Our Quality: Panel quality that the industry envies

aytm logo icon
Posted Sep 22, 2015
Astrid Phillips Mayer

We're often asked about the quality of our panels. How do we know our panelists are who they say they are? What do we do to ensure their responses are accurate and complete? How is it that we know so much about our panel, like who’s a QVC shopper who also enjoys Chipotle, or an IT decision maker that’s also a dog owner?


Our true north at AYTM is that we seek to make the complex easy. We do it so our clients can uncover vital insights that drive their businesses forward. And we do it for our panelists so they respond fully and truthfully because they feel valued.

An industry in turmoil

Panel quality is one of the hottest topics in the industry now, but for all the wrong reasons. The number of people willing to participate in research has dropped dramatically over the past several years. The decline is most profound with those under 35 years old. The culprits? An industry that’s mired in practices of the past. Surveys remain long and punishing. Too few are truly mobile friendly. Weak incentive programs convey the clear message that they are being taken for granted.At AYTM, we’ve taken a different approach. Below are the steps we take to ensure panel quality that is head and shoulders above the rest.

Real, unique, verified panelists

We validate our panelists through multiple mechanisms. When panelists register, we walk them through triple-opt in verification process, including confirming their email, a personal and unique phone number that has to match their country of residence and confirmed PayPal account, which Paypal itself has also validated and cleared. Moreover, we offer respondents to connect their social media accounts for the ease of logging in and further validation of their account. Many people, interested in joining our panel never make the cut and we’re fine with it.Behind the scenes, we employ a multipronged technical approach using various digital fingerprinting and tracking techniques to ensure authenticity and defeat fraud throughout each panelist’s lifecycle.

TrustScore: engaged respondents, better data quality, deeper profiles

trust score

The crown jewel of our ongoing verification system is the AYTM TrustScore. In addition to taking clients' surveys, our respondents also answer questions about their demographics, personality traits, shopping habits, media consumption, and other aspects of their lifestyles and preferences. These questions are repeated over time. If a respondent answers inconsistently, we immediately dig deeper and ask them to explain the discrepancy.The TrustScore creates a virtuous circle between AYTM, our respondents, and our clients. The more consistent a panelist’s responses, the higher their TrustScore, the more surveys they receive (as long as they meet the survey’s screening criteria), and the more they earn. The converse is also true: the more discrepancies a respondent has, the lower their TrustScore, and the fewer surveys we send to them. TrustScore thus significantly improves data quality and allows us to continually update our panelist profiles so we can provide you with fresh and accurate data about your target market.Use our rich profiles powered by TrustScore to unlock deeper meaning in your data with Personality Radar (also download our Personality Radar brochure) and Competitive Topography. To learn how you can tailor Personality Radar and Competitive Topography to your specific needs, please email us at [email protected] or call us at (415) 364-8601.

An outstanding respondent experience

Our platform was designed by graphic artists and UX experts to provide an uncompromisingly excellent experience for respondents. With sane limits to questionnaire and response length built in, our clients can gather rich insights without abusing respondents. Respondents see an interface that is gorgeous, formatted perfectly regardless of device, and designed to prevent distraction and disengagement. This creates immense panelist satisfaction—and, once again, better data.

Uncompromising respect, with immediate support and clear policies

You know you’re doing something right when your panelists use words like love to describe your experience. Our panels are in the top ten on Survey Police and get ratings that blow the big traditional panel companies out of the water. It’s because we respect them and their time. Nowhere is this clearer than in our commitment to immediate support and our clear policies. We take time to answer questions quickly. We pay out incentives quickly. And our panelists repay us with a long tenure characterized by genuine continuous participation.

We only partner with the best

AYTM was a pioneer in using application program interfaces (APIs) to link to the market research industry's best specialty panels. Over time we've noticed other companies starting to mimic our approach. We take this as the ultimate flattery. By expanding our network to include other top-quality panels through APIs, we enable our clients to reach over 25 million people around the world, including business executives as well as consumers. We only work with proven, vetted panels in the industry.


Our clients come to us because they want ironclad information about their customers and markets. Our commitment to panel quality is just one of the ways that we help them succeed. Through a host of validation techniques, an excellent respondent experience, and a virtuous circle of trust, we deliver engaged respondents who answer fully and truthfully.Experience our quality (and speed!) by launching a panel survey today. And if you have any questions, we're here to help -- as mentioned above, we'd love to hear from you at [email protected] or (415) 364-8601.

Featured photo: “Hands” by A Horse With No Name Photography, used under CC BY 2.0

Featured Stories

New posts in your inbox