Mobile research has reached its culmination due to the introduction of touch screen technology, which has revolutionized the way people use and perceive their mobile devices. Market researchers are now capable of monitoring mobile browsing trends and behaviors, allowing analysts to conduct questionnaires and surveys using these same devices. The increased benefits for consumers include a greater extension of the customer's reach to improve the experience of the respondents. With faster response times, this means that the opinions of more people can be analyzed and applied to market data and consumer demands. This information is much more useful if customer insights are gathered during the experience, because it provides indications into what people are thinking while they are considering a specific purchase.
Point of Decision
One thing we have learned from Behavioral Economics is that humans are much less rational than we believe ourselves to be. Mobile research allows market researchers to get closer to the exact moment we make decisions, or the point of decision. This provides better information into the decision-making process and explains why people behave in a particular way. If companies have a better understanding of why people make their decisions, they can tailor their product and services to better meet customer demands.
On a more fundamental level, it is important to provide surveys during their experience because people forget. If you ask a consumer to provide feedback from an experience days or even weeks prior, the data collected is hazy and prone to post-purchase rationalizations. If respondents provide data during the experience, it holds much more truth since it is an instinctual response.
Links Emotions to an Event
Emotions are an excellent predictor of human behavior. If information is gathered during a consumer experience, the company will receive better clues about the context in which they are received. The message conveyed when a consumer is under stress is much different than when they have had time to process their thoughts and perceptions. Knowing what events or interactions precipitate these emotions will allow companies to better design their products and services. Responses which are conducted after the experience may not be as strong as those received "in the moment".
When companies have true emotional responses to their product or services, it facilitates more immediate changes and innovations. When the corporate decision-makers can empathize with the customer and feel their pain or frustration, it will result in immediate reaction. It will better inform "the people in charge" of what needs to be changed and cause a stronger emotional response from the company so they will do something about it. Mobile research provides customer proof to help drive a customer-centric change rather than relying on the speculation of analysts.
The strongest argument for mobile research is the speed at which it can be conducted. If trends continue along their current path, mobile devices will soon become the primary means to browse the internet. While it is true that certain demographics are more heavily represented among mobile users, this is quickly changing to include a vast majority of the American population. Mobile research allows a greater number of people to be reached in a much shorter time span since nearly every consumer will have some type of mobile device. Marketers and researchers are now able to access consumers via their preferred mode of communication. This provides a convenient and personalized means to collect data, which greatly increases the response rate.
With increased response rates, companies have a broader perspective of what their customers want. Having tangible insights into the consumer psyche facilitates a faster corporate response and a more agile market approach. To put it simply, if companies understand what the customers want when they want it, they are going to get a faster response due to mobile research. It has streamlined the process of gathering qualitative and quantitative data and eliminated the need for the middle man.
Written by Michael Smith, Director of Panel & Senior Mobile Research Specialist at MFour Mobile Research.