Answers

Why can't cross-media measurement be conducted with just any panel?

A panel without quality controls, without a strong relationship with its panelists or without transparency in the information can generate erroneous results and, many times, lead you to make wrong decisions.

May 27, 2022

Today we’ve invited our panel partner in Spain and LATAM, Netquest, to explain why cross-media and single-source measurement cannot be done with just any panel and which key elements a proper sample should have. Thank you for accepting our invitation! :)

When you are going to prepare a special recipe to invite your friends over for a meal, you make sure that the quality of the ingredients you have bought is the best because you know that the secret of success is not only in the amount of food or your culinary skills or the utensils you use, but that the freshness, aroma and flavor of the ingredients are a crucial factor.

In the same way, when you are going to carry out a project to measure your content or advertising campaigns, the quality of the data you use to generate insights is decisive. A panel without quality controls, without a strong relationship with its panelists or without transparency in the information can generate erroneous results and, many times, lead you to make bad decisions.

At Netquest we are committed to the quality of the data you will receive when you make us your research partner. And our experience has taught us that there are 4+1 fundamental pillars to ensure it: privacy policies; survey quality controls; communication with panelists; optimal survey frequency and, when working with a technology partner like FLUZO, certain features that make the technology work at full capacity. Let's start there.

1. Ensuring good deployment of technology

When it comes to integrating technology such as FLUZO's into the panel, technology to produce audio-matching data to provide cross-media and single-source measurement, there are three things that set it apart from other panels: the continuity of the panel; the intensity of its activity; and the representativeness of the sample.

A continuous panel is a panel in which the number of panelists and the representativeness of the sample is very stable, which is essential for the data to be solid. There is no point in measuring with panels where people are joining and leaving all the time.

Intensity refers to the level of activity of the sample members. A panel in which users report data at specific times of the week is not the same as panels such as Netquest and FLUZO, in which only members who report data 70% of the time can participate. Continuous data collection makes the data much more robust.

And finally, the sample has to fit the target it chooses to represent. In our case, we have a panel that’s representative of a population of Internet users over 18. But this has to be demonstrated, not only on paper but also in data delivery. For example, under-representation of targets or over-dimensioning per medium will impact data quality, and produce ups and downs in reach curves or unexplained spikes that will weaken our insights.

2. Privacy policies

Market research analyzes human behavior and opinions. That is why, from its beginnings, it has been an activity that is directly related to personal data. After all, as professionals we compile people’s information. And this means collecting and, in some cases, storing personally identifiable information (PII) from those who participate in the research.

Researchers have to work ethically, according to the industry code of conduct, which in our case are the "ESOMAR" guidelines. But that is not all. We must also comply with legal obligations such as the GDPR, the European regulation on privacy and personal data processing. And local regulations, as well, depending on the country where we conduct the research.

In this post, we bring together all the characteristics of our privacy policy, where we summarize the way in which the participants’ information is collected and used, and we compare it with nine other panels. Among other issues, we will specify what type of data we collect, what information is shared with third parties, the presence of a Data Protection Officer, and more.

3. Survey quality control

Double opt-in, identity verification, re-captcha, obvious questions, IP control, response consistency and speed are quality controls that any self-respecting panel partner should have. A research partner that does not implement at least these 7 controls may be considered dangerous because, as we have said before, it can lead you to make bad decisions and/or put your strategies and planning at risk.

Finally, an extra but also very important element is to have an Online Panel that is ISO 20252 certified, which is the highest quality standard for market research, both in its online access panels and in its data collection and processing procedures.

4. Optimal survey frequency

Once a month, 2 times, 3, 4, 5? What is the perfect frequency? This is a question regularly asked by companies that recruit people to answer surveys or participate in other research projects. We all want to find the optimal survey frequency.

The frequency with which surveys are sent directly influences the "professionalization", or lack thereof, of the panelists, who end up answering every time they have the chance to get the largest number of incentives.

Regardless of which criteria is ideal, at Netquest we limit the number of survey invitations each panelist receives, as well as the total number of participations the person can register. We opt for low survey frequency, in comparison with other online panels.

5. Communication with panelists

If panelists voluntarily invest their time to answer surveys, we believe that, in return, the online panel should maintain a level of communication that values their effort and commitment. Especially if they have questions or report a problem.

Effective communication fosters panelist commitment, increases response rates and retains that person in the community. And this is fundamental for any researcher because these improvements directly influence the quality of the results, and therefore, the quality of the research.

In everyday life, we increasingly value authenticity. It is the same on the Internet. And there are ways to "be yourself". At Netquest, we believe this is achieved with a close relationship. That's why we address our panelists with familiarity. The language used in our surveys is clear and easy to understand, and we use other actions such as adapting the questionnaire to the country, by using local expressions and/or locally specific words.

Only by meeting all these requirements can we ensure a quality cross-media, single-source measurement, both in terms of data collection through audiomatching, and when conducting post-test studies.

**María García Limón | Netquest Head of MKT & Comms **

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