Why Join Survey Panels?
Many of us overlook the importance of the collection of information in the name of market research, but this information is vital to getting the best possible product on the shelves for the best possible target market. Taking part in surveys can significantly influence what ends up on the shelves and will assist manufacturers in producing the things that you want: better products on the shelves means you get the most from the things that you buy.
With this in mind, joining such panels can be very interesting and, more often than not, it's fun! Becoming a member of survey sample panels also gives you a platform on which you can express your opinions and offer feedback on a range of ideas, from packaging to choosing a suitable name for a new product - and lots more in between.
Can Anyone be Part of a Survey Sample?
Anyone can be part of a survey sample and, in theory, everyone is. Depending on your age, gender, location and various other particulars, you can be part of a growing number of panels, all of whom would appreciate your input. Parents are particularly in demand and will often be invited to take part in surveys on a number of different product studies, for example: food, toys, clothes, learning tools and certain items for the home.
In some cases it may be possible to test some of these products within your home as part of the survey process. If you have teenage children you may be invited to include their opinion and feedback on certain items too: video games, cinema surveys and fast-food chains are just some of the examples where a teenager's viewpoint is highly valued. Some panels may even have openings for teenagers to have their own membership account. Details of these opportunities will be provided within a survey company's FAQs.
Who Fits Where?
Adults fit into a vast range of different categories, but at times it may be a little frustrating to encounter 'screen-outs' - being screened out of a survey means that your profile does not fit the survey panel's demographic, and this can happen for a number of reasons:
Your age - if you are a 35 year old single woman, you will not be the target demographic for a range of make-up for 50+ women; or in some cases the panel may have reached its maximum requirement for women of your age.
Your location - if you live in an area where a proposed new service is not available, then your input will not be necessary.
You have no children - probably one of the most common reasons for screen outs. Many panels' demographic requires parents, but there are still some excellent opportunities for non-parents in other areas and studies.
Your lifestyle - depending on your interests, you may not care for the latest technology and/or perhaps you don't watch television; in these cases, you may find your participation is limited within some panels.
If you make every possible effort to ensure that your profile is 100% accurate and includes as much detail as you can realistically provide, then your chances of completing surveys will be maximised. After all, an electronics company will not wish to lose out on the opinion of its heaviest users, which your family may well be.
The Importance of giving Accurate Information
Above all, survey sample panels need absolute honesty - anything less can undermine a set of results and may be the cause of a new product or service performing poorly, based on the information collected. One of the basic rules in joining a sample of survey panels is that you provide accurate and honest information, and keep it up to date. If you change your car every 6 months, update your vehicle profile each time.
It is also of great importance that you take your time when giving your answers; most panels will specify how long it takes to complete a survey. Don't be tempted to rush through your answers as you may encounter quality control issues. Providing your best possible answers and opinions will increase your credibility within your chosen panel, or panels, thus increasing your enjoyment of the whole process. Remember, taking surveys is exciting, interesting and engaging, and it's rewarding - in more ways than one!