Panelist studies involve regular market data collection from pre-recruited people (panelists). To achieve the desired results, a good panel should involve participants from diverse demographics.

At Product Insights, our panelist studies are optimized to gather valuable data for research, decision-making, and improving products and services. In this thought-through guide, we explore everything you should know about panelist studies.

Types of Panelist Studies

Market research firms often conduct panelist studies in two ways:

Using Consumer Panels

Consumer panelists are typically selected from the general population to participate in surveys, interviews, or product testing. These panels offer valuable insights into consumer preferences, behavior, and purchasing patterns. The insights gathered provide crucial information to help businesses improve their products and marketing strategies.

Using Expert Panelists

Expert panelists are trained professionals with knowledge about the focus industry. Trained panels facilitate rigorous and expert-driven evaluations. This option works best for industries that leverage expert data or insights to make informed choices, such as cosmetics and food and beverage industries.

Designing Panelist Studies — Steps

Panelist studies bridge the gap between consumers and researchers. Here’s a step-by-step guide to designing effective panelist studies:

Defining the Objective of the Study

The first step is to articulate the objective of the study and highlight the specific questions to be addressed. This process helps panelists to focus on subsequent steps.

Selecting Panelists

Work with a panel that captures the demographics of the target market, including:

  • Age
  • Professional background
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Ethnicity and religion

Establishing Commitment

Make sure the panelists are committed to the project. So, you may want to outline expectations, benefits, and time commitments involved. Highlight the importance of collaboration and their contributions.

Determining Study Duration

The study duration should be determined by considering the complexity of the questions and the availability of panelists. As a best practice, sufficient time should be allowed to gather comprehensive data.

Planning Data Collection

Research firms employ diverse qualitative and quantitative methods to collect data, including:

  • Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Observations

A structured approach should be adopted to ensure the consistency and reliability of the process.

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Data analysis and interpretation involve looking for patterns and trends to gain meaningful insights and understand the market.

Communicate Findings

Summarize the data gathered from panelists in a comprehensive report. The contents of this report should include the following:

  • Key findings
  • Trends
  • Recommendations

Seek Feedback

Panelists should provide feedback on the study within the specified duration. Their feedback plays a vital role in refining future panelist studies.

Iterative Improvement

Continuously refine the study design based on feedback and lessons learned. Also, consider changing research needs and emerging technologies to enhance the effectiveness of a panelist study.

Ethical Considerations

Maintain confidentiality, obtain informed consent, and adhere to ethical guidelines throughout the study. Prioritize the well-being of panelists and protect their privacy and rights.


Are you launching a new product or gathering market insights to improve existing products? Our panelist studies can help. Product Insights leverages trained professionals to enhance the effectiveness of panelist studies. Contact us today, and let us help you gain valuable market insights.