The foundation of market research is curiosity and learning. It's about employing processes and procedures to collect new information or confirm information on a topic. As one of the pre-eminent writers of twentieth-century Zora Neale Hurston once famously said:
Perhaps it's curiosity which drives us researchers to crave new insights and content. I find myself combing the internet for new methodologies, to read up on new market research approaches, and often have a Quirk's magazine on the night stand next to my bed more often than not. It's this curiosity which is one of the 13 traits makes us good researchers.
One of the more talked about topics in the market research industry these days is mobile research. It's not only a hot button topic in market research but across the marketing landscape. Mobile behavior is driving revenue growth at Facebook and quite literally across all digital marketing channels including video, banner and SEM.
"There is no market research for mobile anymore, mobile is market research."
It's no different in the survey world where more and more users are using their mobile device for research purposes. Much like the days of landline telephone calls molding into cell phone calls, the days of desktop and PC survey completions are now molding into mobile survey completions.
Although I missed the recent Mobile Research L&E Research webinar with Ray Poynter from #NewMR, I did have a chance to watch the recorded version of the presentation and browse through the slides. The discussion was excellent and left Drive Research with plenty of key takeaways and statistics which highlight the impact of mobile research which we'll share with you here.
Here are 4 takeaways which paint a clearer picture for mobile market research, all derived from the L&E Research webinar.
Over 30% of Surveys Start on Mobile, Yet Only 25% of Surveys are Mobile Suitable
Nearly 1 in 3 surveys start on a mobile device. However, only 1 in 4 surveys are actually deemed mobile suitable. Meaning some aspects of a survey may be mobile friendly but users are likely to run into formatting issues and messy displays on 3 of every 4 surveys published. In a world where a survey complete is getting more and more difficult, poor experiences like this further encourage dropouts.
Even if you don't expect your audience to take your survey on a mobile device they are likely to anyway. Such is the case with many B2B surveys sent during business hours. You may expect the majority of completes to come in via PC, but business respondents are attached to their mobile device as much as consumers these days. They are on-the-go and time is of the essence.
Very soon 50% of market research data will be collected via mobile devices as we head into 2017. If you cannot create a mobile friendly survey, you may want to rethink your project or rethink your strategy. Market research must be designed with mobile in-mind first.
47% of U.S. Households are Cell Phone Only, Up From Less Than 5% in 2004
Not only has cell phones impacted online survey research but it has also impacted telephone research as well. Nearly 50% of adults live in households with wireless telephone services. In addition, 3 in 4 interviews are now conducted via cellphone. The impact of mobile has changed the way market research is done since the early 2000s. True for both phone and online research.
Nearly 1 in 2 households have only wireless telephone services. In addition, 3 in 4 telephone surveys are now completed via cell phones according to Pew.
Think Short Questions, Short Answer Choices, Short Scales
Very true in theory, but largely not acted upon by market research firms. I've seen some surveys that list 10 to 12 answer choices many of which extend over 2 lines, on a desktop, let alone mobile. I'd imagine on mobile, I'd still be scrolling to read all 12 answer choices. The ability to be succinct is essential. Both with individual questions and for the survey as a whole.
The idea behind mobile friendly as shown in this video is to think brevity. Think about writing short surveys (less than 3 minutes), short answer choices (3 to 5 maximum), and short scales (1 to 5 scales instead of 1 to 10.) This type of brevity trades additional survey responses for deeper responses. We all know in-depth open-ended answers are unlikely on mobile to begin with. Not many will peck away a novel in their open-ended comment box on their smartphone as they would with a laptop keyboard.
Use "Mobile" Phones to Your Advantage in Market Research
The example the presenter used was taking advantage of your mobile survey app (if you have a panel) or your mobile qualitative platform (bulletin board, MROC, etc.) by allowing users to upload pictures. Since respondents are on their smartphone anyway, the are likely very comfortable with their photo capabilities.
Ask them to take a picture instead of asking respondents in a survey to select or enter a quantity for "how many boxes of cereal are in your kitchen cabinet?" In addition, the photo will be more accurate than an estimate or guess. It will also save a question in your survey from asking a follow-up question about "what brands are in your kitchen cabinet?" Simple ideas like these save time for the respondent and make it easier to complete a survey. This helps everyone.
Interested in learning more about how to make your online survey more mobile friendly? Watch this 4-minute video from Drive Research.
Drive Research is a mobile market research company in Syracuse, NY. Interested in conducting mobile-friendly online research for your next project? Contact us at 315-303-2040 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.