Understanding the online panellist

Date of publication: April 17, 2005

Author: Pete Comley


This paper analyses the motivation of why people belong to online panels and provides an understanding of the dynamics of the relationship and the implications this may have for our industry. A survey of a UK panel has shown four distinct motivation groups: Helpers, Opinionated, Incentivised and Professionals. It concludes that panels need to offer a variety of incentive schemes to ensure that all groups are motivated and in particular reduce their reliance on sweepstakes/prize draws. The paper also calls for greater collaboration between panels, ideally with a common micro-payment incentive scheme, as most panellists belong to more than one panel. It also speculates that collaboration on a National Register for respondents could significantly improve quality standards within the industry by providing, at last, some form of regulation.

Pete Comley


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