What Online Panel Companies can LEARN from STEVE JOBS?

ONLINE PANELSIn between February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011 lived a WIZARD on Planet Earth who was called by the name Steve Jobs!! I think this article would fall short of words to describe this visionary who changed the way we do business. His life was nothing short of a BOLLYWOOD pot boiler and for ages to come he has left his mark on our thought process. This article illustrates 5 business lessons which Online Panel Companies can learn from Steve Jobs.

LESSON 1: WHERE THE ‘PUCK’ IS GOING TO BE!!

Once Steve Jobs said ‘I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been’ – an amazing business lesson to anticipate future trends and work accordingly.

Most of the companies LIVE in the PRESENT – which is not all wrong but if they fail to foresee what future demands they are bound for disaster.

Today online panel companies are in a mad race to recruit respondents & bombard them with survey requests – what they are failing to anticipate is the future is all about investing in technology!!

Panel business in recent times has been churning out low quality data as companies are failing miserably to purge out ‘FAKE RESPONDENTS’.

If the current trend continues clients would be really vary of using this methodology for conducting their research fieldwork.

What had separated online data collection from other methodology was the TECHNOLOGY – but if panel companies do not invest heavily in the technology department they are bound to FAIL!!!

LESSON 2: SURROUND YOURSELF WITH AN AWESOME TEAM!!

Steve Jobs wasn’t a great computer engineer.

Apple would not have been what it is today had Steve Jobs was the only one building computers.

That was the very reason why he partnered with Steve Wozniak. Through the years, Apple progressed thanks to the brilliant people Steve Jobs brought on board – like Apple CEO Tim Cook and Pixar CCO (Chief Creative Officer) John Lasseter.

Apart from few big ones, most of the panel companies do not understand this philosophy – YOU ARE WHAT YOUR TEAM IS!!

Most of the panel companies are so much worried and concentrated around panel development that they completely ignore this fact.

Employee training is something never heard of in panel domain!!

It is not the right way to do business as an ill trained employee can mess up the best laid processes!!

LESSON 3: OBSTACLES ARE JUST A PHASE IN YOUR JOURNEY TO SUCCESS!!

Steve Jobs ran out of money while developing first Apple computer – instead of giving in, he sold his van – aptly signifying that ‘WHERE THERE IS A WILL THERE IS A WAY’.

Panel management is not an easy task – if you are unable to feed your respondents a regular supply of surveys most of them will become DORMANT!!

All the money you have spend to recruit people will burn away. DO NOT LOOSE HOPE – you need to just keep your respondents engaged for e.g. you can run an internal survey on a popular topic and share the results with all participating members – this will help create a very strong brand loyalty amongst your panel members!!

LESSON 4: CREATE A PERSONAL BRAND!!

Steve Jobs was one of the foremost people to understand the growing importance of personal brands in the digital age. The black turtleneck is easily recognizable!! In fact no other CEO has such a profound effect on the brand imagery of a company as Steve Jobs had.

His product launches were easily the most anticipated events in the media.

Panel companies now days lag behind in the brand building exercise – ask yourself how many panel members know for whom they are filling up surveys.

Many people might find the argument weak but people are sharing their personal opinions with you – they ought to know and connect with the people running the show.

Imagine what if Apple was a panel company and people had received survey invitation – I guess any survey would have been completed in minutes!!!

Create a personal brand for your panel company and CONNECT with your respondents!!!

LESSON 5: PUT A DENT IN THE UNIVERSE!!

Steve Jobs once said, “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise, why else even be here?

The very reason that panel companies are POPPING UP now days is ‘LOW ENTRY BARRIER’ & ‘GREED FOR QUICK MONEY’!!

But I personally believe that having a higher purpose doesn’t just help you find SUCCESS – it redefines the meaning of the word.

People in the panel business have an amazing opportunity to change the course of the market research – they can REDEFINE the value proposition.

My humble request would be not to get stuck in the labyrinth of greed but make your earnest contribution in changing the face of the market research.

Now you have a choice. You can comment, share, or implement. I prefer if you implement, but I’ll appreciate all three – Akshay Kanyal