Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mobile Market Research: What's Now, What's Next and Industry Resources

Today we sat in on The Virtual Launch of the Handbook of Mobile Market Research hosted by NewMR. The launch filled us in on mobile and a lot of what we have already talked about in the past, but gave us a new fresh point of view with what is trending now and what we will see next in the world of mobile market research. Besides mobile getting us closer to being in-the-moment and gaining behavioral insights we have never been able to access before - the methodology in general and how we need to design it moving forward goes much deeper than that. 

The book titled "The Handbook of Mobile Market Research" by industry professionals Sue York, Ray Poynter and Navin Williams is now available for your enjoyment and is here to help you understand how you can improve the way you conduct mobile market research moving forward. Continue reading to learn about some of the highlights of the launch featuring a Q&A with market research leadership panel speakers and check out Chapter 8 of the book titled "Designing and Conducting Mobile Surveys."

5 Takeaways from the Panel Discussion on Mobile Market Research

1. Why is Mobile Important?

Mobile is ubiquitous in our society, more and more of the "Internet of Things" is becoming mobile. It goes far beyond the devices and it is a fabric of our lives. Mobile is the preferred communication device of society and it changes the way we do everything, and it requires us to think differently too.

2. A Key Trend in Mobile Market Research to Watch Out For

Finding ways to collect data both passively and actively are really important moving forward and enhancing the user experience to feel less like another survey. Kristin Luck, CEO at Decipher talked about as an industry the need to shift our minds to get a more wholesome view moving forward, or providing a "research intelligence platform."

3. The Extent in Which Mobile is Already Here

"Mobile is definitely here and our curriculum has changed and it is becoming more in demand"(Mark Michelson, CEO at Threads Qualitative Research). More agencies seem to be married to their existing technology and methodologies and they are the ones that are going to miss out on these opportunities. From telephone to online, online to mobile is a completely different beast. It is not there to “replace” existing studies, rather to supplement and bring research to life.

4. New Developments in Mobile Market Research

Richard Owen, CEO at CrowdLab made a fantastic point during the discussion on this topic. We are beginning to understand that mobile is really about the person, people are really busy and people live fragmented lives. We need to we need to immerse ourselves into their lives and find out what’s going on around a certain topic. The key is collecting these fragments of information and piecing them together. People are using apps more and more, people are more willing to download them, but you have to keep them engaged. (Our attention spans are shorter). A lot of the new developments are going to be about cracking the view that it is just another survey and part of something much bigger.

5. Transparency is Needed in Effective Research Design 

One of the things we have had a hard time with as mobile is in it's early stages is designing the experience effectively for the mobile user. Panel speaker Mark Michelson also made a comment during the Q&A session that the user experience and learning what it is like to be an actual participant of the studies we are designing is key to making them better moving forward. We agree 110%! More qualitative data needs to be captured from our target respondents and in addition it wouldn't hurt for us to participate in our own studies, too.

A Look Into The Handbook of Mobile Market Research

One really cool thing about this book we forgot to mention besides the great depth of knowledge behind the cover is that one of the authors, Ray Poynter, along with some of his colleagues at Vision Critical are preparing for a 500km cycle in 5 days to support Hands Across the Water, a non-profit child placing agency. The authors of The Handbook of Mobile Market Research were so kind to share a chapter of their upcoming book with us for you to check out. Chapter 8 of the book, Designing and Conducting Mobile Surveys dives into mobile surveys that are conducted via web based approaches and through sample sourced panels and communities.

Understanding that mobile itself is still in it's infancy stages and the industry is experimenting and learning new tricks and methodologies together (although not as quickly as we would have liked). Our customers are ready and have adopted but as an industry we lack confidence of mobile as a standalone solution and try to add it into other efforts instead of fully grasping the concept of mobile on its own. Instead of jumping forward to what device is going to be next and how we can capture information, let's talk about what is next from where we stand right now.

As a technology provider to the research industry, it is important to concentrate more on the mobile survey experience in a web browser in addition to survey apps that already exist today. While apps have been able to provide closer to in-the-moment data, retaining the app user is becoming increasingly difficult as our attention spans shorten. Like it or not, people are going to be taking surveys from links in e-mails on mobile web browsers for quite some time and we need to improve that experience moving forward across the board.

If you would like to listen in on the panel discussion from today's NewMR Mobile Market Research Virtual Book Launch, you will shortly be able to access it here under NewMR's Play it Again.

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