The tech world moves forward, but market research isn’t an industry to jump into anything too quickly. But being slow to adapt to new trends and technology is exactly what makes traditional market research methods so outdated. While the rest of the tech world forges ahead, data foot-dragging won’t do. And, while it’s true that not every trend is bandwagon-worthy, some are absolutely necessary to market research survival.
Take mobile market research, for example. As the overarching trend for 2015, market researchers must consider how, where, and when subjects are using their mobile phones to better understand collected insights. Here’s why smaller screens are the next big thing in market research.
According to insights collected by Kleiner Perkins Caufield, the average mobile phone user checks their phone around 150 times per day: 23 times for messaging, 22 times for voice calls, and even 18 times per day just to check the time.
With mobile phones veritably glued to subjects’ hands, mobile optimization is a must. Too often, surveys and polls are created for desktop viewing, when that’s not how they’re consumed. Tiny circular buttons, long survey matrixes, and the necessity of scrolling back and forth can make users become frustrated and close out surveys before they’re completed.
The market research industry, as a whole, must admit that one method of delivery is not a catch-all. Instead, optimization for the user creates a better experience and can foster more complete results.
You can learn a lot from a person’s mobile phone usage, and it’s not just whether they prefer Samsung or Apple. The meta data culled from a mobile phone can give hints for actual location, whether or not the subject was using WiFi, and how often they’re accessing a survey or poll. For someone trying to understand the advantages and disadvantages of using mobile commerce, this meta-data can be very helpful.
Think about the last time you checked your phone: It probably only took a few seconds. Mobile is an exciting market research development because it offers users the chance to experience data collection methods in modules, rather than long, drawn-out surveys. A quick poll, answered while waiting at the doctor’s office might be more effective and even elicit better results than playing 20-questions at home on a desktop computer.
What’s more, the quick, bite-sized nature of mobile consumption can result in higher participation numbers for better statistical significance.
Traditional market research methods take time: The subjects must first answer questions, with that data being analyzed and reported after the fact. But mobile market research offers real-time feedback. A restaurant, for instance, supplying a tablet as part of the process of paying the check, could get feedback on the meal, the servers, and the overall experience. That immediate feedback is invaluable to those in the service industry. Also, using mobile games for market research and intelligence is another cutting edge method that is becoming more popular in 2015.
As subjects spend more and more time on their phones, it’s only natural to match your innovative market research strategy to the why, what, and when of all that mobile interaction. While not every trend is lasting, mobile definitely isn’t going anywhere: Get on board or your data could be DOA.