Consumer Panels in Marketing Research: Purpose & Role

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  • 0:03 What Is a Consumer Panel?
  • 0:56 Purpose of a Consumer Panel
  • 1:24 Pros and Cons
  • 3:23 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

In this lesson, you'll learn what a consumer panel is and why they are so useful in marketing research. You'll also learn what things you have to watch out for when creating a consumer panel.

What Is a Consumer Panel?

Have you ever heard those statistics that say so many people watch this channel or use a particular product? These statistics come from a consumer panel , which is a representative group of people used for marketing research. For example, the consumer panel for a dog food company would be a group of dog owners who care what they feed their dogs. Consumer panels can be as specific as the marketing research needs. It doesn't have to be everybody in the group; it can be a smaller portion that represents the group as a whole. The Nielsen consumer panel represents the world's television watching population as a whole, but it only includes 250,000 households living in 25 countries. It doesn't include everyone that has a television, but it does have a good number in the group. The data is then extrapolated to the larger world's population as a whole. This is how some channels can say that they have so many millions of viewers.

Purpose of a Consumer Panel

The purpose of a consumer panel is to measure what consumers do and like. Consumer panels are involved in things such as testing products, tasting foods and wines, and testing ads. Companies will put together a consumer panel to figure out what new products to release or whether a new recipe works or not. Some companies use consumer panels to test whether a particular advertisement works or not before releasing it as a commercial or other expensive advertising method.

Pros and Cons

Let's take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks to using a consumer panel:


One benefit is that a consumer panel provides a less expensive way to determine whether a product will succeed or not. It's much cheaper to release a potential new product to a small group of people to test out rather than to release the new product to the whole market. Take Walmart for example. It's definitely less expensive for them to just test a product in one store than it is to supply it to the thousands of stores in the United States. If the product succeeds in the one store, then it can roll out to all stores.

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