Using a Database as a Market Research Tool


Global market intelligence solution provider GMI (Global Market Insite Inc.) has partnered with online IT media company TechTarget to provide market research professionals access to a worldwide community of IT professionals and decision-makers. GMI built, manages and operates the TechTarget IT Research Panel, which consists of a double-opted in panel of IT professionals who actively participate in online research.

By tapping into the knowledge of these professionals, market researchers will be able to obtain insights into their buying trends and decision-making processes for their purchases. They can then use that information to determine what products and services they can and should offer in the market.

To create the panel, the companies reached out to TechTarget's proprietary database of more than 6.6 million registered users. Of that group, more than 2.2 million corporate IT professionals have singed on to participate in the online market research.

GMI is putting some protocols in place to ensure that the market research professionals receive quality information from the survey panelists. For instance, email invitations are only sent to double-opted in panelists; and panelists are invited to double opt-in only if they pass an initial registration screen. Minimum time thresholds are in place to eliminate hasty responses. Survey takers who have provided inaccurate data in the past can be automatically blocked from taking future surveys. There is also a formal incentive program in which panelists receive points that can be redeemed for cash after they complete each survey.

Developing a targeted online market research panel is a very smart way to leverage a high quality user database. TechTarget has created such a robust database over time that it makes sense to yield additional value from it. Market research professionals would find it extremely challenging to build a panel with such qualified individuals on their own.

With this initiative, everyone is poised to win. Recipients of this research will get a better understanding of their target market, thus creating a very strong competitive advantage. The survey respondents will also benefit because they will be heard. Researchers will learn exactly what these IT professionals want--they'll hear it directly from them. As a result, the IT folks will be rewarded with future offerings of products and services that meet their specified needs.

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