Keeping the Right Panel Profiles is Paramount

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Today we want to shed light on the importance of panel profiles when selecting the right panel provider.

Obviously profile variables allow you to reach out for very specific target groups in the panel. In order to do so, you need to have the right profile variables available, especially characteristics that don’t change too often. It makes no sense to keep the preferred yoghurt brand in the profile data, as consumers might want to try out something new frequently. On the other hand, regular subscriptions to a magazine or newspaper are likely to remain very stable over time and are, therefore, perfectly apt for panel profiles. Another point to consider is the range of topics covered by the profile data. At Norstat we hold an average of 500 data points per panellist in the areas of demography, household, mobility, media consumption, money and insurances, job, health and leisure time. These areas reflect the range of topics we cover with our surveys. Last but not least, it is worth updating the panel profiles frequently to make sure, they are still suitable to preselect the right target group. At Norstat, we prompt our panellists to review their profile variables every six months to make sure that we invite them to the right studies.

So why do panel profiles matter? If you do it right, panellists rarely get bothered with irrelevant survey invitations. They help to keep the panellists motivated, preserve high response rates and are, ultimately, the foundation of a sustainable panel management. In addition, researchers benefit from a cost efficient and reliable process when surveying specific target groups. Hence, keeping the right panel profiles up-to-date is a win-win-situation for everyone.