Mobile phone usage continues to evolve with a notable decrease in voice calls being replaced by a greater demand for data as more people choose to email, engage via apps and search rather than converse.
The convenience and accessibility of mobile devices is adding many dimensions to the field of market and social research and its promise of real-time research and ‘in-the-moment’ insights.
However, recent research has found that over 50% of all surveys are not mobile optimised even with the availability of quality mobile testing that delivers high-quality compressed video, digital images and surveys via SMS.1
We believe that mobile technology engages consumers in a way that is reflective of how people communicate and share experiences and opinions in their day-to-day lives. It also offers the delivery of fast turnaround, cost effective insights and the facilitation of effective business planning and decision making.
Other benefits include:
- reaching a broader and more representative population
- allowing respondents to complete research in their preferred time/location
- easy and convenient – increasing response rates and enjoyment
- insightful – encouraging top of mind open ended responses.
Here are some interesting trends and emerging opportunities that we believe will continue to drive and diversify the approach to social and market research:
The more focused and shorter nature of questionnaires ensures higher response rates. There is a steady move from long (15 minutes plus) to short, fast, predictive surveys (3–5 minutes or less).
SMS text surveys require only a single response such as a single letter or number (‘Y’ for ‘Yes’) or a longer text response.
Location based research
The intersection of mobile and location-based technologies offers tremendous potential for the market research industry. It enables brands to connect with consumers for ‘in-the-moment’ feedback potentially stimulated by a situational cue, e.g. tracking shopper patterns.
Global brands are using mobile technologies to increase the power and focus of their market research. This ranges from connecting with customers as they’re looking at products on the shelves to gaining feedback on customer service at the point of sale.
The potential for creative approaches is enormous. For example, offering location-based shopping vouchers as incentives for on-the-spot survey participation or monitoring sponsorship impact at sporting events.
There is also the advantage of visual documentation, e.g. asking respondents to send in photos and video tools to show what a person can see or the context they are in.
There is an increase in the use of social media listening – the process of identifying and assessing what is being said online about a company, individual, product or brand.
Monitoring social media is a cost-effective way of complementing traditional market research methods and can uncover frank opinions and insights into your (and your competitors’) branding, strengths, weaknesses and perceived value.
The slow but unstoppable transition to automation analysis and reporting, will continue delivering the benefits of greater channel integration, behavioural targeting, and interaction management. Expect to see more and more systems that deliver processes, insight and results through the use of automation faster and more competitively priced.
At Stable Research we believe that innovation in technology is a key pillar for successful business and a competitive advantage. MDI RapiTest is our SMS-based mobile tool that deploys short surveys for consumers to complete in a convenient manner on their mobiles. For more information, contact us on +61 2 8556 8850.
 Grit Report: Greenbook Research Industry Trends Report, 2015