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Updated with Illustrations! Market Research in the Mobile World Day 1 by Dana Stanley

Market Research in the Mobile World is the conference where the cutting edge is explored and we learn how to leverage these changes to create real impact via the research process. Here is a synopsis of all of the sessions from Day 1 in Amsterdam.


Editor’s Note: It’s MRMW Week and that means that we’re going to be capturing all of the great information coming from our favorite conference in detail. Due to some unforeseen circumstances I couldn’t make it to Amsterdam myself (which is real bummer since I am both the lead Producer and Chairperson of the conference!), so we have multiple folks that are pitching in to help us disseminate the learnings from the conference to the broader industry. We’ve already posted a great summary of the morning sessions by Adam Warner of RW Connect, and now we have a session review by Dana Stanley of Research Access. I expect many more to be coming in and we’ll continue to post them as we get them.

One quick plug: we are neck deep in developing the program for the North American conference right now; it’s being held in Cincinnati Ohio on July 18/19th. That conference will build upon the themes and learnings from the European event and will have a decidedly client-needs centric agenda. The North American conference will be THE research innovation event of the year and we are expecting it to raise the bar even higher than our European conference has already done. Make sure to check back here frequently for updates as we gear up for that, or go to to check out the latest.


By Dana Stanley. Illustrations by Betty Adamou

5:29 p.m.

Diane Gardiner of Latitude Insights discussed a mobile qualitative project for Kraft among 4-year olds in Australia. Mobile qualitative research is growing, but there’s a lot of opportunity. Latitude uses mobile qualitative to add more insight to panel communities. They collect ethnographic data such as videos and photos of meal preparations, home decorating, etc. The qualitative study explored kids’ and mums’ opinions with respect to Freddo, a chocolate frog. Respondents were given tasks and challenges over 14 days. One task was to give the child $5 to spend at the supermarket. Another was for the children to select a snack from a “mystery box.” She played videos created by respondents speaking candidly about the product. Benefits include: removing the “researcher effect” with youth research and collecting data in the kids’ natural environment. Clients really valued being able to see the mums interacting with kids in their natural environment. This is powerful material they can show their internal clients. Challenges included: that average consumers aren’t tech-savvy, it is difficult for the researcher to sift through and manage all the videos and photos, and that we’re asking the consumer to be both the researcher and the respondent – there is limited to no ability to probe responses.

5:10 p.m.

Remy Bleijendaal from TNS Nipo said that mobile devices are highly personal and emotional. A lot of businesses want to tap into the mobile circle of trust, but it’s hard to get in because a lot of companies don’t add value. People are are online more in the morning and the evening. Mobile’s always connected nature drives “now.” Consumer expectdations are raised with respect to convenience and transparency. TNS Nipo did a study among Android users in the Netherlands. People spent 69 minutes per day on mobile apps; social and gaming are the top uses for applications, but shopping and email are done less. Ninety-five percent of the time spent is on apps as opposed to the web.

4:45 p.m.

Dominic Jarville of Research Now described his company’s building of a mobile application. They morning after they activated their iPhone app 1,900 people had downloaded and installed it with no prompting. He listed some myths about mobile research which have been debunked: that respondents don’t want to take surveys on mobile devices; that mobile respondents don’t take care when completing surveys; that device size matters; that it costs more to reward mobile panelists. They tried a 200-question mobile survey internally; it worked but the user experience was terrible. They consider mobile to be “panel rep,” but not nationally representative. Connectivity continues to be a problem, particularly in US rural areas. It’s not about the app, it’s about the panel too; they do a lot of hybrid studies. Mobile surveys are currently focused on experience, in the future it will be more about measurement.

4:01 p.m.

Florian Tress of ODC Services described a multi-country study his company, a panel provider, to determine how best to create a mobile access panel. ODC profiled its existing online panel in terms of mobile penetration and device details as well as willingness to participate in mobile surveys and to download survey apps. About half agreed to take surveys on a mobile device. Mobile responents are still far from being representative of the general population, so ODC has a standard modus operandi of combining mobile and online samples. Respondents can decide which device to use. Among those who would not participate in a mobile survey, the top reason cited was cost of an internet connection.

3:40 p.m.

