Get Connected to the Future of Research
This originally-authored article first appeared on SEMrush
The most common marketing advice is “know your audience.” If that’s the stepping stone for any good campaign, the next logical question becomes “How do I get to know my audience?”
The core of market research is to help the modern marketer make informed business decisions and develop messaging to the best target audience. It predicts and drives marketing strategy, allowing brands to follow the advice of Craig Davis when he said:
We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.
— Craig Davis
We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.
— Craig Davis
Market research was once a tool solely for large corporations with big budgets. But advances in technology now make it possible for small enterprises and individual entrepreneurs to use market research to save time and money.
And because users spend more time on mobile than on desktop, it’s imperative to reach them in that medium. The current approach to mobile marketing is to assume it’s just another channel for existing advertisements. As a result, there is a deluge of ads, which is just not what people want – the addition of ad blockers in recent iOS and OSX systems renders them less effective. Instead, consumers want personalized content that solves a problem or makes them laugh.
How do you discern what content your audience really wants? It used to be through retrospective split testing, but that really only tells you which one of your guesses worked best. Alternatively, using surveys for market research will help you understand that before you spend any time or money creating content, offers, messaging, or even products and services.
Surveys have been around for ages, and a general pen-and-paper survey or even a desktop online survey won’t cut it anymore. Why would you use an old medium – like landlines or even desktops – to find out what people want on their mobile devices? It seems silly to call consumers on their landlines to ask them what their in-app mobile device preferences are. The world is all about mobile these days; taking any other route would be counterproductive.
That’s what makes mobile surveys so powerful; people are already on their phones. So it’s the perfect time to ask them what they want to experience on those phones. Here are five tips to do that:
1. Consider the entire mobile experience. Mobile experiences aren’t only about beyond screen size. Consider the types of actions users will take: scroll or swipe? Tap or type? Does your survey require a two-handed task to enter information, or can the user flow through it with just thumb movements? Designing your survey around these expectations will create an experience that’s engaging to the end user.
2. Focus on optimizing for mobile vs. catering to all channels. When you create mobile surveys, remember that “mobile-optimized” is different than “mobile-friendly.” There are many elements to consider, and you can’t just reformat your online desktop survey for a mobile device.
3. Keep it brief. The mobile user is pressed for time. No one wants to take a six-minute survey. In fact, the best surveys take less than two minutes. Keep the number of questions short, and the answer options even shorter.
4. Make it engaging (but not onerous). Use images and videos to keep a user’s attention, but make sure the content doesn’t take up a lot of bandwidth, screen space, or time to understand the concept. If any single piece takes too long, the user will quit taking the survey and move on to something else.
5. Test your survey out before you send it. Is this a survey you would stop and take? If you aren’t willing to take it, users who aren’t invested in your idea definitely won’t be. Well-designed platforms enable you to preview the survey and take it like a user would. You should also be able to share a preview link with others so you can get unbiased feedback about the overall flow and experience.
Because anyone can have an online presence and a voice, the modern marketer is faced with the enormous challenge of trying to be seen and heard in a cluttered space. The success of any business hinges on product-market fit, and business opportunities can be revealed through relevant, meaningful market research. If you use the five tips mentioned above, you’ll find out exactly what your customers want, where they want it, and how they want it – directly on their mobile devices.
Published on Apr 26, 2016
Watch video by clicking here
Proponents and users of mobile research face a dilemma. They want to aggressively move ahead with their mobile research surveys, but at the same time they are inflicting poorly constructed and overly long mobile surveys. It soon may be too late to reverse mobile user attitudes about ignoring survey requests. Innovate MR EVP Global Operations Lisa Wilding-Brown revealed attempts through CASRO to tackle this problem.
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I was checking out the Wikipedia on Mobile Marketing Research and noticed it said:
The MMRA has an opportunity to help define Mobile Marketing Research and the issues around it such as the benefits, types of research studies, professional standards/ethics and any limitations.
If you would like to work on updating this Wikipedia definition, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the designer and developer of a qualitative smartphone platform, the prospect of big data seemed really scary to us at first.
We imagined big data’s immense potential to capture actual behavioral data, pure and uninfluenced by the effects of observation. Massive numbers that we could manipulate and cut down to tiny subgroups without fear they’d disappear below the threshold of projectability and confidence. Getting insight into actual consumer behavior and motivation at a fundamental level (like qualitative is meant to do), and doing it on a massive, projectable scale. In short, we imagined big data rendering the qualitative we help our clients do less necessary.
But the more we’ve worked with clients who have big data at their disposal, the more we’ve come to understand big data’s ability to make qualitative better, and for qualitative to help fill the insight gaps that big data points to but can’t answer. Big data is amazing at answering “what’s happening.” But it almost always leaves you wondering “why?” And when brands go out to innovate and communicate, the “what” without the “why” isn’t enough.
