Panel Data Insights: Key to Unlocking Growth

Do you ever feel like you’re running in circles trying to unlock growth? We know the challenges that category and brand managers face to deliver sustainable, profitable brand performance. Using CPG analytics to find positive trends and actionable consumer insights can be difficult. But it doesn’t have to be! By leveraging panel data, smart marketers are able to make data-driven decisions accurately and quickly. In this blog post, we take a closer look at what panel data is, what you can get out of it, the challenges of analyzing panel data without an augmented analytics tool, and the benefits a platform like AnswerRocket can provide.

What is Panel Data?

Panel Data refers to data gathered from a group or “panel” of consumers about their buying habits, brand loyalty, brand perceptions, pre and post purchase behaviors, and more. Information can be gathered from tracking consumer loyalty programs at grocery stores, interviewing panels of consumers about their preferences and perceptions of brands, and also from self-selected respondents who provide post-purchase details. Panel Data is vital to not only understanding your brand’s current position in the market and market share, but also provides insights to help grow your brand for the future.

Companies like NielsenIRI and Kantar lead the multi-billion dollar industry, providing valuable information to brands with years of trusted data gathering practices.

A successful brand strategy starts with an accurate knowledge of consumers and their habits. We track more than 450,000 consumers worldwide who provide us with invaluable information on their household’s shopping decisions.” – Kantar Consumer Panels

The Panel Data Investment

When it comes to the best CPG brands in the business, the question is not if your brand is using panel data, but rather, are you getting the most out of your panel data?

Investing in panel data can cost brands in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars on an annual basis. The cost is relative to what the perceived payoff will be: increased sales and market share.

Panel data can provide valuable insights to help you gain a competitive advantage

  • Brand awareness: How is brand awareness trending? Are there certain segments where awareness is higher or lower?
  • Brand equity: How valuable is the brand name in the marketplace? What brand names are more valuable than ours?
  • Brand affinity: What customer values does the brand align with? Where do we need to improve on this?
  • Pricing/marketing effectiveness: How does our brand’s pricing compare to other brands in the marketplace? Was our recent marketing campaign effective?
  • Shopper behavior: How often do customers purchase our brand? What other brands do they purchase at the same time? 
  • Competitor tactics: How are our competitors priced? What marketing campaigns are they running?

The Hurdle of Traditional Panel Data Analysis

Once the panel data is acquired, the greatest hurdle is extracting actionable insights from it. The analysis process tends to be very manual and cumbersome which leaves room for human error. For brand managers, this can mean waiting days or even weeks to get the valuable insights needed to inform business decisions, and then not knowing if it’s completely accurate.

The other challenge is the limited ability to drill down further when additional analysis is required. Asking “simple” follow-up questions typically means additional time delays and more manual work on behalf of the analyst or agency tasked with analyzing the data.

This inhibits brand managers from being as nimble and responsive as they’d like to be, and slows down the decision making process.

The Vicious Cycle

If you opt to use the services offered by a panel data provider, or have an agency partner that analyzes panel data for you, this can mean facing a different set of challenges.

CPGs are challenged with:Data Provider is challenged with:
The reliance on the data provider for answers to key questions that can drive growth.Pressure to deliver more actionable value from the data provided.
The time it takes to get the analysis required to make a good decision for each brand/market.The need to provide answers faster, increase margins, increase value-add for clients.
Disappointment with not getting the right answer,
long cycles to get answers and inability to dig into the
data and drill down further at their own convenience. 
Staying “in the loop” of delivering value with the data provided. 

Whether you’re analyzing panel data internally or using a 3rd party, the results are the same: delays, frustrations, and missed opportunities.

The AnswerRocket Advantage

Use AnswerRocket’s augmented analytics platform powered by natural language search to get answers easily and quickly. Analysis can also be automated to run as soon as new panel data is available. Either way, this means getting valuable insights in hours and not weeks.

Users can easily change metrics like geography, time period, brands, etc. all in real time while simultaneously building out a presentation.

Panel Data Screenshot

Need to dig deeper? With AnswerRocket you can pick any data point, and select “Drill Down” from the pop up. Then dig deeper into any of the dimensions in the data set. No more waiting on analysts or agencies to spend days to rework the data.

Q3 Dropdown

Presentations are then easily shared across teams with the ability to download, email and print right from the AnswerRocket dashboard.

Before AnswerRocket: 

  • Brand analysts create quarterly brand equity deck 
  • Business teams ask follow-up questions, causing delays and missed opportunities
  • Response time for follow-up questions can range from hours to days or not being answered at all

After AnswerRocket:

  • Quarterly decks are automatically generated as soon as data is refreshed
  • NLQ functionality allows anyone in the business to quickly answer follow-up questions
  • Brand analysts have time to do deeper analysis and teams are able to act quickly, resulting in increased productivity and share gains

Panel data is a powerful tool that can help brands better understand their consumers as well as their place in the market. While there are some challenges associated with using panel data, the benefits far outweigh those hurdles. Brands that use panel data can expect to see improved marketing ROI, increased sales, and greater customer loyalty. Analyze your panel data with AnswerRocket and get critical market insights you need NOW.

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