Meeting Industry Skepticism Head-On: How Community Panels Are Modernizing

When reading the latest trend reports or even talking with panel providers and users, its no secret – the market research industry is facing the undisputed fact that access panels are continuing to dwindle in popularity.

Just last month on GreenBook Blog, Edward Appleton’s featured post “Can Researchers Trust Online Access Panel Data?” dove right to the heart of this well-known issue describing a conference session in which “real respondents” revealed less than honest motivations and responses, as well as overall disdain for the industry.

Where do customer community panels fit it?

With the growing need for increasingly stringent validation techniques, tightly controlled customer database communities built on highly sophisticated and scalable panel management technologies have become a valuable solution. These targeted customer communities can give brands the chance to listen directly to engaged customers. Market-leading technologies like MARSC offer robust yet flexible solutions with the ability to build, manage and maintain online communities via a website/portal that can be tailored to any company’s individual requirements.

Focus Forward and Panel Direct Online, an agency specializing in recruitment and panel supply, found their solution with the MARSC platform. Having previously created a home-grown platform, they had very specific and strict requirements that needed to be addressed to maintain the integrity and growing needs of their panel. The result?

Chris Goering, Application Development Director from Focus Forward noted: We came to MARSC from a platform that had been developed in-house some years ago and it had grown outdated and a major pain-point for us was keeping that platform up to date with the needs of the business. The MARSC platform is full of many features that allow us to easily make updates to our panelist website and data points as needed.

What’s next for the panel industry?

If we had to bet, it would be on continued and increasing validation techniques, but also partnerships. From recruitment to technology, to maintenance and ultimately end-clients. Partnerships in the form of customer’s advising their technology partners, as well as clients advising their panel suppliers. It is imperative that they grow together to enable a trust so that the customers are winning. If the end goal is to provide customers with top products and experiences, finding the technology and methodology to gain and provide valuable insight will be the path forward for the panel industry.


Request a demo to learn about our partnership with MARSC and its market-leading software that provides users with the ability to build, manage and maintain online communities.