So, as it turns out, big data has been a huge boon to the smartphone-based qualitative work we enable our clients to execute. Big data lets them see mass-scale behavior and lets them pinpoint crucial moments and points of influence that used to be invisible. It guides smartphone qualitative to focus on exactly the right moments where consumer motivations, perception and attitudes need to be better understood.
Here’s an example. One of our clients is an industry leader in collecting, managing and mining big data, then helping their clients build communication platforms based on the insight it provides. One of their data strategists shared a story with us about a retailer who actually used big data analysis techniques to reliably identify consumers who were pregnant based on other behavioral data they collected. Though the tactic proved problematic, the power to identify a target is impressive.
Now, imagine you’re a marketer for a company that manufactures baby furniture. Big data would let you know know exactly who is about to need baby furniture, what brands and retailers they’re likely to favor to buy it, and what media they consume so you can communicate with them about it. Goldmine.
But if you want to do anything more meaningful than send them a coupon, you’ll need to understand more. If you want to innovate and communicate effectively with people who are about to bring a child into the world, you need to understand things like: “what kind of an environment they’re hoping to create in their child’s nursery, and why.” You’ll need to understand how they perceive the different brands of furniture you’ll be competing with as they shop and what’s driving those perceptions. You’ll want to understand what’s special and different about your products, and how you can talk about your furniture as something that actually brings greater value to its users. You’ll still need to find insight into the consumer need your brand and product can satisfy better than anyone else.
Would you like qual with that? And now, with smartphone qualitative, you can get that insight easily. A simple, week-long smartphone qualitative project with 50 of the consumers your big data identified can let you complete the picture, You can ride along on their smartphones and have them show you the room they’ll be turning into a nursery, and share their plans, wants and dreams. And you can bring that richness right back to your team in photo collages, audio confessions and HD video. You can ride in their pockets and purses and have them journal the pathway they take as they decide what furniture they’ll buy, and document every in-store, online and other influence along the way. You can send them out to shop your product (and your competitors) and tell you exactly what your designs are doing that’s right, and how you’re faring at retail.
And it’s not just us wondering how to add the “why” to the “what” that big data identifies. We saw a panel discussion called “Qual VS Big Data.” at Qual 360 in Washington last week where insight leaders from Cirque du Soleil, Merck, Travelocity/Orbitz and Gallup weighed in. One of the key themes that emerged? It’s not “Qual vs Big Data” at all. It’s more like “Big Data lets me see what’s happening, and Qual let’s me understand it and make it meaningful to my internal audiences.”
Suddenly, big data and qualitative are more like Batman and Robin, and less like Lex Luther and Superman. Rather than fighting for space in the insight world, our experience has taught us that big data and qualitative are more of a dynamic duo helping to raise the bar for effective innovation, brand development and communication by working together to present the whole picture. And now instead of feeling threatening, big data starts to feel exciting.
Got a Big Data "what" and want to understand "why"? We'd love to hear from you. www.overtheshoulder.com/contact
Linked from Startups.co
Maximize Your Success Rate With Mobile Market Research
by John Papadakis, Pollfish
Startup owners face a unique business challenge: Their ideas, products, features, and businesses themselves don’t have solid, market-proven research backing them up.
Basically, everything entrepreneurs do is new, and sadly, a whopping 70-90 percent of startups end up failing because the owners didn’t do their research.
To be successful as a startup founder, you have to conduct your own research and build a strong foundation to support every step you take. One of the best research methods that entrepreneurs can adopt is surveying both current and potential customers.
Surveying provides key information that helps determine whether your business is on the right track.
Typical Survey Avenues and Their Downsides
Startup owners can take a variety of approaches when it comes to customer surveys. Here are a few of the most common methods:
Each of these approaches has major disadvantages. Surveying your friends and family, for example, is a terrible way to gain true customer insights. Similarly, posting surveys on Facebook or emailing them out generates skewed results because the target audience (people you know) is biased.
Additionally, promoting surveys through advertisements is way too expensive because you pay per click rather than per completed survey. Honestly, not many people want to take a survey they hear about through an online ad anyway.
But perhaps the most egregious customer surveying error that startup owners tend to commit is not surveying at all. There are tools out there that have been built to help you effectively survey your true target audience. You just need to find a platform that targets the right audience and collect the data you need.
The Key Is to Go Mobile
Engaging your audience members — on their terms — is a crucial part of being an entrepreneur. So mobile surveys are the best way to discover your potential customers’ opinions and perceptions, their likes and dislikes, and how to better serve their needs.
No matter the industry, people are going to interact with and research your business on their mobile devices. So why not take advantage of that pre-established connection?
