Better Research Mobile or Other?
Research into customer demand and opinions is being done, increasingly, in real time. According to a study by Resolve Market Research, Cint and Thumbspeak, results from mobile phones and online surveys provide roughly equivalent results. The researchers argue that they can either complement one another, or run separately, “to provide very timely and reliable insights.”
Split between 866 American iPhone and Tablet users, participants were asked about how the instruments were used.
“What’s surprising is that regardless of taking the survey on a smartphone or online, respondents’ data look very similar,” Elaine Coleman, co-founder and chief research officer at Resolve Market Research, said in a statement. “Yet, what differed significantly were the higher response rates and completion rates in favor of iPhones (43 percent Mobile versus 24 percent Online). Although more research is needed to understand the “novelty effect” of the mobile platform, taken together, the advantages of surveying consumers on mobile might outweigh the disadvantages of online. Most importantly, you can now access consumers’ decision-making and preferences in natural, relevant and real-time contexts.”
LightspeedAhead likewise conducted a study last year that touted the benefits of mobile research, based primarily on speed and its potential with younger respondents. Parallel studies amongst mobile and online participants in the U.S. and U.K. aimed “to test response times and demographic reach”, found “results…clearly demonstrated the significant strengths of a mobile survey, particularly in regard to response rates, response times, and demographic reach.”
Preferences for online research seem to pre-date mobile developments. In June 2011, Synovate compared new mobile developments with early online research but emphasized the “prevalence of the technologies and the speed” at which mobile has spread would make a significant difference. Thomas Edwards, global head of mobile solutions, advises helping clients consider whether mobile research is best for their needs.
“You have to work with them, guide them and make sure that the right decisions are made,” he told research-live. Location-based services, for example, are a “game changer” according to Mr. Edwards, but the challenge is to supplement traditional methods.
Defending online, marketest.co.uk’s website mentions advantages such as precision targeting, international coverage, affordability, reliability, versatility and speed. To be fair, however, these were not dated and quite possibly based on applications that current mobile technology overcomes, such as using video and images as well as comparison to face-to-face and postal data collection methods. B2binternational, meanwhile, referred to Unilever’s excitement about online replacing “other methods” based on cost and speed – back in the technological dark ages of 2007.
- Mobile Versus Online Research – Resolve Market Research
- The benefits of mobile research – LightSpeedAhead Newsletter
- Mobile research: return to the wild west? – research-live
- The benefits of online research – B2B International
- Online market research advantages – marketest.co.uk
Discussion Questions: What do you think are the opportunities as well the challenges around mobile research? How may mobile complement (or supplant) newer online consumer research methods as well as more traditional ones?