With the latest GRIT Report revealing mobile within the top five emerging methodologies, and with clients reporting that a vast majority of their 2014 budgets will go toward mobile, it’s critical to get in touch with the underlying trends in the field. uSamp’s SVP of Mobile Business Solutions shares the latest and greatest findings of the hottest mode of research on the market.Wilding-Brown speaks to the advantages of mobile including rich media features, contextual analysis and cost and time savings. Find out why this “moment of truth” is game-changing:
[As featured on the Research Business Daily Report, December 9, 2013]
By Allen Vartazarian, Director of Product, Mobile
As Market Researchers, we are no longer faced with whether mobile is a viable option, but rather how we are going to optimize it. We started planting the app seed early on, refining it to work across operating system and device, with the given assumption that consumers would go to the app store, download, install and play.
Apps like iPoll that leverage geolocation and rich media features on smartphones have provided deep and actionable insights by allowing panelists to submit photo, video and audio responses while verifying that they are on-location at a retailer. Naturally, there has been a land grab in the industry to get these apps installed onto as many people’s phones as possible; this approach, however, has presented two notable challenges:
- Getting their Attention: With over 1,000,000 apps available just in the iTunes App Store alone, a huge obstacle is getting consumer’s attention. Once you have their attention, you need to hold it long enough to convey the value the app provides.
- Improving Retention: Congratulations if you’ve achieved an app install, but that’s just the first phase – now you need to keep users engaged! People like to keep their phones free of clutter and tend to delete apps they don’t find them valuable, which helps explain why 90-day retention rates for some app categories are as low as 10 percent.
As a panel company that depends on respondent engagement to drive our insight platform, addressing these hurdles are our number one priority. While app downloads are voluntary, most smartphones have web browsers readily baked into them. uSamp has developed a mobile web technology that allows respondents to provide photo and video responses via their mobile web browser without having to install an app.
So what does this mean for market research?
First, it promises a broader audience reach. The mobile web has the potential to significantly widen the respondent pool that can take advantage of mobile capabilities. Not every smartphone owner has our app installed, but everyone does have a mobile web browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc.). With almost half of emails now being opened on mobile devices, this adds a layer in which surveys that contain mobile-only response options can be delivered. Issues such as feasibility and sample size, that have made market researchers hesitant to use mobile in the past, can now be minimized. Coupled with the app, this has positive implications for expanding the audience that can take advantage of mobile features.
Second, it offers more distribution channels. Previously, if we wanted respondents to submit photo/video responses, we could only send survey invitations through push notifications in our app. Now panelists can be reached via numerous distribution channels including email, text message, and QR codes with a link to the mobile survey.
While the mobile app currently offers more robust features like geofencing and audio capture, this innovative mobile web enhancement is an attractive option to leverage for many projects that need greater flexibility. Regardless of outlet, it’s imperative that we don’t lose sight of the importance of designing mobile-specific surveys. The mobile web has seen a history of abuse by researchers cramming lengthy, online surveys into a small screen. We want to change all this by mimicking app capabilities and experience – auto-rendering and UX are critical components of making the mobile web a success. So why does it matter how we gather responses via app or web? It’s the potential for reach, and the promise of an alternative that keeps us motivated to continuously improve the way that mobile market research is done.
uSamp™ recently surveyed 980 audience members to find out what Americans love and loathe about Thanksgiving. Foodies rejoice as we take a look at what America’s favorite dish is (You may be surprised to learn that food is not the number one reason for enjoying the holiday).
The survey revealed that American’s love their winter holidays. Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwaanza tallied 67 percent of the vote, while Thanksgiving garnered a respectable 24 percent.
Although food is the biggest part of the Thanksgiving tradition, 52 percent of Americans say that the gathering of family is the best part about the holiday.
The study also looked at post Thanksgiving activities. Eight percent revealed that they will leave their meal early to take advantage of pre-Friday sales, while 36 percent say they will get a head start on Friday. What will you do?
By Ben Leet (as published on The GreenBook Blog)
Fresh off the back of Nokia’s mobile business absorption into Microsoft, and with Blackberry continuing to seek a buyer for its ailing mobile arm, Motorola can smell blood as it launches its latest series of low end Smartphones aimed to drive a stake through the remains of those once glorious mobile hardware providers. Called Moto G, Motorola’s strategy is clear: Tap into the “500 million people who will buy a Smartphone for $200”, according to their CEO Dennis Woodside. And it makes sense; at the Moto G launch, Woodside went on to say that until now those customers only had the choice of a phone with last year’s tech or a second hand phone, so providing brand new technology to an audience hungry to keep up with Western trends could be a masterstroke. However, will Nokia or Blackberry take this lying down? They simply cannot afford to, and so the probability of the Smartphone war making its way to emerging markets just increased exponentially.
