Are you a SMART Online Panel Company Owner?

Smart CEOSmart is not Stupid – there is a HUGE difference between the two – it is all in the APPROACH! You might be running an Online Panel Company small/mid size – agreed that there are issues – you are tackling them well – but deep down in your heart – something is missing – you fear the unknown – your efforts yields minimum results – you are wondering what is going wrong – the growth seems stagnant! This article illustrates how a Smart Owner will run an Online Panel Company.

Let us first look at the challenges:

Challenge 1: Big clients go to Big Online Panel Vendor.

Challenge 2: Difficult to compete with ‘CHEAP’ Panel Aggregators.

Challenge 3: Lack of good talent in your company.

Challenge 4: Tough to maintain a healthy responsive panel base.

Challenge 5: MR Conference sponsorship out of your budget.

Challenge 6: RFP conversion rate is dipping down.

Challenge 7: Too many players in the industry.

Now let us together handle all the challenges one by one:

Solution 1: Big clients go to Big Online Panel Vendor primarily because of the TRUST value – ask yourself – does your brand generates trust in the market – you may ask how to do that? – The answer is very simple – TRANSPARENCY.

Let your client know who you are – your website is the first place clients visit to know more about you – ensure that ‘ABOUT US’ page has full bio of the company owners.

Seek ‘Social Proof’ – or in other words – ask for credible recommendations and display it proudly in your marketing material.

If approaching a new client – look for a common connection – get introduced to the client by someone they know – DO NOT send intro mail as a mass mail – 99.99% of them get deleted after reading the subject line!!

Solution 2: My teacher told me once – ‘God has built this world’ – I got confused – ‘then who created EVIL?’ – the teacher smiled – “the absence of GOD is Evil” – never understood a word that day – but today – yes I fully comprehend the full meaning of what my teacher said.

You cannot compete with Panel Aggregators – and you know why? – Because they will bring you down to their level – and then beat you hands down!!

Stop worrying about Panel Aggregators – they are going to be there – languishing in the dark – feeding on the scraps!!

Remember – you are a Smart & Genuine person – stop competing on price – if you are delivering quality samples – the clients will HAVE to come to you – they don’t have any option!!

Solution 3: Money is the first thing that any potential employee sees – but the charm lives for only the first month salary – from then on – it is all about your working environment – your employees are like business partners – they are in this with you – everyone swim and sinks together!!

Be crystal clear in your communication with employees – tell them before hand what is expected from them – give them breathing space!

Your ex-employees are your brand ambassadors – maintain healthy relationship with them – the industry is too small – ensure that every employee leaves your company with a good experience – goodwill in the market is a magnet for attracting talented employees!

Solution 4: Your respondents are assets – treat them like it – you don’t need rocket science technology to maintain a responsive panel base – just respect your respondent’s time.

We don’t gift Ferrari for completing surveys – so people come and click on survey link – because they want to express themselves – they are giving precious insights – don’t treat your respondents as commodities – they are sensible living person.

Be honest with your respondents – rest all will be easy!

Solution 5: I have participated in MR Conferences as sponsor – it is going to cost you dollars!! – A significant amount!

Not all online panel companies have such marketing budgets – it is ok – no need to lose your sleep over it.

A simple participation is going to reap benefits if properly executed.

You should definitely participate in ESOMAR Annual Conference – all MR Industry veterans are there – if not at least actively participate in the ESOMAR Local Chapters – it’s worth it!!

Solution 6: In a practical world your RFP Conversion rate should at least be 10%!

If not – you need to INVESTIGATE!

Yes be a Sherlock Holmes!

Ask your clients for feedback – there may be 3 reasons why your RFP conversion rate is low:

Reason1: Your client gave the project to someone else – ask for the parameter you lost the bid on – fix the problem.

Reason2: Your client lost the bid to someone else – find which client actually got the project.

Reason3: The project got scrapped – well there isn’t much you could do about it.

Solution 7: Well look at this problem – other way round – the reason there are so many players is simple – because this industry is very profitable – you can make loads of money in the Online Panel Industry!

There are always going to be STUPID Players – spamming and irritating potential clients – no need to worry about them!! – as these players make you more valuable – there stupidity actually forces potential clients in your lap.

If you are a Smart Online Panel Company owner you must be definitely implementing above suggestions – if not – you better hurry!!!

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