By Dana Stanley. Drawings courtesy of Betty Adamou
Elias Veris of Insites Consulting discussed the use of mobile in MROCs. He said mobile qual gives you an in-depth understanding of the hows and whys; it’s about digging deep. The 21st century method of digging deep is MROCs. MROCs are about engagement and social dynamics, they are longterm and asynchronous, and they are about unsolicited and maturated feedback.
Insites uses gamification to help keep people engaged. They award points, allow people to “level up” if they post enough content, and they give challenges. One example of a challenge given to MROC members was asking them to “prove” their city is cooler than others, which led to a strong outpouring of participation.
Veris said the right inflow at the right time will enrich your online community. It’s about the picture shared, the social pressure (feedback generates more feedback), and the discussion stimulated.
Veris said not all their participants engage via mobile, but mobile participants are more engaged. Mobile is personal and contextual. He said mobile and MROCs are friends with benefits, and different friends ask for different benefits.
Robert Moran of the Brunswick Group spoke about his writings about the future of market research, which draw heavily on ideas taken from futurism.
Moran outlined the 6Ds that will change commerce, and eventually market research:
– Disruption Ethos
He said futurists have two ways to forecast the future:
– the incremental approach – create the baseline forecast, the “official future,” then bend the official future in a number of different directions.
– the stretch scenario approach – take the top two uncertain drivers and create a two by two matrix
Moran then gave sample of “Toffler-esque future shocks” in market research. The first two, Moran said, are inevitable.
– moving beyond the survey
– the growth of the emerging markets
The others are:
– Data abundance
– Asking-observing shift
– Strategic imperative
Moran’s writings pose 22 possible market research futures. Three examples are:
– Power to the people – the rise of co-creative design communities
– Portal power – all data is consolidated into dashboards, which becomes the most important real estate in market research
– E-agency – market research firms are replaced by individual e-lancers
During the Q&A session Moran said we should kill the term “market research” and start over, perhaps crowdsourcing an alternative.
Rebecca West of Civicom presented a case study of qualitative mobile data collection in a study about stroller purchasing. The respondents reported at the point of purchase via audio and text. Audio comments were transcribed and analyzed. Photos were also shared by the respondents, and those photos were associated with the relevant text. There was extensive coding of the text responses. The audio responses were seen as particularly valuable by the client.
The stroller manufacturer got several key insights from this study, including the positioning of a celebrity endorsement, the need to market to men as well as women, and the need to explain the value for the substantial price. None of these insights came out in an associated quantitative survey.
David Brudenell of PureProfile gave a case study if his company’s collaboration to create the Reputation Index for Australia’s major banks. Executives’ bonuses were tied to brand reputation. The incumbent was only collecting 1,000 completes quarterly. PureProfile collects a big sample size of 36,000 per year, with 4 weight sets applied daily weekly, quarterly and yearly.
Brudenell advised that understanding why to innovate will help you understand how to innovate..
He quite dramatically displayed a message on a grave stone saying that the traditional market research value chain is dead. He added that data collection and analysis premiums are gone, that traditional market research skills are hard to fit into new technology. At the same time, the age old pressures still apply – speed and quality.
Brudenell presented a checklist to follow when creating an innovative product. This checklist was used when creating the Reputation Index.
– find a big data source
– apply old shcool rigor
– link data to everything possible
– collect meansingful data in modules
– automate it
– syndicate it
– make it sexy for customers
Mikhail Zarin of Mobiety and Artem Tinchurin of Tiburon Research presented data from a test of mobile research done in Russia. Mobiety is a Russian-based DIY tool for mobile web-based surveys. Tiburon is a data collection company with access panels in Russia.
Zarin gave some statistics about internet and mobile in Russia: 67% of Russians are online; 20% of Russians surf the mobile web at least once a month; 84% of Russians have a cell phone; 34% have a cell phone only; and half of 12-24 year olds have mobile access.
There were 5 conditions:
“Mobile CATI” – voice interviews on a mobile phone
“CAWI access panel” – WAP surveys to members of an access panel
“SAWI access panel” – Smartphone surveys to members of an access pansl
“SAWI river” – Smartphone surveys where respondents were invited to participate in the study at mobile top-up boxes, which are quite common in Russia (approx. 180,000 in the country.
“SAWI spam” – Smartphone survey among people on a (legal) mailing list but who were not part of a panel.
Response rate was much higher for the mobile CATI condition (52%); it was lower for CAWI and SAWI using access panels (30% and 20%), and it was much lower for SAWI river (2%) and SAWI “spam” (0.3%).
– representativity doesn’t exist, but rankings tend to match
– “spam” is bad, even if it is legal the sample will be biased
– SAWI access panel – worable but noticeably biased toward more affluent and active users
– SAWI river – technically works but needs further research
Guy Rolfe of Kantar moderated a panel on the role of trade organizations in the new market research paradigm. Here are some nuggets of wisdom from that panel.
