With mobile phones and tablets becoming the most highly adopted technology in history, it’s surprising that the research industry is only just beginning to utilise the possibilities that this technology offers. Yet this year has seen an explosion of interest in the new functionalities that will become an integral part of research campaigns helping you, the marketer, to get closer to your audience than ever before.
As smartphone and tablet purchases grow exponentially among consumers, researchers globally are sitting up and taking notice. There are currently over 5.6 billion mobile devices globally, enough for nearly one for every man, woman and child in the world. In the UK alone, smartphone penetration has risen 30 per cent from 2011 to 51 per cent in 2012.
A recent study by Research Now among researchers in the US, Canada, UK and Australia showed 43 per cent say they are actively looking for a mobile survey solution. In the US, that number is even higher at around 70 per cent.
As further evidence of growing interest, 65 per cent of respondents stated that they expect to allocate 10 per cent of their total 2012 research spend to mobile research. Mobile devices are rapidly becoming the tool of choice for consumers and B2B users. Smartphone devices have become so widespread, that they are expected to overtake desktop and laptops in terms of data use.
What does this mean to you?
While mobile surveys are completed faster and are more cost effective, the real benefit of mobile research is the quality of data, specifically ‘in the moment’ data. Rather than answering questions in a delayed fashion, hours after a behaviour has occurred, mobile surveys can provide real-time feedback. However, the most useful aspect of mobile is the ability to instantly enhance that data with photos, videos and audio capture.
Equally as exciting is the ability to carry out permission-based passive data from smartphones, which can be captured as the respondent uses their phone on a daily basis to supplement attitudinal surveys.
But how are these new techniques implemented in true to life situations?
A major winery is looking for advanced insights about the factors that influence consumer purchasers in a notoriously sensitive category. Any slight change in any element from the price to the label design can impact on the impulse to buy one brand over another. So, as a consumer stands in the aisle at their wine merchant of choice a number of things can influence what they choose to buy.
Positioning in the store, wine label eye appeal, in-store promotions, price comparisons and wine tasting awards or ratings will make a significant impact. With mobile, the wine manufacturer can capture superior ‘in the moment’ feedback in real time at the point of the purchase decision. This sort of study also offers the marvellous opportunity to allow respondents to upload photos of the store layout, labels and promotional offers and even upload barcode scans. With these visual aids, marketers can better understand why purchases were made and why one brand label appealed more to the customer over another.
Another example, using passive behavioural data collection, is to study listening patterns of songs on a phone. A record company could be interested in learning about how consumers listen to an album. Do they regularly skip songs? Do they rearrange the track list? This type of data can then influence how they develop track listings for future pop releases. This would work using an opted-in panellist allowing an app to run in the background which analyses their listening patterns and playlists, and records that data.
It’s all very well extolling the virtues of mobile research but are people actually willing to take part in surveys on their mobile? Well yes, so it seems.
Research Now Mobile panellists were recently asked if they are willing to participate in diary and one-time surveys while shopping. A whopping 83 per cent replied “Yes, very interested” for their top box score. It doesn’t take a genius to notice that there are some flaws to this (they were already on a mobile research panel so you’d hope that would be the reply!). However those traditional online panellists who were asked to download the Research Now Mobile app showed similar levels of interest. We’ve even seen 18 per cent of traditional desktop users attempt to take such surveys on their mobile.
Mobile is also an excellent way to access those demographics that are notoriously difficult to reach. Very high response rates are achievable from diverse groups such as tweens and young males. Research Now Mobile surveys typically see 17 per cent – 34 per cent response rates across a wide variety of categories and studies.
Mobile is here to stay
The ability to conduct data collection via mobile devices is opening up an exciting opportunity for researchers to engage consumers in a far-reaching way. With additional insights gained through mobile, researchers and their clients are more equipped than ever to make better business decisions that reflect the needs of the marketplace. To better understand how mobile research has been implemented in numerous capacities, please visit www.apps4mobileresearch.com.
The time is ripe to take advantage of this new wave in technology, so take the step and capture the moment. The mobile wave is here, enjoy the ride! l
Location, location, location
Get this: you’re heading to the cinema to watch the movie you’ve been waiting months to see. All of a sudden, your smartphone vibrates and you’ve received a survey about your movie-going experience. How has this happened?
With Research Now Mobile, our panellists who have downloaded the app, can receive Geo-location-triggered surveys. What does this mean? Well, simply put, using the phone’s GPS signal, a survey can be immediately sent to a panellists phone when they enter within a specific distance of a point of interest. The point of interest in this case is the cinema. You can learn more about Geo-location-triggered surveys in the next Research Now whitepaper to be released on Marketing Week’s Knowledge Bank in October.
Steve von Bevern
39 York Road
London, SE1 7NQ
T 020 7921 2400