By: Marcus Almgren

Having a great general interest in technology, I’m also a big fan of Formula 1 car racing. After watching the first couple of races on TV this season, I found myself comparing it to the world of online market research, in which I work.

F1 is the pinnacle of motorsports with all the best drivers of the world, but it’s also a very technology dependent sport, where a driver only has a chance of winning if he or she is driving for one of the better teams.

For any F1 team to be successful, they need to get the whole package right. Everything from drivers, chassis, transmission, power unit (engine) and tyres need to work well together and be constantly developed during a season. To accomplish this, teams integrate with various technical partners to provide them with the best possible solution in all needed areas. This allows each team to focus on their main strengths and to move forward.

In online market research, companies are also very dependent on various partners to deliver a valuable offering to their clients. If you are a survey tool, your clients need a reliable source of respondents to answer their survey. If you are the owner of a panel, you need some kind of panel management software to keep your members engaged, but also to effectively monetize on your asset. These partner relationships exist today, but what might come as a surprise to many people is the way they usually work. Looking at a survey tool for example, where the researcher needs respondents to take their survey, you would expect most tools to have an integrated source of supply, or at least that the researcher has access to an easy-to-use interface to sample all target groups needed for their survey. However, the researcher usually sends emails to various providers of respondents and spends many hours on pure administrative work to get the answers needed within budget. These providers of respondents are often the owners of one or more online panels that they try to maintain in different systems, usually without allowing either for effective monetization, manageability or visibility.

Comparing this to the world of F1 would be like teams sending emails to drivers and technical suppliers before each race to get a competitive package together. This would of course not be possible in F1, but is, more or less, how it works today within online market research.

With all the technology available today, wouldn’t it be easier if:
– Survey tools had integrated respondent supplies.
– Researchers were able to access that same global supply through an easy-to-use online interface.
– Panel owners could effectively engage with, but also both visualize and monetize on their supply by making it available to clients all over the world?

Well, this can actually be done today with our solutions; Link, Access and Engage – so agencies really can start motoring in the world of market research!

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