Mobile-based research could overtake traditional methods

As brands including Tesco and More Than carry out research via tablets and smartphones to capture real-time responses, could post activity surveys and focus groups be overtaken by digital research techniques?  

Mindi Chahal

When you look at all the benefits of using mobile technology for market research it might seem that there is no question as to what the future of the industry is.

A brand can get to know fairly quickly whether something is working or not and what a customer likes and dislikes all in the moment that it is experienced. Also because of the proliferation of mobile phone and tablets a decent sample size can be achieved and there is also the environmental factor of saving on paper for postal surveys. 

An article in Marketing Week highlights the brands above as seeing the advantages of getting customer’s views ‘in the moment’ which allows the business to get instant feedback, after all a gut reaction couldn’t be truer.  

In the case of window manufacturer Velux, also mentioned in the piece, the use of mobile means those consumers who took part could share photos and videos with researchers via a specific mobile app to get a clearer idea of experiences during a customer’s building project.     

However, the benefits of traditional research are are still strong, as immediate reactions to brand experiences lack the detail of thought that goes into focus groups or online and postal surveys. 

Also if a consumer can recall a brand after a certain amount of time, in itself that is an indication of the effect of the brand campaign or experience has stuck.  

It also depends on who you are targeting: not all consumers have a smartphone or are comfortable with sharing information via mobile devices. 

Digital methods will continue to help industries innovate rather than take over any existing or traditional techniques and the future of market research isn’t solely going mobile but it will play a big part, particularly as a brand’s need for speedy research continues to put pressure on research companies.    


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