Archive for the ‘Mobile’ Category
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.
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
by Jacob Tucker, Research Analyst with Robert Clancy, Vice President of Insights & Strategy
It is an understatement to say that mobile has had a profound impact on human behavior. We, as researchers, cannot help but imagine the impact it will have on the market research industry as a whole. Mobile has irrevocably changed the mode, the means and the methods. The way we’ve been conditioned to capture, code and interpret data has been altered.
Have you ever interviewed someone, and while trying to transcribe what was being said, you missed how it was said? How about trying to interpret an open-ended response that could go one of two ways (Is “bad” colloquialism for “rad”?)? There is no doubt that it can be difficult to accurately record and make sense of the noise around qualitative data. Enter audio, photo and video capture.
There are many innovative mobile research tools available, but these rich-media response options take insights to the next level. These question types give us a sneak peek into the window of consumers, which is all sorts of wonderful, but begs the question: How can we effectively use that data?
At the most basic level, we can look at these photos, watch the videos, listen to the audio and find themes that emerge. We can then code these themes into nice, neat categories so that they can be quantified and analyzed just like any other data set. This many not sound novel; however, it is the in-the-moment context unique to mobile that enhances these particular data. The importance of in-context cannot be ignored, as it is more reflective of actual consumer experiences.
But we can’t stop there.
The real beauty that smartphone technology brings to surveys is consumer intimacy. We need to go a step further than just quantifying rich media responses and truly unveil the consumer experience. If all we do is code and quantify, we will miss out on the subtleties and nuances that provide deeper insights. In photos, there are surrounding objects. In video, there is background setting and movement. In audio, there is voice inflection and intonation. At times, you can literally see and hear the thought process that leads to a decision. This gives us so much more color than just knowing the actual decision itself. Mobile data helps us empathize with the consumer like never before.
So how can we, as researchers successfully report on this new-found consumer intimacy?
While it’s not feasible to show every rich media response in a study report, it’s important to represent the sample as a whole. Selecting a few testimonials that capture consumer sentiments really helps bring the complete story to life.
When insights emerge from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives, we get one step closer to the consumer. If what we’re really after is consumer intimacy, mobile is uniquely qualified to get us there. Taking insights to the next level? We’re on our way.
By Carl Nielson, Director Research Solutions
As we approach 7 billion subscribers worldwide, the momentum is unstoppable. Our affinity for smartphones and tablets has led to millions of mobile apps. Customers can simply download your mobile application and use it however they wish. How many of us have purchased a mobile app because we thought it was cool at the time, but have never used it since? Compare that with truly indispensable mobile apps you can’t get through the day without: Banking apps, social network apps, sports apps, game apps, weather apps, etc.
The challenge now is to effectively leverage these emergent technologies to learn more about your mobile customers. Google and Apple have made it virtually impossible to know who is using your app. You may know how many people have downloaded it, but nothing about who, what, when, where and how they are using it—or even whether they like it. Users can write reviews, but who takes time to write a mobile app review? People just stop using the app or simply delete it from their phones.
I believe this challenge creates a unique opportunity for companies to leverage their existing investments in mobile to learn more about their mobile app users, and to make it worthwhile for them to want to give their feedback. That’s why it’s so important to keep them interested and engaged. If we don’t like something (or somebody) these days, we just click delete or un-friend and move on.
Businesses with mobile apps are now able to capture insights about mobile behavior with a degree of accuracy and flexibility that was previously unheard of. One way to do this is by just asking users by layering mobile surveying software into your app’s native environment.
Here are top reasons to get moving on mobile SDK:
- Gain in-the-moment insights. Connect with consumers anywhere they go. Reach people anytime, anywhere and collect actionable insights in real time – all within your own app.
- Control how you survey users and what you ask of them. SDK makes it possible to seamless integrate survey questions into the same interface that your users are familiar with, which makes for a more organic, feedback process. Make mobile users your eyes and ears and collect info from them using rich media features like photos, video, audio—anything a smartphone is capable of.
- Collect feedback faster than email alone.
Forget about waiting for survey results. We’re talking real time feedback here with built-in geotargeting capabilities. Harness the power of smartphones and tablets and interact with users while they are experiencing a product or service.
- Get help with best practices and put your focus where it matters.
Find out how easy it is to integrate your app with SaaS platforms and solutions. Focus your energies on building great apps, keep it creative, and maximize their potential.
Sounds good, right? I think we’re entering a whole new era in mobile survey experiences that will change the way everyone does business. Share your thoughts.
Carl Nielson is uSamp’s Director of Research Solutions. His role is to guide and support uSamp’s market research agencies and end clients in developing their long term mobile research strategies. Carl has ten years of experience working with top level executives across a wide range of start-ups and Fortune 500 organizations. He has previously managed national and international client support and sales executive teams within the mobile market research technology industry.
In our final installment, Allen discusses some of the implications of geofencing from battery drain to privacy concerns.
It is completely understandable that some people may have privacy concerns associated with geofencing. The way we address these concerns is by being fully transparent about exactly what information is collected. By educating users, we empower them to decide if and when they would like to participate, and are able to preserve their privacy choices. Our Mobile ArmyTM is our most valuable asset, and we take all steps possible to preserve our relationship.
Does geofencing cause significant battery drain?
Any app that uses your device’s location will cause battery drain. The more frequently that app checks your location, the more battery it will drain. After months of development and testing, however, we have established a geofencing solution that has almost no noticeable effect on battery life. To date, we have not received a single complaint regarding battery life from any one of our mobile audience members. If you are considering running a geofencing project, be sure to ask the technology provider what steps they have taken (if any) to preserve battery life, and then download their app so you can experience it yourself (more to come in a future blog by uSamp’s Co-founder & President, Gregg Lavin).
In Part I of our Mobile Research Trends series, Don’t Mess with the Geofence, our Director of Mobile Products for uSamp, Allen Vartazarian lays the groundwork for geofencing. Here, he explores some of the various applications, and we begin to see how geofencing might be the best way to capture in-the-moment insights.
One of advertising’s greatest pain points is measuring ad effectiveness from the point of impact to the point of purchase. What if we said that geofencing could link an ad’s influence to purchase behavior? Geofencing is a powerful tool that can provide this feedback while adding a whole new dimension to mobile research. Here are some ways that we are using geofencing to provide valuable insights today:
- Out-Of-Home Ad Effectiveness: By setting geofences around out-of-home advertisements, we know when someone in our Mobile Army™ (our robust mobile audience), is nearby and “exposed” to the ad. By setting geofences around specific businesses, agencies can better gauge ad effectiveness by comparing store visitation of exposed consumers to those who were not exposed.
- Real-time Feedback: Whether it be a trip to the grocery store, or a movie that just came out, its imperative to gather feedback as close to the time of the experience as possible. With geofencing, we can trigger an alert as someone enters or exits a location with an invitation to answer a few questions while the experience is still fresh in one’s mind.
- User Behavior Monitoring: We can track store visits, time on site and other key metrics vital to retailers and advertisers. Combining this with other collected data, i.e. web-browsing and purchase activity, helps identify the true impact of the OOH ad exposure.
These are just a few examples of geofencing applications. Imagine how geofencing can apply to competitive analysis, field research and in-store missions. The opportunities will continue to grow with the technology and methodology. Geofencing is truly an innovative method for gaining insight into customer behavior because researchers no longer have to rely on a user’s activation since surveys can now be automatically triggered.
Our final post will explore some of the challenges seen with geofencing, what can be done to address them, and why 2013 is the year of mobile maturity.