If your market research is not mobile it’s not representative

If your market research is not mobile it’s not representative 1024 680 Ryan Garner

The market research industry has been painfully slow at moving to mobile. For a long time mobile surveys have been the inferior sidekick to web surveys. In recent years, the most forward thinking online surveys have been designed for web and then “optimised” for mobile. And there’s still a significant proportion of online surveys that are not even optimised for mobile.

The excuse in the past was that smartphones were not mainstream enough to reach a representative online audience. This is simply not true anymore. We now need to lead with mobile and retro fit the survey for the web. If the survey doesn’t work on mobile, the research project will miss out on key demographic groups.

The chart below shows how smartphone ownership has surpassed laptop ownership in recent years.

device ownership

Mobile Representative Insights

Furthermore, there is only a small difference in smartphone and laptop ownership among over 55 year olds. Smartphone ownership is also much more representative of the online population in terms of social grade than laptop owners. C2 and DE social grades are less likely to own a laptop that a smartphone.

profile of device ownership

In fact, fixed line internet enabled devices like laptops and desktops are becoming much less important for C1, C2 and DE online adults. It is likely that the day-to-day internet needs are being fulfilled by mobile devices and therefore the necessity to replace laptops and desktops has eroded.

most important device

With smartphones being the most important device for accessing the internet, it is time that researchers made mobile research their primary channel for data collection. Research buyers are moving in the right direction as this chart shows…

mobile survey usage

But this data does not show the full picture. Even though 65% of research buyers “use” mobile surveys, they might not use them across all of the relevant projects. According to Confirmit, the leading enterprise software for online panels,  50% of all surveys are not mobile optimised.

New horizons with mobile market research

Mobilising data collection also has huge benefits as it enables passive data collection too. Why ask a question about what smartphone they have when you could just pull that information from the device?. Mobilising data collection can provide a much more integrated approach to customer insight and reduce the length of surveys. Survey questions should just be used to fill the gaps of information you cannot gather passively.

We’re confident mobile native research is the way forward so we built the first multi-source data exchange for market research! Interested? Request an invite to take a look around…

Photo credit: William Iven

Ryan Garner

Ryan has provided insights to global brands, helping shape products and services around real customer needs. He has spent the past 3 years helping businesses think about the opportunities in the personal information economy. He now brings this experience to CitizenMe. As much as Ryan loves technology, he likes to escape by growing fruit and veg on an allotment with his kids. And if you have not already heard, Ryan is a very smug Leicester City supporter right now!

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