My mobile phone keeps asking me things

My mobile phone keeps asking me things

Mobile market research and mobile surveys are hot. Researchers are coming round to the idea of doing insight collection using mobile devices. Slowly but getting there!

But do you know who likes mobile surveys even more than market researchers? Your customers! They are more mobile now than ever before and the shift from PC browsing to smartphone browsing (and shopping, using social networks, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, etc.) has happened faster than anyone thought possible. Mobile is no longer an afterthought, it should be a goal from the start. In this article we explore the enormously exciting benefits of people feeding back views and opinions on mobile devices. A thrilling journey into new insights, what they mean and why they matter. Research at the speed of 4G. (and soon even 5G)!

1. In the moment

People carry their phones everywhere. They have them when they buy things, when they consume things and when they experience customer service. There is nothing better than asking them to give feedback at that exact instant. Anything that helps get closer to the point of brand interaction will better inform why people do the things they do and what they actually experience. And at a more basic level people forget! Asking them why they did something two weeks ago is likely to be hazy and is almost certainly subject to post-purchase rationalisation.

2. Understand the context

Capturing feedback through mobile phones can provide context for the behaviour, decision or brand experience. Take exposure to advertising for example. The response to a given brand message can be very different depending on whether the person is rushing about or whether they are calmly sitting at home where you might have their full attention. So capturing context can shed much light on why certain messages or experiences can elicit very different outcomes, reactions and responses.

3. Capture emotion

Similar to context, mobile phone research can help capture people’s emotions at the time of decision, purchase or brand experience. Measuring emotions is important because they are great predictors of behaviour. Knowing what events precipitate what emotions therefore (e.g. during interactions with staff, in the shop, on the phone), can help design better products, services and messages for them. For example you can ask how someone felt before, during and after a certain experience at the relevant time. Something not possible before mobile research came on the scene.

4. Rich content

Mobile research frees respondents from long, tedious and boring questionnaires. It means that they can experience surveys with rich content that use images, sound and video. Important features that raise engagement and feedback quality. But that’s not all. More importantly you can now collect video, audio and photo content from respondents and know where they are, what they are doing, who they are with, what they see, and what they hear.

5. Bring the elephant in the room

Imagine capturing customer feedback instantly when your brand promise hasn’t delivered against expectations. Being able to feel people’s pain can make your staff care enough (and know enough) to want to do something about it. Mobile research comes into its own here. Its saliency means that the empathy and resolve to do something can be rapidly pushed up the chain. Having specific examples of ‘customer voice’ to take to the board will spur the drive for greater customer-centricity and focus.

6. Its amazingly quick

It sounds simple but speed is a fantastic business advantage. Being able to turn around solid insight quickly helps timely decision making and a nimble approach. In the former words of many clients “I’ve now got the answer but it’s too late do anything with it.”

7. Its longitudinal

A limitation of almost all research is that it only looks at consumers at a single point in time – the time they receive and complete the questionnaire. Mobile research overcomes this limitation. It allows brands to connect and observe people over a much longer period of time. For this reason mobile research is particularly suited to online communities.

Because of ease and convenience people are willing to participate in studies over much longer periods and therefore information about their changing attitudes, behaviours and experience can be collected during the entire period of the brand experience from initial awareness to post purchase satisfaction and loyalty.

So there you are, seven reasons why mobile research is immensely useful and why we believe it will become the norm in the future. But there is a final note. Even more exciting is the use of responsive technologies which let people take part in feedback on the mobile phone and then collecting real depth using a more traditional survey approach at home on a PC or tablet. Seamlessly and without fuss. This captures the best of both worlds.

The ‘in the moment’ experience which gives direct evidence of how a product or service performs at the time of delivery; subsequently matched against wider brand equity measures including trust and loyalty. A brave new world, where we can for the first time get a perfectly holistic view of the customer’s relationship with a brand. We are entering a very exciting time of insight possibilities and opportunities.

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