest in your research.
  • Space for free expression. As mentioned above, some of the most valuable information to be gained from panel research can be the things you don’t anticipate. Therefore it is vital to provide your respondents with space to add their own thoughts and comments. Having said that, it’s a good idea to keep it focused and to provide some guidance (many people will draw a blank upon seeing the question: “any other comments?”). For example, you could ask “What is the one thing that would make this product better”, or, “how would you design this product differently?”

Read more about how Netigate can help you with a good structure for panel research questions.