Categories: News and Resources

Katie Ferro


The strength of market research panels is their ability to reflect the diversity of attitudes and demographics in a community that continuously evolves and grows.


Marketing executives have recently pointed out the importance of reimagining the concept of the ‘average Australian consumer’ to ensure that it mirrors the reality of a society that now comprises of almost six million migrants born in over 200 countries.[i]

The concept of diversity is also relevant for market research panels if they are to be representative and provide the depth required for accurate and relevant insights. In other words, panels also need to move with the times and make sure that they are reflective of changing demographics and attitudes in society. Attitudes and beliefs that ground opinion also change and this is reflective across all levels of society, political and corporate life.

Obviously diversity is not just an Australian concept. Late last year, much was made of Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau’s comment that his appointment of a gender balanced and ethnically diverse cabinet was ‘Because it’s 2015’. This comment coupled with broader dialogue about achieving diversity continues to shape society’s reaction to achieving equity and gender balance.

In many instances diversity is now measured and reported as part of public discourse, often negatively, like this year’s The Sydney Morning Herald article ‘Meet Corporate Australia’s 20 female free zones’ that listed organisations with no females on their Boards as reported in the quarterly Australian Institute of Company Directors diversity report.[ii]

Generational change may force marketers to re-consider their approach to marketing. Millennials between the ages of 18 to 34 also have diverse views about gender. In 2015 Fusion’s Massive Millennial Poll found that 50 percent of millennials believed that gender was a ‘spectrum’ with some people falling outside of conventional categories.[iii]

Australian society also continues to change, for example, the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the age of women having their first child in their 30s has risen from 23% in 1991 to 43% in 2011. Projections also show couple families without children will outnumber couple families with children by 2030.

The strength of market research panels will remain their ability to attract a wide range of potential survey participants that bring with them diverse views and opinions based on their personal circumstances and also their understanding of broader social and demographic variables that underpin their view of the world. Marketing and advertising professionals can then draw on that strength to obtain relevant and insightful commentary about their products or services.

As communities continue to grow and evolve over time it is important that panel representation moves with it.

CRNRSTONE, formerly Stable Research – What we know

Panel book

At CRNRSTONE we value both our panel members’ opinions as well as their time, and in turn we are rewarded with their engagement.

Because time is precious, we collect data against key attributes by person, which is automatically updated daily via the screening process for qualitative research. This means we know exactly what our panel are doing. We aren’t relying on outdated data from their original signup from years ago.

We also talk with them, every day, so we know that what they tell us is genuine and valid.

To find out more about our Panel CLICK HERE

Face-to-face value

face to face

Face-to-face market research panels are still pivotal in canvassing the diverse views of ordinary Australians from all walks of life.

In a recent blog, Susan Bell from Susan Bell Research writes about how she truly enjoys the experience of face-to-face groups and how they still have a stimulating role to play.

She says: “At their best, face-to-face groups can be a fast turnaround, eye-opening experience which leave clients and moderators stimulated, or they can be larger scale explanations of human behaviour which inform strategy for years to come”.

As summarised below, Susan outlines the three reasons why she and her colleagues believe it is so enjoyable and how that sense of enjoyment pays off for the client:

  1. Individuality: When you meet people face-to-face, you get a real understanding of how diverse people are. That then becomes a reminder that despite the marketing  language of ‘segments’ and ‘markets’, companies sell things to individual people. Individuals make decisions, in that fascinating flawed way that we all do!
  2. Challenging preconceptions: Even the best strategic researcher or marketing professional is not immune to stereotyping and it can lead to blinkered thinking and assumptions about target markets. Face-to-face groups challenge the preconceptions of the moderator and client forcing them to consider it in a totally different way.
  3. Flexibility: Face-to-face groups allow moderators to depart from the topic guide to spend time on an insight that has come out of nowhere. There are other kinds of flexibility too, such as the ability to modify the stimulus material between groups so by the end of the project the concept is being explained in the best way possible. Clients who allow that kind of flexible moderating get the best research.

Click here to read Susan’s full article