To build, or not to build? That is the question

Date of publication: April 17, 2005


After approximately a decade of evolution, the Internet has become an integral part of most people's lives. As a result, online market research has seen a substantial increase in market acceptance among businesses and the general public. At the heart of the phenomenal growth of online research is online panel development and management. Unlike many traditional research methods, the bulk of online research cost lies in the sample. Also, unlike traditional research methods, sampling and managing sample online, namely using panel and managing panel in most cases, is an area many researchers have little to no knowledge about. For these reasons, and to help researchers gain a better understanding of the online panel management process and business, this paper reviews and discusses the pros and cons of building versus outsourcing for online panel needs and the factors that must be considered in the decision.

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