Why Read This
At the same time that online quantitative research has taken off, dubiousness abounds about the representation of the online panel sample. Buyers ask: Are panels representative of the markets researchers use them for? What can we do about the moral hazard (greatly increased for B2B tech) that leads bad actors to take surveys inappropriately? A wide variety of approaches have been percolating in the market ranging from "it's not really a problem" to various comprehensive solutions. Buyers are finally pushing back. Major buyers — such as Microsoft and Proctor & Gamble — are making very specific panel quality demands for their research vendors, and many of the major full-service research vendors and panel providers are taking note. The end result? Three years of equally competing solutions with no clear direction for buyers. This means market research professionals must be very specific about demanding high quality panel for all of your research needs, or risk having your findings undercut when your internal customers ask: "Is this analysis really representative of our market?"