The relevance to the market research industry is that, for some time now, it’s been obvious that mobile research will become the methodology of choice for much of our work in emerging markets. Internet penetration is already higher via mobile versus desktop devices in countries like India, which means that mobile is already more representative than online in many instances. This is not new. I, and many others in the industry, have been preaching this for some time, but until now mobile surveys in those countries have been largely restricted to simple text-based surveys, or very light, simple and easy-to-load mobile web surveys. But that could all be about to change, and it will happen fast.
The following video was taken at MRMW North America in Minneapolis in July 2013. Lisa Wilding-Brown, uSamp’s SVP of Mobile Business Solutions, shares her thoughts below.
Lisa Wilding-Brown: They industry is really moving forward. If you look back historically, folks were feeling a little reluctant about mobile. They knew they needed to pursue it, and that it was going to be a part of our future from a research standpoint. Change is scary, but the more people I speak to, the more I learn about people embracing it. It’s exciting to leverage all of the different technology and really see what other companies are doing. It’s reinforcing what uSamp has always been very focused on — being progressive, innovative and really pushing the envelope. Talking with others, it seems we’re headed in the right direction and maturing mobile so that more clients can leverage it for all different types of research.
MRMW: Of the presentations throughout the day, what’s jumped out as “Wow! That’s interesting. I hadn’t really thought about it that way before.”? Has there been anything that’s been really intriguing for you in that way?
LWB: I just finished Dan Hill’s presentation on emotions, motivations, and facial coding and that’s something that we’ve been talking a lot about internally as well. So that was really great to hear from his perspective. I really enjoyed his presentation. I thought it was fantastic.
Recently, uSamp published a Q & A with CTO, Carl Trudel, who is pushing his team to think outside the box and anticipate client demand before it happens. Here he shares the challenges of recruiting, iterating and the importance of being device agnostic.
Q: How are you developing technology to keep up with clients’ needs?
A: It’s all about platform and flexibility. When you think in terms of platform, you don’t build custom development for clients. Instead, you configure features for specific client’s needs. This is much more powerful and allows us to move much faster. This is key to staying on top of the competition.
Q: What is different today than five years ago?
A: A lot! My top three would be mobile, big data and real time. Mobile is not the next cool thing anymore… it is our way, our basis, our framework. Big data is not about lots of data anymore; it is about the right data. And finally, real time is not just a nice thing to have – everyone expects real time information for anything we do. At uSamp, we understand all this and that puts us ahead of anyone else.
Q: How fast can you bring product to market?
A: At uSamp, we move fast. We follow Kanban agile methodology, which optimizes the flow from product ideation to production release. Our highly customizable platform offers flexibility and allows us to deliver new product very fast.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: Unfortunately, everything. I always want more and to do better. I am very hard on myself and on the team. There is so much potential for what we can achieve – I wish I did not have to sleep at night!
Mobile is not the next cool thing anymore… it is our way, our basis, our framework. Big data is not about lots of data anymore; it is about the right data. And finally, real time is not just a nice thing to have – everyone expects real time information for anything we do. At uSamp, we understand all this and that puts us ahead of anyone else.
uSamp recently surveyed 850 members of its all mobile panel, iPoll to find out how they felt about smartphone apps and data privacy. What types of information are they willing to share and what do they keep close to their vests? Is big brother more to blame than a social networking giant? Do millennials trust mobile more than yuppies? The psyches of smartphone users across the country unveiled below…
The survey, which represents the opinions of a representative sample of American mobile users, found that only 17 percent of respondents claim to be “very concerned” with mobile privacy, while 53 percent portray themselves as “neutral” to “not-at-all-concerned”.
However, Americans are not without concerns. Most were concerned about someone being able to track their physical location (58 percent) or listening/ tracking their phone calls (52 percent). Overall, people were least worried about companies tracking their Web searches (9 percent). These results suggest that while consumers deeply value their physical privacy, they are less concerned about how marketers may be targeting them based on their web usage.
The study also looked at the type of information consumers would share with a mobile app—people were most reticent about sharing credit card info (86 percent would not share) and least reticent about sharing their birth date (only 24 percent would not share).
“It is hard to think of any tool, any instrument, any object in history with which so many developed so close a relationship so quickly as we have with our phones. Not the knife or match, the pen or page. Only money comes close…but most of us don’t take a wallet to bed with us, don’t reach for it and check it every few minutes…it is inert compared with a smart phone—which can replace your wallet now anyway.” – Time Magazine, August 2013