Access panel companies recruit respondents either through Ad networks or database containing lists of emails IDs. Although mentioned methods are effective but they are costly and are unable to fill the gaps in the panel base. Also they are good in case one has CASH 2 BURN for such endeavors. The article here illustrates 5 FREE METHODS to recruit panel members.
Method 1: GOING BACK 2 COLLEGES!!
It is by far the easiest way to recruit panel members especially the young audience. In fact when I did it the first time it was never the intention. The idea goes on like this – FIND A PROBLEM (MBA colleges looking for to showcasing their students skill) & SOLUTION (Corporate looking to find best candidate for their companies) – now your role is very simple – let the problem meet the solution.
Organize a quiz/management skill competition (colleges have to provide a minimum entry fees) at the national/state level. Identify some good companies in the recruitment phase and invite them over for such events.
The budget will be taken care of by the entry fees you have asked for. During the event invite all the participating colleges to fill up a short online survey (not more than 2 minutes). It won’t be difficult due to the goodwill which you have created plus you will be creating a strong impression amongst participating corporate.
Roughly in a city like Delhi with the innumerable MBA colleges it has you can easily recruit 10,000 panel members with one such activity – don’t forget the FREE PUBLICITY your own company will garner in the process.
You can easily play around with this idea and recruit new panel members.
Method 2: CORPORATE EVENTS!!
For this method probably you need to pull a few strings – it is very difficult to recruit C-Level executives. Panel companies stating the otherwise are to be asked to elaborate how they did the magic trick!!! A good venue for it is GOLF events as well as more exclusive events like WINE TASTING events.
Don’t bluntly go there as a sponsor because it will burn your pockets – ask the organizers to be stationed at the venue and be able to gather feedbacks from the people participating and pass it back to them.
There are 2 benefits of this activity firstly you will be able to enroll some hard to reach target audience but also gain free publicity in the B2B gallery!!
Method 3: SEMINARS / EXHIBITIONS!!
It is similar to the above method but more generic in nature. Constantly be on a lookout for exhibitions and seminars in your city and follow the same procedure as above. In some of the places I did it was a roaring success for the panel company plus it doesn’t costs a DIME!!!
Method 4: COLLABORATE WITH NEW PRODUCT LAUNCHES!!
It is an interesting one and can help you recruit a large gen pop audience – the only catch is that you need to be persuasive and well networked (well it is a MUST BE VIRTUE for any entrepreneur).
Lot of FMCG companies conduct free new product launches or extensions of an existing brand. Collaborate with them in terms of helping them distribute and in return provide them on the spot feedback of the respondents – TRUST ME EVERY COMPANY LOVES FEDBACK ON ROI.
A small example will be Pizza Hut trying to distribute a new pineapple flavored pan pizza coupon – co-brand the entire exercise by you distributing this pizza coupon. Ask people to fill up a short survey and avail the coupon offer – once the data is collected share it across with the sponsoring company. Once I ended up recruiting 35,000 respondents with this method – NOT BAD!!!!! It was FREE for us.
Method 5: TALK TO THE GOVERNMENT!!!
Although a slightly tricky to work with your government but then it was we who recruited them!! There are lots and lots of schemes which government introduces for the general populace. One can collaborate with a government department to gauge the feedback or effectiveness of it and in the process recruit panel members.
Considering that the method although haven’t been tried much it can recruit a panel base which no other company can create in their wildest dream – taking into account the scope of such a project.