By: Bo Mattsson

The need for market research tools continues to grow as an increasing number of companies and organisations turn to market insights for valuable information that can help them identify demands, tailor offerings to satisfy these demands, and create successful campaigns that generate a return on investment.

Therefore, access to technological advances in DIY research tools and quality panels is an ongoing requirement and one on which we have built our business and reputation.

Research gathered from panels that do not reflect the target market or aren’t maintained properly is research not worth doing, so the emphasis on quality, quantity (both in terms of targetable profiling attribute points as well as pure ‘liquidity’ of panelists and size of audience) and access to wide-ranging demographics, behavioural data and lifestyle data has grown.

Maintaining panel quality to ensure optimum operation and utility involves several key elements, including retention initiatives, engagement activities, regular profiling, and stringent verification and quarantine processes. Retaining participants through incentive schemes and regularly engaging them is one important aspect to safeguarding quality. For instance, updating them on how their input was used or how it influenced a campaign is a great way to make them feel like their involvement is worthwhile and valued. In addition, paying relevant and fair incentives for their contribution is recommended. Affinity-based rewards are proving to be effective and respondents certainly react positively when they recognise thought and investment has gone into the incentivisation for their time. It’s about striking a balance though, and not only focusing on one element of panel management.

Just as important is ongoing profiling, which will help improve the quality of the panel while meeting the needs of brands requiring access to specific audiences that require targeting beyond standard demographics. The way in which profiling is collected is evolving with technology driving the change. It is fairly common practice now for many owners of panels and those running platforms or exchange models, to utilise routing and dynamic profiling technology to build profile attribute points organically and ‘on the fly’ to better target individuals and ensure relevant, engaging surveys are presented. Stringent verification processes can also be employed to help maintain the integrity of the panel, wrapping around sampling approaches, the routing and profiling processes, and general panel utilisation. All of these functions are available on the Cint platform and other incumbents in the online MR space, and as a buyer of sample you should be asking the right questions and pressing your suppliers to ensure such measures and controls are in place.

Being able to access quality, double-opt-in (DOI) panels directly via our OpinionHUB platform, which includes over 10 million profiled respondents available through more than 850 panels in the marketplace, offers a valuable resource to users of our system. As we strive to expand this marketplace and ensure it is unrivalled, we constantly work to recruit new panel and respondents through diverse channels. For example, not-for-profits and publishers with online panels of their own could offer them up to the hub to generate an additional revenue stream for their organisations as well as their panel members, which in turn helps generate loyalty. In addition, our recently announced partnership with leading panel management company Marsc has allowed us to access an even greater number of panels – and this is hopefully the first of many such affiliations which will feed into the already substantial and ever-growing OpinionHUB.

And today, the landscape is changing in terms of how buyers (clients) and sellers (panel owners) are viewing sourcing and selling supply. It is no longer solely about DOI traffic, although that is the model OpinionHUB panel assets are built upon, but there is certainly a role, often important and necessary, for other sources of traffic, whether that be single-opt-in or pure ‘river’ from publishers.

It is our DIY approach that sets us apart from the rest when it comes to market research software, and this is also the area where we have seen very encouraging year-on-year growth, which is indicative that this is where the market is heading and where the demand lies, much of it anyway. By offering DIY solutions to organisations, marketing managers, and the market research industry, Cint makes it simple to devise and deploy surveys quickly to specific target audiences while allowing the user to retain full control over the process, which can help them when looking to reach niche audiences as they can blend panels. Additionally, our focus on API integration and expanding partnerships with other platforms and software, allow the process to be streamlined even further to enhance convenience, ease of use, and create greater operational and cost efficiencies.

These capabilities, combined with our dedication to technological advances that allow users even more tools to gain insights, such as tracking eye movements and monitoring facial expressions through our partnerships with eye-tracking specialists Sticky and facial-monitoring experts Real Eyes, are our strengths and key elements of our success.

In short, our refusal to remain static in a fast-paced, evolving market and our investment in these crucial areas means we have gained a real foothold in this industry, and one we hope will continue to get stronger. We are joined by a clutch of other technology-led firms that also continue to support us and help pave the way for real change within what has been a very traditional and fairly slow moving market research industry until now. That ruffles a few feathers but better that than the flock sit still we say!

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