– Mike Cooke of ESOMAR indicated that the most important role for a trade organization is to represent the common interests of researchers legislatively, importantly including respondent privacy issues.
– Tom de Ruyck of BAQMAR said it is critical that organizations work together; for example, it is not necessary for there to be three separate policies for social media. De Ruyck said we are a small industry, and if we do not unite, we will not be able to distinguish ourselves from the marketing and advertising industries.
– Wim van Slooten of MOA said a lot of suppliers do not consider themselves to be part of our industry. Some newcomers are “cowboys” who are not educated on important areas of our business such as privacy.
– Mark Michelson of MMRA said his organization was founded because at the Atlanta MRMW event last year there was a wide-ranging discussion of issuess including privacy and there were a lot of participants who do not consider themselves connected to or part of the market research industry.
– Michelson said that the reason market researchers have not developed policies for newer technology-related issues because technology is developing so quickly. It is in part a definitional issue. For example, what exactly is mobile?
– Cooke said we have to regulate ourselves in a real context, not a historical context. The role of government is to protect people, and it is alarming that people are willing to trade their privacy for rewards. We have to make very clear to people exactly what we are doing with respect to their privacy. Not only we but also social media has failed in this so far; people don’t fully understand what cookies are.
– De Ruyck said changing technology alters the way people want to interact with us and brands. The biggest challenge is that we debate all the time without moving forward. Otherwise cowboys from outside the industry will charge forward.
– Van Slooten said there are no standards and no codes of conduct with respect to passive data collection. Engaging in passive data collection without proper privacy considerations is a danger we need to face.
– Sandy Janzen of MRIA said one challenge is legitimizing some of the newer forms of research. We have to usher in new methodologies and educate our members about proper use, while at the same time looking into regulation and legislation.
– Michelson said trade associations’ roles are advocacy, education, community building and standards.
– De Ruyck told an anecdote about how he engaged his students in a market research course in France to co-create a new title for the course. His enrollment had been dipping from 20 to 15 and the students said the course should drop the words “contemporary” and “research.” The new title is “New Ways to Connect with Consumers.” His enrollment increased dramatically to 60 students.
– Janzen indicated we have responsibilities to the public to protect them and look to the future of how new data collection techniques may affect them.
– Cooke said the role of trade organizations is learning from the past and looking to the future. Education is a real opportunity and should be deployed aggressively for the future.
– De Ruyck said trade organizations should be curators of what’s important for members to know.
Anne-Marie O’Sullivan of Qualvu spoke about the power of mobile qualitative video research. This methodology allows insights into real moments in real lives, without having to rely on recall. With the digital revolution, there has never had so much access to rich, real video. When you watch these videos you are absolutely with them at that time, that’s very powerful for researchers and clients.
O’Sullivan quoted Anne Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox: “We’re drowning in data, yet starving for insights.”
Some clients have indicated current mobile research is quite impersonaal. Researchers need to collaborate with clients to turn mobile data into insights, replicating the scenario in the back room of a focus group where researcher and client collaborate face-to-face. Collaboration must be as innovative and vibrant as data collection.
O’Sullivan also showed how Qualvu’s platform enables coding and analysis of video qual data output. Ways to deliver mobile insights for impact are: present directional highlight reels, collaborate with the client on key themes, plan your report to engage cross-organizational stakeholders, and deliver voice of the consumer in reports.
Aaron Pazurik of Confirmit said we should take inspiration from how marketers approach their subjects. By contrast, only 15% of researchers adjust their online surveys to make them suitable for smartphones. He gave examples of several poorly executed mobile surveys – one which required Flash to be enabled, and another which presented an unsuitably large grid on a small phone screen. He also noted that 65% of senior leaders want market researchers to be a strategic partner, but only 25% view us that way.
Pazurik gave 3 examples of techniques for getting deeper insights with mobile research.
1 – Doctors were given the opportunity to respond to a survey question by a voice-recording. This was quire popular among the respondents and is an example of getting better insights through better survey experiences.
2 – Best Buy ensures that people who express negative opinions or specific problems during customer satisfaction surveys are responded to immediately. This is an example of respecting the value of an opinion.
3 – Legacy, a smoking-cessation company, supplies respondents with a BlackBerry and asks them to record every instance of craving or smoking. If the respondent needs help they are routed to a specialist in smoking cessation. This is an an example of “always-on insights.”
Kristin Luck of Decipher said her company tends to do more WAP than app-based surveys. She indicated the mobile future is about much more than apps and reminded the audience that unlike those present, many people don’t have smartphones.
