4 Lessons from the Market Research in the Mobile World Conference

By the Editors

Earlier this summer, a major global conference focused on Market Research in the Mobile World. Practitioners came together to discuss case studies, research methodologies, when mobile research is appropriate, and the most efficient technologies to get it done. With a full agenda, it’s hard to capture the conference’s big takeaways in a single post. But there were four big lessons that can help every firm that’s working with mobile market research be more effective and creative in their efforts.Human Inaccuracy Makes Measuring Social Sentiment Hard: A lot of discussion on the best ways to leverage social media explores the importance of social listening. Social listening is when you mine organic social media conversations to understand whether discussions are positive or negative. You also look for big trends, themes, and problems that can be addressed. But simple human error in the way things are spelled, strange abbreviations of names, etc. can cause market researchers to miss important information. This affects planning in two ways. The first is to make sure that you’re tracking all known variations, including unusual spellings or punctuation. The second is to weight your data accordingly as it may not truly represent the whole social sentiment picture.

Mobile Research Needs to Reflect Mobile Reality: Respondents on a mobile phone are dealing with data constraints, a small screen and potentially limited time. Highly visually intensive surveys, those that take 30 minutes to respond to, or those that require several long typed answers are likely to have higher abandonment rates and cause frustration with your survey pool. Surveys optimized for mobile are short, look for specific real-time answers (e.g. respond while you shop to this shopping survey!), and are context appropriate.

Go Beyond a Survey on a Phone: The ability to conduct a survey on your mobile phone has created tremendous opportunities for researchers to get in situ feedback on a variety of experiences, from events to shopping and beyond. But the potential for mobile far exceeds just replicating the same research format (the survey) on a new platform. The use of research games/apps, QR codes, and more can not only increase engagement, but leverages the mobile platform in a unique and appropriate way.

Tie Your Data to Actual Impact On Your Company: During the conference, Columbia University researcher Don Sexton released the findings of his major survey Marketing ROI in the Era of Big Data. The takeaways were some startling facts – the data might be big, but the impact isn’t always as large on the actual actions businesses are taking. Here are some surprising facts about how marketers are using data:

  • 91% of senior corporate marketers believe that successful brands use customer data to drive marketing decisions
  • Yet, 39% say their own company’s data is collected too infrequently or not real-time enough
  • 57% are not basing their marketing budgets on any ROI analysis