POV: Building Proprietary Panels as a Marketing Tool and a Vehicle for Insights

Panels are a cost effective way to get valuable insight from your best customers while solidifying their loyalty to your brand by involving them in an active and ongoing dialogue about how you run your business. Working with its clients, SLRG begins by creating an empanelment initiative that invites the best customers to become part of a select community to participate in frequent surveys and additional touch points that recognize, communicate and reward, while building an online community that serves as a sounding board for best customers. The proprietary research panel concept is a great application in the sports and leisure space for season ticket holders, frequent hotel guests, frequent players at casinos, plus many others. Once customers are empaneled, SLRG typically works with a client to create a customized program of regular touch points in the form of surveys and special offers. The surveys typically include satisfaction tracking measures, evaluation of operations and services, and other important metrics. However, perhaps the most powerful aspect of the panel is to involve these best guests in the consideration, evaluation, and development of new concepts and services. This gives panelists an insider’s perspective on customer reach strategies and builds a sense of personal ownership and loyalty to the brand.


We have experienced strong response rates, because the customer feels like they are helping steer the business. By rewarding panelists for their continuing participation they become more ingratiated into the brand. Panels are a terrific way to get quick, timely, input from those customers that disproportionally spend while continuing to foster and nurture that relationship.


An additional benefit is that panels can tie best customer attitudes and preferences we collected in surveys to actual behavioral data, such as, the recency and frequency of visitation, and customer spending levels. For example, in the golf industry, tracked behaviors such as preferred tee times, products purchased in the golf shop, and other customer information can be modeled with research data to tailor customized offers and benefits that can become a cornerstone of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) program.