Revealing the Answer to Life’s Most Difficult Market Research Question:
Why Don’t People Join Panels?
by Kristin Cavallaro, Knowledge and Data Analysis Specialist, SSI
As the economy struggles, we find more questions and requests coming our way to Data Quality is an issue that iThe “Death of Panels” has become a common phrase that we have been hearing in the market research industry for several years now. But what does that really mean? Why are panels “dying?” And if they are, how does that affect online market research? These are all questions that plague market researchers and public opinion pollsters.
Many sample suppliers have put multi-sourcing in place as a solution to the “dying panels” issue. In multi-sourcing, suppliers and researchers combine several panels in one study and in many cases, include non-panel sources as well. This is an effective solution as long as proper blending practices are in place. It does not, however, answer the question of what is happening to our online access panels.
Part of the shift away from panels may be explained by the migration away from traditional email to social media channels, which are becoming more popular as vehicles for communication. The way in which people communicate, gather and share information has evolved over the past few years, while, unfortunately, the method of contact we use for online research panels has remained essentially the same.
But is that the only reason many panels are struggling to find and keep members? After much hypothesizing about why only a select few would ever join an online research panel, SSI decided to just ask the people who would know for sure—respondents themselves.
The complete SSI White Paper can be downloaded here: SSI White Paper: Why don’t people join panels?

Why don't people join panels?
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