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10 min

7 characteristics of online best B2B panels

Discover the 7 characteristics of online best B2B panels

Jan 30, 2023
B2B market research


Online panel providers have made it easier than ever for B2B marketers to reach their prospects. But with so many choices, you need to understand the different types of panels available and how they can help your business. In this post, we'll be covering seven key characteristics of online best B2B panels.

What are the online best B2B panels?

Online panels have been around for a long time and have become an increasingly popular method of conducting market research. More and more companies are turning to this method. This is because it allows them to collect large amounts of data with minimal financial resources. Online panels also provide one of the most affordable options for businesses looking to conduct market research. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at online best B2B panels and the ways they can benefit your business. 

What is an online panel? Online panels are groups of people that market research companies recruit. The companies ask them to complete surveys on a regular basis. These surveys usually take the form of a questionnaire with multiple-choice questions or fill-in-the-blank answers. By joining an online panel, you agree to participate in these surveys and provide your opinions on a wide range of topics that may be relevant to your industry or business.

The quality of the panel is more important than the number of participants. It's a reflection on the quality of your provider, who has to recruit people in a scientific way and make sure they're representative of your target group.

It's not enough to just have a large number of participants for an online survey; you also need them to be relevant to your research question and company needs. Therefore, online best B2B panels will have respondents who are highly qualified for your research needs.

7 characteristics of best online B2B panels 

Here are seven characteristics of high-quality panels that can help you determine which online best B2B panels are right for your company:

  1. Quality of panel members
  2. Panel provider’s experience
  3. Their capabilities and resources (for example, a high volume capacity)
  4. The ability to design bespoke recruitment campaigns tailored to your individual needs
  5. They should be able to demonstrate the pros and cons of online B2B market research
  6. The panel should have been built using a specific recruitment methodology
  7. They will have a balanced demographic representation of respondents to ensure high response rates

Let's look at some of these in detail in the following subsections:

1. The most important characteristic of an online panel is the quality of its members

The most important characteristic of the best online panels is the quality of their members. You can measure the quality of members by:

  • Recruitment methodology (how)
  • The source of recruitment (where)
  • Recruitment targets (who)
  • The mix of recruitment (what)

The recruitment methodology should be multistage and use multiple sources, with quotas set for each stage and target group. The recruitment mix should include more than one method, such as online and offline panels. Multiple sources of recruitment are also important; for example, using both email addresses and phone numbers to recruit panellists is better than just one or the other.

2. Panel provider's experience

A panel is a source of respondents for market research surveys (both qualitative and quantitative) who are willing to share their views and opinions. A panel is a managed, opt-in research community of B2B professionals who participate in qualitative and quantitative market research studies. In other words, it's an online community where people are paid to provide feedback on products, services, or ideas.

The best online B2B panels can either send them invitations directly through email or social media channels when you have new surveys available. Or, they can let them know if there are any new opportunities via an email newsletter.

A panel can be a great option for B2B market research because it allows you to get access to people who are already interested in your industry. You don't have to do any of the heavy lifting when it comes to recruiting survey participants, they're already there waiting for you!

There are many different types of panels, including:

-Customer Experience (CX) Panels

-B2B Technology Panels

-Brand Advocate Panels

-Industry Analyst Panels

3. Panel provider's capabilities and resources

Panel members typically get paid, or get rewarded with points or prizes for completing surveys. Here are certain things to look out for in the best online B2B panels capabilities and resources:

  • Convenience: The convenience factor is important, especially when you're looking to conduct a survey in real-time with immediate results. You don't want to wait weeks or months for your audience to complete your survey, you need it right now! With panels, you can have access to thousands of qualified respondents within minutes!
  • Cost-effectiveness: Panels provide a cost-effective way of getting feedback from large groups of people quickly at an affordable price point. This is especially useful if you have multiple questions that need answering over time as opposed to one question at once (e.g., satisfaction scores).
  • Credibility and trust: Panels have been around for a long time, so they’re very credible and trustworthy. You can be assured that the results will not be skewed by a biased sample or survey takers who aren't qualified to answer your questions.
  • Accuracy: If you're looking for an accurate result that matches what you need, using the best online B2B panels is the way to go. Since panels consist of people who are in your target demographic, they can provide you with insights into how your customers think and behave. Therefore, they give you valuable information about what really works when it comes to marketing your business.
  • Speed: The best online B2B panels are fast! You can get feedback from thousands of respondents within minutes. 