Surag Patel of InMobi, a mobile ad network, gave a case study of a multi-country study conducted in order to understand global differences in mobile media. Respondents were recruited from across the InMobi mobile web and app network. Globally the average mobile web user consume 7.2 hours of media per day. Thirty-nine percent globally multi-task when watching TV – 71% in the UK, 17% in China. For mobile web users, mobile was the preferred channel for getting information. Fifty-nine percent now see mobile as their primary means of going online – 82% in Indonesia, 26% in Taiwan. When asked why they go online on mobile devices, 45% globally each cited “it’s easy to use” and “it’s always there.” When asked where they go online on a mobile device, 67% said in bed, 47% waiting for something, and 39% when watching TV.

3:18 p.m.

Pankhaj Jha of Millward Brown talked about mobile research in India. He cited a stat that the number of mobile phones in India and China combined is greater than the number in the entire developed world. He also pointed out that 80% of phones in emerging markets are “not smart.” Challenges to mobile market research in emerging markets are poor infrastructure, low literacy levels, and cost sensitivity. He presented a case study about ad testing on mobile phones in India. It was a comparison of of ad testing completed on mobile to traditional paper and pencil. One challenge was balancing the size of the app with the resolution of the video. At the lower end of the spectrum respondents were watching the video on “smart enough” feature phones. Another challenge was survey navigation – they ended up doing one question per screen, removing the “back” button, adding a “next” button, and adding a progress bar. Responses to the study were “well in line” with the PAPI results. Most of the study was conducted face-to-face as panel and online ad recruitment were more challenging. There was low familiarity with the app download process. Perceived high data costs were another factor causing rejection among some users, on the order of 25%.

3:03 p.m.

Ludger Kesting of Questback outlined 4 phases of research methodology development. Mobile surveys, research apps and location-based surveys are part of Phase 3, which is where we are now. Phase 4 includes multichannel feedback, feedback with multiple devices and context-sensitive feedback. He showed a graphic demonstrating the heterogeneity of mobile devices along a number of dimensions: hardware, equipment, operating system, browsers, standards such as Flash and HTML5, internet connections and geographical differences. He gave an example of the development of QR codes as a link between real world objects and the digital world.

2:21 p.m.

Alastair Hill of On Device Research noted that people keep their phones with them at all times. He presented a mobile diary case study about outdoor media. A panel of consumers in London recorded more than 13,000 individual interactions with brands. They measured the amount of emotion associated with different types of media – radio had the most at 80%, whereas outdoor advertising was at 62%. Online was the lowest amount of emotion at 49% The stages of the customer journey are absorbing brand information, planning a purchase, obtaining the product or service and sharing information about the product or service. They evaluated how much of each type of media affects each of those four stages. TV is particularly strong in the Absorbing stage. Online is key in the planning stage. He also shared figures on the proportion of internet users in different countries access the internet only through mobile devices – the figure for China was 38% mobile-only.

1:55 p.m.

Jan Schottelndreier of Cluetec talked about how his company helps researchers migrate from paper and pencil to CAPI and mobile CAPI surveys. He shared advice they give to clients. Logistics are critical when planning a mobile CAPI project – such as shipping data collection technology to project locations. For studies conducted outside, environmental factors such as weather, internet access as well as battery life should be considered, as well as the social/economic environment. For studies conducted inside, wifi quality is critical. In some location such as hospitals and some trade show wifi is not allowed. Also important are considering the technical and literacy skills of the target population. Usability is critical. He showed an example of what not to do which is rendering full computer screen rating grid on a tiny mobile screen. It is also very important to choose the right device.

1:37 p.m.

Leslie Townsend and Tariq Mirz of Kinesis presented on doing mobile research in Europe. They project 3G mobile access to be at 90% in Europe in 2014. Kinesis’ research exhibits a 60% response rate on mobile surveys, higher than any other data collection mode. Response is much lower among similar studies in the U.S. In Europe mobile surveys are collected on a wide range of devices, while in the U.S. iPhone is currently dominant with 75% of Kinesis’ surveys completed on that platform. Email still rules and will rule for a very long time for multi-mode surveys.

11:08 a.m.

Siamack Salari of Ethos and Peter Harrison of Brainjuicer presented a case study on mobile ethnography. Respondents were asked to take videos of and commentate on their consuption of food and beverages. Harrison stated that mobile ethnography is in its infancy; there are not experts in it because it’s too young. He also shared instances where data collected were richer vs. poorer.

11:15 a.m.

Edward Appleton of Avery Dennison spoke about the client perspective on mobile. He talked about the fact that mobile is changing people’s lives “big time.” But according to the GRIT Report only 17% of clients reported actually using mobile research in 2011. Will mobile be THE new thing or A new thing? Mobile advantages include immediacy, fewer recall issues, shorter surveys leading to higher data quality, contextual richness, greater youth engagement and respondent convenience. Issues with mobile include: normative data include more positive top box scores, richness of self-reported diagnostic data, screen size, user experience and questionnaire length. Appleton also noted that researchers need to translate insights into business advice within the corporation, otherwise we are simply troublemakers. Avery Dennison is actively considering mobile options.