Understanding your target consumers is the secret behind successful product and concept development, brand awareness and engagement, ad testing, and identifying market trends. And surveys conducted via mobile devices not only receive more responses than other methods, but they also receive them more quickly and at a lower cost.
Don’t waste time and money on other options. Get the results you need by going mobile.
About the Author
With a focus on the mobile domain space, John Papadakis, co-founder and CEO of Pollfish, is passionate about platforms and businesses that scale. In line with John’s expertise and passions, Pollfish is an online survey tool utilized by both small and high-profile clients to transform intelligence with the most accurate, cost-effective, and rapid survey completion times.
Read original posting here: https://www.startups.co/articles/maximize-your-success-rate-with-mobile-market-research
Great advice in this video update from Robert Lederer and the Research Business Daily Report (RBDR) daily video news. FlexMR Insight Manager Louisa Thistlethwaite makes the argument that mobile research should no longer be directly aligned with online research. Couldn't agree more.
View the video here
Check out the blog from FlexMR here
And check out their free webinar here
Interesting excerpt from GreenBookBlog.org By Patrick Comer, CEO Lucid
"If the current trend continues, then mobile interviews will exceed PC conversion in 2016 further disrupting survey platforms and research designs that aren’t mobile friendly. Ink has been spilt over the onslaught of mobile respondents and the total lack of preparation or even care that research agencies and survey designers have for the user experience. I remember a CASRO Tech in NYC when a researcher suggested that we should ‘keep mobile respondents’ out of surveys lest they mangle norms. All of this reminds me of the challenges political researchers face as the number of cell phone-only households grow. My hunch has been that while progress has been hard to see for a number of years, a lot of good work has been done in the background in 2015 to resolve this problem. When I looked at the data, I found that mobile conversions are close to reaching parity with PC conversions. 2016 is the tipping point.
The suggested improvements to be mobile-friendly break down into a few key areas:
How well have buyers and sellers improved the mobile user experience and by what method can we judge the change? We pulled the past two years of data from the Fulcrum Exchange* looking for the difference between the conversion rates of mobile and non-mobile respondents. You’ll see incremental improvements began to accelerate during the second half of 2015.
* all data comes from the Fulcrum Exchange from January 2014 to January 2016 including almost 30 million interviews over 24 months and used by over 200 buyers and 300 suppliers across 80 countries.
Over the past two years, we saw an increase in the total number of interviews (2.6x overall growth). In that same time frame, the number of interviews from mobile respondents grew by almost 700%.
Not only are the number of mobile completes growing but more mobile survey takers are showing up. In early 2014, 13% of all survey sessions coming were from a mobile device. By the end of 2015, this number had increased to 23%.
More importantly, the % of all completes that are taken on a mobile device has risen by 2.5x over the 24 months period reaching 20% of all surveys on the platform. Many will say that that only 23% mobile entrants is low compared to other platforms. My guess is that panel companies over-index historically to PC users given that most surveys wouldn’t render on the mobile device. Is this a learned response?"
In early 2014, PC users were 76% more likely to complete a survey than a mobile user. Now, we are reaching parity between the two. What’s important is that overall conversion rates in Fulcrum have doubled in the past 24 months… so it’s a tripling of mobile conversion rates in the same time frame. The improvement was even more dramatic over the course of 2015 alone.
Length of interview (LOI) is getting shorter not longer for the first time in forever. We looked at the number of surveys under certain LOIs: less than five minutes, less than 10 minutes, and less than 20 minutes. Across the board we see shorter LOIs, but the largest growth area was in the “<5 min” from 2% to 7% of all surveys.
The volume of mobile respondents in surveys is rapidly increasing. Half of all surveys in January 2014 had ZERO mobile responses compared to only 20% now.
So what’s going on here? Why are mobile conversion rates improving?"
Click here to read Patrick Comer's full article on greenbookblog.org
By Leonard Murphy, Editor in Chief, GreenBook Blog and GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report. Reposted with permission from GreenBookBlog.org
Suppliers who aren’t leading with a mobile optimized and shorter solution to client requests are doing the client, themselves, and the industry a disservice.
Also new to this wave of GRIT was a series of questions about how GRIT respondents are adapting to mobile. This is an excerpt from the rough draft (the charts will be much prettier in the report!) on the findings from that area of exploration in the study.
First, we asked how many of their surveys are designed for mobile. This was a verbatim response where they were asked to enter a whole number, and for ease of analysis we have grouped responses into five buckets.
The results show that we still have a ways to go. 45% of suppliers and 30% of clients indicate that between 75% and 100% of all surveys they deploy are designed for mobile participation, but that leaves well over 50% of all surveys NOT mobile optimized.