Luck said researchers need to think about the “blending debate” do you take respondents out who attempt to take a survey on their mobile device, or do you offer the survey both ways, mobile and non-mobile? She has a preference for the latter. If respondents want to come in on mobile, she said, that’s what they’re going to do.
Luck listed some things Decipher has observed about mobile respondents in their surveys; they complete surveys more slowly and they give shorter answers to open-ended questions. However, they showed no clear differences in satisfaction ratings.
She also discussed what she called the tablet opportunity; tablets are particularly well suited for qualiquant investigations.
Luck gave two acronyms for remembering important privacy issues:
OMG – online tracking data, metadata and photos, geolocation
WTF – wandering device IDs, too complex privacy policies, fees for SMS and data streaming
She also giave some best practices: keep surveys short; minimize a non-essential contennt, and keep the look of the survey simple and minimize distraction.
Luck then conducted an experiment in the room; she handed out traditional questionnaire and asked participants to convert it to a mobile format.
Tips for doing so are:
– limit survey length
– limit total number of pages
– limit text boxes per question to one
– avoid other specifies
– avoid rating scales and grid questions
– when using grids, limit to 3 columns or fewer
– keep column text short
– keep topic to point, limit iterations
Andrew Reid of Vision Critical presented some statistics about the dramatic growth of mobile in India and China and about the dramatic growth of mobile advertising around the world. By 2015 62% of mobile phones will be “smart.”
Vision Crtical runs over 500 community panels, most of which are dual mode (online and mobile). They also run mobile-only communities. Usability is key in mobile.
Reid outlined some key advantages of using mobile in community panels: panelists have already been screened and profiled, allowing shorter surveys; survey field windows can be greatly reduced; clients can get answers in hours; and panelists can participate when it’s convenient for them, yielding better data; surveys can be incredibly targeted; and breakout mini qual groups are possible.
Reid also spoke about augmented reality, which is a live view of a physical part of the world which is supplemented by computer generated data. He said QR codes will soon be like “MC Hammer pants,” something that existed for a short time but was replaced by something much better.
Reid outlined two ideas for how augmented reality could work in market research. In his first example, you start with a community, find out how many have a smart phones, profile them, find out who fits in a segment we care about, have them download an app, give them an exercise
every time they come in contact with that brand, scan the logo, push the respondent a survey, sync that survey up with the respondent’s deep profile. What could we learn from this is: occasion data, ad recall for the whole marketing mix,, and creating a link beteween encountering ads and brand usage.
He outlined another scenario for package testing, whereby the repondent enters grocery store and is asked to scan a package, then they are delivered a survey “in situ.” This methodology could also incorporate gamification.
Simon van Duivenvoorde of Wakoopa, a passive measurement technology startup, spoke about the effects on privacy of changes in technology. He described the way people consume information by using the example of how he and his girlfriend shop for furniture for their new apartment. They bounce all over the place online, from Facebook to email to Google and beyond. He said there is not straight line anymore when it comes to the way information is consumed. Van Duivenvoorde described this process as “information snacking.” You can have information whenever you want it, however you want it, on the device where you want it.
He said this change makes researchers’ jobs difficult because it is difficult for respondents to estimate their behavior. He gave an example of a study where respondents were asked about their online behavior visiting news sites and that was compared to behavioral information from passive tracking; people estimated their news consumption inaccurately by a factor of two.
Van Duivenvoorde stated pithily that “information snacking leads to data obesity.” An important question, he said, is how do we go from big data to big insights? The change in information consumption forces a fundamental shift in the market research industry; we have gone from not enough data to too much data. The challenge is how to sift through and extract insights from data.
Another question is how we deal with privacy; this is an even bigger issue with mobile because it’s such an intimate device. There has been a shift in consumer perception about privacy. People now understand their data is worth something. In 2008 50% people would give up their information for something; in 2011 it was 62%. People understand better it’s a deliberate choice, but they want to be in control. These changes force innovation.
Kay Schneermann of Gruner + Jahr presented data from a mobile ad awareness study conducted in Germany. The study included a control group and an experiemental group which was exposed to mobile ads for 4 established brands (Lufthansa, Marc O’Polo, DKV Insurance and Nivea) and one new brand entrant into the German market (Kinnie soft drinks). In each instance there was a significant positive effect in the experimental condition on brand awareness. Among the established brands there was also a positive effect on measures of brand image and purchase intention.
Schneermann’s conclusions from the data are as follows: mobile display ads are noticed and recognized; mobile advertising works for established and unknown brands; mobile advertising even works as a sole channel to produce an advertising impact; mobile advertising promotes the brand image and targeting means greater efficiency; and mobile advertising creates purchase intention.
Areas for future research include qualitative studies and measuring the impact of mobile advertising as compared with other channels.