We need to talk about mobile optimisation

We need to talk about mobile optimisation 1024 683 Josh Hedley-Dent

In case anyone’s just waking up from a nap spanning back to the mid 00’s, a quick recap: mobile is kind of a big deal. More people globally now own a smartphone than own a toothbrush as they have become the primary access point to the internet. Whilst market research has been slightly slow jumping on the mobile bandwagon, we’re now seeing more and more research buyers looking to mobile surveys to help solve their business problems. So mobile optimisation for surveys should be the norm right?

mobile survey usage

Wrong. Whilst buyers are showing an increasing desire to use mobile surveys, as an industry, market research has not adequately evolved to complement this shift. Whilst most surveys can now be opened and viewed on any device, there is still a distinct lack of mobile optimisation for surveys, with just 15% being truly tailor made for the device.

Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 16.31.04This statistic is even more shocking when placed in the context that this figure has risen by just 2% over the last 3 years, showing that we have not changed in line with how respondents are interacting with surveys. As addressed in our blog last week, not catering for mobile surveys can raise serious questions about the representativeness of studies. To continue to have relevancy, market research needs to do far more to adapt to mobile & improve mobile optimisation.

No mobile optimisation = bad data quality

The perils of ignoring mobile optimisation are now well documented. As well as hugely increased drop out rates, non-optimised surveys also see more speeders and straightliners than when they have been designed specifically for mobile. Even assuming respondents are patient enough to put up with bad design, there is the high risk of respondents completely missing part of the question or response options that aren’t shown on the immediate screen they’re on.


What this leads to is bad data quality. And with declining data quality a real concern in the industry (56% of market researchers believe that current data collection methods are broken), research sellers need to do more to ensure their surveys are mobile optimised, and buyers need to make sure they hold their sellers to account. As the fastest growing type of research, ensuring we optimise to mobile will be key to maintaining quality data in the future, and enabling us to accurately make recommendations on business decisions.

Mobile is the future (and the now)

Respondents doing surveys on their mobile is unavoidable; over 50% of emails are now opened on mobile. This means we can either react by addressing mobile optimisation for surveys and start to get the benefits that mobile research bring, or continue to see declining data quality and disengaged respondents.

At Citizenme we believe the future of research is mobile, having a huge number of benefits to both respondents and businesses. In fact, we’re so confident it’s the future we built the first multi-source data exchange for market research. Interested? Request an invite to take a look around…

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