A few stark differences standout between clients and suppliers, perhaps understandably so. If we accept the proposition that buyers of research expect suppliers to drive best practice adoption for all studies deployed through them, then the higher percentage of suppliers ensuring that the majority of surveys they field is good news, however it’s still a minority overall.
The numbers don’t look much better when looking at the total sample (N=1,497), with respondents citing their percentage of mobile optimized surveys being deployed as 0 – 13%; 1 to 25 -22%; 26 to 50 – 15%, 51 to 75- 8% and 76 to 100 – 42%. The bottom line is that only about 50% of all surveys are designed to be mobile. That is progress to be sure, but we as an industry still have much work to do to fit well in a mobile-first world.
In the next question, perhaps we uncovered the reason why mobile is still not the first thing surveys designers focus on: the average length of surveys being fielded.
In general, roughly one out of three of all GRIT respondents fall into one of three groups: surveys of less than 10 minutes, of between 11 and 15 minutes, or over 16 minutes. To dive a bit deeper, here is a full breakdown of the specific brackets we identified:
Perhaps most surprisingly is the finding that clients in a two to one ratio are reporting fielding surveys of less than 5 minutes, which is a hopeful sign to be sure, although suppliers seem to be the culprits in conducting longer surveys of between 11 and 20 minutes.
Overall, when averaging all responses the average length of survey is 15 minutes, but as the range of responses clearly show over 1/3 of all surveys are still over that number, almost by default that means they are likely unsuited for a mobile participant.
Finally, we asked GRIT participants what they thought the maximum length of an online survey should be. Importantly, we did not ask specifically what the maximum length should be on a mobile device, so it is perhaps our own oversight in making that clear and it is possible results might have been different if we had explicitly stated that. However, since this question was clustered with the previous question specifically related to mobile, we do expect that mobile was at least a consideration in their responses. Regardless, the results could perhaps best be summed up with “whatever we answered previously as the average length, is the best length”, since the results do in fact closely mirror one another overall, although a higher percentage of research clients felt that under 10 minutes was ideal vs, what is currently being deployed.
Again, when averaging all responses, 15 minutes is the result, which also corresponds to the largest response category.
Considering the myriad studies by both panel and survey software providers presented in whitepapers, at events, via webinars, etc.. that support the idea that the optimal length of a surveys in a mobile-first world is less than 10 minutes, it’s encouraging to see that 52% of research clients report that as the ideal, while only 36% of suppliers report a similar goal, with fully another 32% of suppliers stating between 11 and 15 minutes is the ideal.
Often we hear suppliers stating that their inability to migrate to a mobile first or shorter survey design is due to client demand. Certainly GRIT data shows that this might be true to some extent, but a large contingent of clients seem to be embracing shorter mobile optimized surveys (which also likely explains the rapid growth of many suppliers such as Google Consumer Surveys for example).
For this round we also tracked participation by mobile vs. PC and the results are telling: Almost 40% of GRIT respondents participated via a mobile device (phone, tablet or “phablet”) with the remainder via a desktop/laptop. GRIT was optimized to be device agnostic in terms of the survey design, although the length of survey was still around 15 minutes, but interestingly the drop-off rate was higher among PC/Laptop users, indicating that a “mobile first” design can mitigate completion rates and increase respondent engagement.
Based on our own sample it must be pointed out that it is increasingly important to account for a large percentage of mobile device users within any sample, whether it be B2B or consumer.
Perhaps the key implication here is that suppliers who aren’t leading with a mobile optimized and shorter solution to client requests are doing the client, themselves, and the industry a disservice.
Consumers, shoppers and business people are using mobile devices in new ways every day around the world.
Mobile devices are rapidly bringing the ability for everyone to communicate what is happening at any and every moment.
Whether they are shopping, dining, at work or traveling - it’s clear that people are sharing their opinions, photos, videos, stories and moments that are important to them. These are the moments that define their personal stories.
To thrive in the future, successful marketers and researchers know they have to adapt new methods of observing and listening in order to understand their customers and prospects. Mobile Marketing Research allows clients and researchers unprecedented access into the everyday lives of people around the world.
With Mobile Marketing Research, it is possible for researchers to see user-generated videos, photos, send messages to and read immediate responses from participants and listen to the actual voice of the customer while they are in the moment, where it matters most to marketers.
In addition, privacy is a concept that millions of consumers may be willing to sacrifice, at least in part, to receive valuable content that is tailored towards their likes and interests.
Learning to design studies to take advantage of the new mobile technologies and changes in respondent behaviour, exploring ways to make sense of complex data and setting guidelines for ethical use of personal information is what the MMRA is about. We accomplish this through the cooperative efforts of the best professionals in the industry who want to make research more meaningful for clients and enjoyable for participants.
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