What is Mobile Market Research (MMR)?

According to Statista, over 275 million Americans are estimated to own a smartphone in 2020. That’s more than 4 in 5 people in the entire United States. Still, you probably aren’t that surprised to see this statistic.

Mobile devices are so ingrained in American culture you probably are within arm’s reach of your smartphone right now. They can arguably do just about everything a desktop can but on a smaller and more accessible device. 

The market research industry has adapted well to this evolution over the past two decades. Most surveys you encounter are more than likely at least somewhat optimized for the mobile experience.

Using mobile devices for surveys is more formally referred to as mobile market research or MMR. In this post, I will cover what MMR means, what it entails, and what you stand to gain from it.

blog: what is mobile market research?

What is Mobile Market Research?

Mobile market research, or MMR, is defined as questionnaires or communications which are delivered directly to the respondent via a wireless device such as a cell phone, personal device assistant (PDA), or tablet in order to gather insight.

You probably won’t see many PDAs these days, but smartphones and tablets are critical to the success of many modern surveys.

Read more about 4 takeaways which paint a clear picture for mobile market research.


What is the Process for Conducting MMR?

Mobile market research is also referred to as mobile computer-assisted self-administered interviewing, or MCASI. This convoluted name is rooted in the history of surveys. 

To give you a brief background, telephone surveys were far more common before internet service became a household norm. Live interviewers called respondents on the phone and recorded their answers one-by-one. 

As personal computing entered the picture, an interviewing system was developed known as computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI).

CATI involves a programmed survey only for the interviewer’s eyes in which data is digitally entered via a software. This made surveys much more efficient, and data became easier to analyze.

From here, questionnaires were then designed to be taken directly by respondents via online software. This process is appropriately referred to as computer-assisted self-administered interviewing (CASI). A more concise term for this research is an online survey.

Swap a mobile device for the desktop, and this becomes MCASI.

The respondent experience for MMR or MCASI consists of online surveys conducted via SMS text message, a mobile application, or a mobile web browser.

Typically using a touchscreen, respondents select options and type responses on a smartphone or tablet. The survey moves question by question at the respondent’s pace.

Once all the questions are answered, the respondent submits the survey back to the sponsor or a third-party market research company.

What are the Benefits of Mobile Market Research?

When thinking about the advantages of mobile market research, it is important to compare it to the alternatives. These largely include predecessors like mail surveys, telephone surveys, and desktop online surveys.

One of the main benefits of mobile market research is its exceptional ability to reach people, especially the younger generations.

In market research, you have to go where your target market is. Individuals are spending an increasing amount of time on their mobile devices to complete tasks, seek entertainment, and conduct business.

Mobile market research allows you to tap into your audience through the channel where many of them are most comfortable. 

The advent of mobile market research also introduced respondent location to the market research process.

Using geofencing capabilities, research firms are able to push targeted surveys to respondents based on locations they have been visited. This feature can make mobile surveys a far more cost-effective option than in-person intercept surveys.

Another benefit of asking questions via a mobile device is the easy integration of media responses.

Almost all smartphones and tablets come standard with a camera and microphone. MMR can leverage these device elements to obtain detailed respondent answers.

This is a great approach for ethnography, allowing individuals to capture their personal experience with a brand or product via their mobile device.

Contact Drive Research 

Drive Research is a market research company in Syracuse, NY. Our experts have optimized surveys for mobile across hundreds of studies for clients across the country and in a variety of sectors. Interested in partnering with our team for a mobile market research study?

Here are 4 ways to contact us:

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

tim gell - about the author

Tim Gell

As a Research Analyst, Tim is involved in every stage of a market research project for our clients. He first developed an interest in market research while studying at Binghamton University based on its marriage of business, statistics, and psychology. 

Learn more about Tim, here.


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