What Is Mobile Market Research? The Beginner’s Guide

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Mobile market research is helping brands worldwide understand their consumers better than ever before. But as powerful as this new approach is, many advertisers have yet to try it for themselves. For those looking for an introduction, this article will set you at ease with the entire world of mobile market research. 

What is mobile market research?

Mobile market research is a research method that uses mobile devices to collect data around consumer preferences, behaviors, and more. The rapid rise of smartphone usage, both in the US and abroad, has made mobile research methods a practical and powerful alternative for advertisers looking to understand consumer trends. Statistica estimates that the total number of smartphone users in the United States is 294M as of 2021 — and projects that number to break 300M in 2022, which would account for 91% of the country. As mobile usage continues to grow over the coming years, more advertisers will leverage mobile research to inform their strategies. 

The benefits of mobile market research

Advertisers have long depended on market research to develop effective branding strategies, campaign messaging, and more. While traditional approaches like phone surveys will remain useful for many brands for years to come, mobile market research methods will increasingly become the standard for advertisers. The approach’s unique advantages — like high engagement rates, data accuracy, and audience coverage — will drive more and more advertisers to rely on it. 

  • High engagement: Because mobile market research uses the consumer’s mobile device, it reduces the friction involved in the traditional research process. Consumers don’t have to be at any particular place or time to participate. They just have to have their smartphone or tablet in hand and the ability to tap the screen a few times. This low barrier to entry means advertisers using this method can significantly increase the study’s engagement rate — especially if the market research rewards consumers for their feedback. 
  • Accurate results: Because mobile devices enable easy, rapid, and contextually driven interactions, this approach to market research can generate much higher quality data. Broad areas of interest can be addressed through incremental, rapid-fire questions — driving up the thoroughness of the response data. In other words, this approach enables advertisers to glean complete, credible, and timely data from their target audience.
  • Comprehensive audience coverage: Because mobile devices are ubiquitous, mobile market research allows advertisers to access an enormous audience. The average US adult spends almost four hours a day on their mobile device – while the average 18 to 34 year old only watches TV for a little over 90 minutes a day. Mobile devices now regularly outstrip desktops when it comes to internet usage. And as noted above, soon, over 90% of the country will be mobile-enabled. In short, mobile research opens up a consumer landscape of unprecedented size. 

Key features of mobile research

Mobile devices provide a remarkable amount of flexibility and power in market research. Listed below are some of mobile market research’s most compelling features.

  • Gather in-the-moment feedback. Whether it’s while a consumer is using an app or during a live event, response collection using mobile devices can occur in the middle of an experience. This feature is critical for advertisers to understand the consumer perspective during the “magic moment,” and the market research mobile app approach is also key for mobile app developers.  
  • Use location-sensitive triggers. Advertisers can set surveys to deploy based on the GPS data from a consumer’s mobile device. This feature provides a high degree of control over the timing of feedback gathering. Advertisers could use this feature to gather data during an experience, like a marketing event, or until a consumer has had time to process their reaction. The latter option, known as “negative fencing,” is ideal for generating more thoughtful responses. 
  • Get multimedia responses. From text to video, modern smartphones have made it easy for consumers to express themselves using a range of mediums. This means advertisers can receive consumer feedback in numerous ways, enriching their research data.  
  • Collect in-depth consumer ethnographies. The use of mobile devices also means advertisers can get consistent, long-term data on consumer preferences. Research participants can record their thoughts in a daily journal, notebook, or another format, giving advertisers a wide-angle view of their target audience.
  • Compensate consumers instantly via in-app rewards. Because mobile research can be naturally integrated into the mobile gaming experience, consumers can be highly motivated to engage with a survey for an in-app reward. This approach to the survey rewards app strategy boosts both the response quality and the likelihood that actual consumers are generating the data. 

Top mobile market research tools

Now that we’ve reviewed the benefits and features of mobile market research, let’s explore some of the top market research apps: MobileVoice®, Rival Technologies, and Zinklar. 

  • MobileVoice®: MobileVoice®  is a mobile market research platform that gives advertisers access to over 50M consumers from 16 countries across 20K apps — the largest mobile panel on the market. Leveraging the power of the value exchange model via in-app rewarded surveys, MobileVoice® generates quality survey responses from qualified respondents at any scale required. Our platform also gives you complete customizability when it comes to survey construction, enabling you to uncover a wealth of insight into consumer behavior, preferences, and demographics. 
  • Rival Technologies: Rival is a mobile market research platform with solid consumer engagement rates and flexible feedback formatting. It delivers an average response rate of 64% and a recontact rate of 41%, meaning advertisers with niche audiences can derive quality market data by using it. Rival also allows advertisers to collect text responses and video testimonials, providing them with an array of qualitative and quantitative data to generate research findings. 
  • Zinklar: Zinklar is an automated survey platform that enables advertisers to get regular feedback from target mobile consumers. Used by brands like Disney, L’Oréal, and KFC, Zinklar allows advertisers to collect and analyze response data in real-time, accelerating their ability to adapt to market conditions. In addition, the platform supports the use of both external and internal information sources during the analysis process. This gives advertisers a more holistic perspective on the available data, enhancing the quality of their insights. 

How to start your mobile research journey

Mobile market research is transforming how everyone from app developers to DTC brands learns about their audiences. Using this approach, advertisers can get faster, better, and more consistent data on their consumers, helping them take their initiatives to a whole new level. 
To start seeing the power of mobile consumer insights firsthand, reach out to get a consultation with our team of experts. Our research solution, MobileVoice®, reimagines the market research experience by combining the survey and reward in-app, and our partners have found it produces the highest quality feedback data possible.

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