4. The panel provider should have the capability to design bespoke recruitment campaigns that meet the specific needs of individual projects

The ability to create bespoke recruitment campaigns is essential, as it allows you to have complete control over your target audience and their needs. When working with a panel provider, you are able to target specific user groups via certain channels such as social media or online advertising. This enables you to identify if there are any gaps in your knowledge of your target audience, allowing you to find out what they actually want from an organisation like yours before inviting them into a survey or interview.

5. The panel should be able to demonstrate the upsides and downsides of the online approach

The benefits of online research are that it's cheaper, faster, and easier to get results. You'll also have access to a larger pool of respondents than with traditional market research methods (which means you can reach more people).

On the other hand, there are some disadvantages to online research: people tend not to trust something they haven't physically experienced; there can be low response rates for certain demographics; and it may not accurately reflect the population at large due to self-selection bias (people who choose not to participate in surveys).

The best online b2b panels use online market research for many different types of projects such as:

- Testing out a new design or feature in an existing product.

- Finding out if people will buy your product (or if they're interested enough to sign up for a free trial).

- Knowing what kinds of things people are looking for when they search online and how that relates to the products you offer.

- You want to get feedback on your marketing materials, like an ad campaign or a new website.

6. You want a panel that has been built with a specific recruitment methodology

The recruitment methodology is the process used to recruit members for your panel. You want to make sure your provider has a clear methodology for recruiting members, and that it will be able to ensure you are getting an accurate representation of the target population. If they don’t have one, you may be in trouble down the road.

Online best B2B panels will have a methodology that is defined and transparent. This will help you make sure that the panel reflects your target audience, which is essential for good research results. You want to know who’s on your panel, so make sure they have a clear recruitment strategy that includes a process for recruiting new members.

7. The correct mix between relevant components is essential to ensure high response rates for studies conducted on the best B2B online panels.

Ensuring the right mix of relevant and non-relevant components is essential to ensure high response rates for studies conducted on the panel. As a result, panels must be balanced in order to achieve the maximum response rate.

In addition to the balance of questions, the best online B2B panels also screen respondents for their suitability as respondents. Panels that do not screen for this can run into problems when they begin to analyse data and realise that the population that the panel represents is not what they expected.

In order to ensure that the panel members are relevant to the research topic, it is important to select a correct mix of components. Best online b2b panels can do this in different ways, depending on the type of study that they conduct:

  • Demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, age)
  • Consumer behaviour (e.g., purchase history)
  • Product usage (e.g., product familiarity, usage frequency)
  • Attitudes and beliefs (e.g., attitude toward the brand, opinion of a new product)
  • Perceived benefits (e.g., the perceived value of the product or service)

It’s important to choose an experienced panel provider that can deliver consistent results

A best-in-class panel provider will know how to manage their data and maximise the quality of the data they’re collecting by understanding the nuances of each market segment. This can help you get better insights about your target audience across different industries, roles, and levels of seniority. It’s important to keep in mind that not all companies are alike, and what works for one might not work for another. The key is understanding your own unique needs before you start looking into the best online B2B panels.

The most important characteristic of an online panel is the quality of its members

High-quality members are more likely to participate in research studies and provide accurate information, which helps B2B companies achieve better results. Additionally, the best online B2B panels generally have a better mix of respondents representing various demographics (including age, income level, and occupation) than low-quality panels do. Finally, the more members a panel has in its database, the better. This is because it gives B2B companies a bigger pool of potential respondents to choose from when they want to do research studies.

B2B companies also have access to a variety of other benefits when they use the best B2B online panels, such as:

• A better understanding of their target audience

• Better insights into consumer behaviour and trends

• The ability to get more reliable results from their research studies

• Reach more respondents in less time and with fewer resources

Best online B2B panels can make all the difference in your B2B  market research

The right panel can make all the difference in your market research campaign. You need to be confident that it will deliver consistent results and provide a representative sample. The best panel will be built with a specific recruitment methodology, not just an off-the-shelf tool. If a provider is using their own methodology, it’s essential that they have the capabilities to design bespoke recruitment campaigns that meet the specific needs of individual projects.

The mix between relevant components is also important, meaning that you need to ensure there are enough respondents available within each demographic group for you to meet your sampling requirements at each stage of the process (e.g., 1:1 or cluster sampling).

The panel should be balanced across the right demographics. It’s important to avoid over-representing certain groups within your sample, such as females aged 45-54 in a survey about women’s health products. You also need to ensure that each respondent is representative of their demographic group (e.g., if you are surveying female users of mobile phones, then make sure there is an even mix between those who have only ever owned one model and those who have purchased many different devices).


We hope that this article has helped you understand the benefits of using the best online B2B panels. If you’re looking for a panel provider, we’d be happy to talk with you about how our team can help. Also, check out our recent blog post ‘When and how to use a decision maker panel for market research

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