10:53 a.m.

A.J. Johnson of Brainjuicer discussed the model of thinking popularized by Daniel Kahneman, whereby there are two cognitive systems, System 1 and System 2. He described Brainjuicer’s approach which attempts to factor context into decision making. They prefer the term “contextualized research” rather than “mobile research.” He described an experiment about environmental decision factors where the type of music played (French or German) affected the amount of French or German wine purchased. He also described social factors and personal factors (“hot states”). Context changes the way we think and behave. He described a study where they tracked a woman’s emotional states through her journey to a shopping experience and during the experience. They showed faces and asked the respondent to choose which face expresses how they feel right now. Happy shoppers spend about 9% more. Hungry shoppers spend about 8% more. Tired people spend 46% more. The way we feel has a direct impact on the way we behave. Too much current market research ignores context. The mobile device is well-suited to collect in-the-moment context.

10:35 a.m.

Michael Oxfeldt of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, Reineke Reitsma of Forrester Research and Martin Lloyd of Greenpeace served on a panel discussing the effect of the SoLoMo (social/local/mobile) convergence on marketing insights. Lloyd discussed some of the challenges of being an activist organization operating in China. Reitsma discussed how Forrester is taking mobile into account in how it produces research reports. Lloyd said Greenpeace has studied how mobile technology played a part in both the Occupy movement and the Arab Spring. Reitsma said in the next 5 years you cannot have a significant presence if you don’t have both a social and a mobile component.

9:38 a.m.

Betty Adamou of Research Through Gaming talked about her company’s creation of research games, which she said is a first in the research industry and and a first in the gamification industry. She described a research game created for BBC Magazines’ children’s publications. Children are a notoriously difficult to research population. The study was intended to assess advertising and evaluate which celebrities are most influential. Prior to the study RTG conducted focus groups which made it clear that children take information quite literally and that has to be factored in to the design. Response was extremely high – the field period took less than half the allotted time of two weeks. The children made an avatar of themselves and explored a virtual house. The goal was to find stars in the house; each star was associated with a survey question. There were separate paths for boys and girls. There was a game within the game where respondents had to guess celebrities from pictures which were slowly revealed in stages. Some children came back to play the game after the data were already collected.

9:12 a.m.

Stefan Knect of GfK Nurago talked about the big change in our lives which is the ubiquity of technology. We are always connected. He gave examples of the importance and penetration of mobile technology in the developing world. He said there is no mobile web – there is just the web. There is also no desktop web or tablet web. He said that mobile is taking a bite into traditional media, and that money follows attention, so more money will flow into mobile. He gave statistics indicating mobile’s growth resembles online’s growth 10 years ago. He also talked about the fact that geolocation data is meaningful only in context. GfK’s approach is to measure passively when possible, and if that fails ask the respondent. He said mobile devices are our exobrains. Kids will not know anything other than smart devices.

8:48 a.m.

Mark Beilby of Lumi Mobile talked about opportunities to measure instant feedback with mobile. He talked about Lumi’s technology which is for both smartphones and non-smartphone mobile devices. He discussed the importance of usability and gave examples of diary research on mobile where usability is key, including clear icons and simple navigation. He discussed the ability to send push reminders. He said client completion rates and satisfaction scores are impressive. He also discussed passive metering, and gave an example of a panelist, “Molly Bloom,” whom they were able to profile in great detail due to passive metering. Moderator Ray Poynter raised the question of whether changes in technology are simply measuring changes in behavior or are in part causing those changes.

8:32 a.m.

Vivek Bhaskaran of Survey Analytics and Ken Peterson of Ipsos Loyalty outlined the dramatics growth of mobile.  They mentioned the difficulty respondents have in recalling information for traditional surveys.  Mobile allows researchers to collect data at the “Point of Emotion.” Ipsos Loyalty approached Ikea with SurveySwipe to revamp their customer satisfaction research.  They created a mobile panel and cut the traditional customer satisfaction survey to 5 minutes.  The surveys include GPS push notifications of customers when they enter the store.  The surveys also include photo question types.  The surveys give Ikea Immediate Response Opportunities (IROs) where they can respond to issues before the customer leaves the store.  Customer satisfaction scores have been moving up significantly.

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