Using global online panels
Over the past few years, online research has become an invaluable tool in the toolkit of researchers across the world. By utilising online access panels, researchers have been able to conduct research faster than ever before. They have been able to rely on the masses of consumers belonging to online access panels and have been able to reach audiences that have been increasingly difficult to reach via traditional methodologies (e.g. the younger generation of 2.0 social networkers). Online access panels in particular have given researchers the possibility of conducting truly consistent, multi-national surveys across multiple continents at the touch of a button. However, with new tools come new challenges. With international work so far-reaching and so accessible, it is important to bear in mind cultural, national and online differences when utilising such online methodologies. Knowing the potential pitfalls with fielding an international survey can be the difference between success and failure. This paper looks at the wider considerations of using online access panels internationally, plus some of the considerations for both preparing and running actual surveys. In addition, it will examine the learnings from a recently conducted survey on the Olympic Games (The Olympic Interest Survey). This survey examined the ways in which consumers plan to use the internet leading up to and during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.
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