The New Trend Spotting: Influencer Panels are the Secret Weapon of Large Corporations

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Expert and influencer panels consist of a group of highly targeted people who can provide data and insights over time. These panels are particularly useful as tracking tools for quantitative data (such as prices, capabilities, budget, risk, growth, forecasting, etc), innovation trends, and voice of the customer. Because the panel can be accessed at different points in time, controlling for mitigating variables is easier than in, say, a typical consumer survey, where the group of people responding might change significantly over time.

Panels and expert trackers differ from typical surveys in that respondents commit to intermittent participation for a period of time. For instance, if you wanted to track growth in a particular area of the SaaS space, you could configure an expert panel of users and potential users, and do a monthly survey on budget, forecasting, pain points, and spend to these users. The respondents won’t change over time, but their spend and budget will. An expert panel will reflect only this change, ensuring that historical data is accurate and controlled.

Identify the Right People, Then Collect their Insights Over Time

Expert panels require an upfront investment in finding the ideal respondents over time. Unlike consumer surveys, ensuring that your respondents will remain experts and are perfect fits for your respondent criteria is paramount. The data you get will only be as good as the people who give it to you.

Because of this, many enterprises turn to expert search engines. These platforms can find extremely precise matches for your needs, and screen experts to ensure their responses will be valuable and accurate — both now and over time. When done correctly, this can become an extremely powerful resource. You have the exact group you’re targeting, often a very niche population (e.g. the top 200 buyers of media in the US), and with everything staying equal, you can measure only changes that occur over time.

How To Use An Expert Panel: The Three Most Compelling Use Cases

There are three common use cases for expert panels. In each, watching how a single group evolves is crucial to gaining the necessary insights.

  • Customer data – VoC

Tracking the voice of the customer over time is a powerful resource for forecasting and product development. By tracking customer budget, spend, trust in partners (scale of 1-10), and forecasting for the space, you can get ahead of your customers and reduce churn.

  • Influencers

This is an increasingly popular and important use case for expert panels. Influencers can consist of, for instance, policymakers and Think Tanks around consumer data privacy. If you’re a tech company, staying ahead of trends and influential decisions is a crucial competitive advantage.

  • Market Intelligence

Staying ahead of innovation trends can make or break a company’s relevance. For instance, if you’re a retailer you may want to know what the future of retail over the next 5 years is likely to look like. Will the most relevant technologies be VR, e-commerce personalization, or brick and mortar tech-enabled enhancements? The answers to these questions change over time, so checking in with a consistent group of people on the state of the market is a powerful way to stay abreast of market intelligence.

Go Straight To the Source: How to Build an Expert Panel Today

Whether you want to assess risk, growth, pricing, forecasting, or voice of the customer, and whether you want this assessment to be daily, monthly, quarterly or annually, NewtonX can identify the most precise matches for your needs, and execute surveys on your timeline. Additionally, NewtonX clients can conduct one-on-one consultations with select respondents who give outlier or striking answers. This enables quantitative data collection with qualitative deep-dives into the reasons for the data.

To learn more about how NewtonX helps enterprise clients gain insights and data over time through expert or influencer panels, please reach out to request@newtonx.com.

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About Author

Germain Chastel is the CEO and Founder of NewtonX.

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