The Pros and Cons of Research Panels
The Pros and Cons of Online Research

Posted: 2020.03.11


Are you considering using an online panel or mobile survey? Consider this: While many marketers are inundated with online panel and mobile survey marketing messages, less than 5% of consumers actually participate, according to Apptentive and Forrester.

Now, just try and google the phrase "How Representative is Online Research?". Your results will be almost all sales pitches on the wonders of online and mobile research, conveniently skipping over the low participation rates, and even lower survey-complete rates.

It makes sense if you think about it.

These survey companies pay a lot of money to win your business, and are willing to shade the facts in order to do it. Even now, as you are reading this article, you are probably thinking, "yes, and I'm about to hear YOUR pitch for organic, real-world surveys!" This is a natural reaction to being constantly marketed-to: skepticism. It's a healthy trait, but what about the TRUTH?

We believe in the power of real-world research, because we've tried the other approaches. Our team consists of folks with operations, finance, consumer packaged goods, event-producer, and restaurateur backgrounds, and we've all come to Custom Intercept knowing the inherant pros and cons of digital surveying. Check out the breakdown below:

Advantages to Online/Panel Research

- Cost-per-complete is low.

- Creating surveys is fast.

- Fielding studies can be fast.

Disadvantages to Online/Panel Research

- Skewed Audience: Multiple studies and white papers discuss online/mobile's non-representativeness.

- Bad Algorythms: Recent research shows that data modeling is proving ineffective.

- Consumers hate it: Pew Research finds that 93 percent are skeptical of marketers' privacy promises.

A better approach: get REAL.

Custom Intercept was built on the idea of better data, direct from consumers. We've seen other approaches crash and burn, and we know a better way. Remember when everyone thought "big data will save marketing?" Well, in 2019, businesses are still struggling to understand their customers, as evidenced by both online and offline store/site closings, failed products, and low consumer trust.

Onsite survey participation remains the most acceptable research method among consumers, while delivering the most accurate data on customers.



At CIS, we have perfected onsite, real-world surveys, at scale. We leverage our vetted, multinational network of professional researchers to deliver this hyper-local level of consumer insight data from the REAL WORLD.

Our unique methodologies allow us to bring the latest technology to brick-and-mortar consumers without intrusive mining, capturing, or hoping for app opt-ins. We deliver same-day dashboards and drill-down reports to give you timely insight from your customers' experience.