It is true that for many consumers, their daily routine cannot be completed without a smartphone – an unofficial extension of the human arm – at the ready. But how does this inform our ability to access audiences that have ever-evolving preferences about how we should interact with them?
In terms of gathering the information available on these devices passively or interrupting someone’s day-to-day to ask them questions (or some combination of those) – how much data do we append to other insights and cross-reference from what we’ve gathered? How much do we ask?
Since these devices are “always on,” immediate access makes gathering insights through mobile surveys, rich media submissions, bar-code scans, and other sensors available on the devices, easier. It also enables us to build a “profile” of the types of audiences and behaviours that were once excessively challenging to target – authentic interactions, at the time of consumption or experience, in the natural environment, over time and in-the-moment.
But, at the same time that many people who own mobile devices want them to be “at-the-ready” for use constantly, an important factor to consider is that mobile device owners also care about data privacy and how data is used. With data privacy now in the spotlight, we must consider as part of our approach the importance of “permissioned” data.
Adding to the look at the current state of mobile today, many organisations have questions about mobile consumer behaviour as it stands. Mobile devices have a major impact on the process around purchase decisions, and companies want to better understand how they can and should influence someone at a particular location in the moment of purchase. Mobile insights can help grow businesses when the right data is collected – either directly from the device, from the consumer, or when combined with other robust data.
Mobile Collection Benefits and Challenges
First-Party Mobile Data is Enriching the Customer Experience
It can sometimes be challenging to define and understand the marketplace through traditional research modes. Mobile research improves how panellists share feedback through rich multimedia responses for product, placement and usage. Rich media responses help maximise accuracy while the availability and mobility of the mobile device provides better coverage.
Gathering User Insights through Smartphone Sensors
In this advanced era of mobile data gathering, we utilise the smartphone’s most critical sensors (the microphone and camera) to measure how consumers are interacting with their environment in real time. Sensors allow you to observe consumers in their natural environment as they interact with products from the store, to the home and at the moment of consumption.
Research Now SSI mobile technology and global audience reach enables brand marketers to accurately:
- Passively measure store visitation via first-person missions
- Geo-track panellists for reactions to outdoor & indoor ads
- Engage respondents’ reactions to mobile ads through mobile diaries
Shopper Insights and In-Context Feedback
Mobile sensors provide access to the consumer shopping experience and in-context feedback to learn how placement, price and packaging impact purchase. Evaluate your products where it matters most—at the point of purchase.
- Geo-fence grocery and convenience stores to target consumers as they shop
- In-the-moment end-cap evaluation at retail locations
- “Walk-around” mobile diaries shared live from automotive dealerships
Challenges around Geo-Based Mobile Data Collection
While technology is improving rapidly, mobile research techniques are relatively new (advancements have occurred within the last decade) and there are still challenges around fielding these types of studies:
Geo-targeting capabilities are more sophisticated and accurate than they were even six months ago. However, stores with steel walls may limit connectivity, or individual stores within enclosed, multi-level indoor malls are still difficult to accurately geo-fence.
To ensure accuracy, it is important to use polygons or rooftop coordinates, specifically the coordinates at the centre of the building. Simply translating a postal address into a GPS coordinate may result in sending a respondent to a parking lot or a nearby road instead of guiding them into the correct building.
It is also important to identify the correct trigger type for the study, i.e. whether the survey is triggered when someone arrives at a certain location, when they leave it, or after they spend a certain amount of time at the location.
Keep questionnaire design in mind. Consider reducing the usage of survey methods that aren’t mobile-friendly, like long surveys or large grids. Favour customer-centric approaches to avoid the risk of over-saturating the same group of respondents with questions.
According to the 2017 GRIT Report survey, 74% of respondents used mobile surveys in their market research. That’s good news–but are they using these mobile surveys effectively? Will surveys and questionnaires continue to be useful in the future, in the face of new and developing research technologies like facial recognition, virtual reality, AI, and big data analytics?
Mobile data collection using geo-targeting is a key component in today’s research methodology. When people access a survey at a specific location and answer questions while they are there, these answers can often be richer than those given later in a “recall” situation. The combination of passive data collection (provides much of the where, what and when data) with in-the-moment mobile research (provides the how and the why data) is one of the most powerful insight deliverables available in 2018.