Recently, at one of her concerts, Adele called out a fan for having their phone in front of their face for the entire show. She told the fan to be 'in the moment' and enjoy the concert. While I haven’t been lucky enough to score a ticket to an Adele concert, I recently attended the 2016 Market Research in the Mobile World North America conference. You may wonder what the connection between these two things is…however, there is one.
What if that same mobile phone in Adele’s face is the key to 'in the moment' research? At MRMW, several industry leaders discussed how panelists can use their mobile phones to upload pictures or even videos of their experiences and, through geo-fencing, surveys can even be pushed directly to shoppers’ phones while in a store. We all know that the closer to the experience that the survey happens the more present it will be in the survey taker’s mind. And, as a result, the data will be more robust. However, the challenge continues-- how do we get panelists to take surveys on their phones to get this real, in the moment data?
What if we are thinking about this all wrong?
As Ryan Versfeld from MDI alluded to maybe we should not be making surveys “device friendly,” but rather, we should be designing surveys specifically for mobile phones. Over half of panelists sign up for our panel through their mobile phones, so why not make sure they have special surveys for them, which captures in the moment data. Using the cycle of innovation that Mikel Cirkus spoke about from the perfume industry at Firmenich.com, rather than modifying our already established infrastructure, we should be observing the trend and entice consumer to take surveys in the moment. Three recommendations include:
- Be considerate of the question length. Use short concise wording to make it easier for mobile respondents. If you have a good tweeter in the office, use them to help omit needless words and make questions more concise.
- Go off grid. Consumers on the go won’t take the time to scroll or fidget around with their smartphones (the device of choice for shopper surveys). Eliminate standard grid questions that require scrolling and use drop-down boxes or dynamic grids instead.
- Time is of the essence. In order to keep survey respondents alert, focused and engaged, keep the survey length at 15 minutes or less. This timeframe also helps decrease drop-out rates.
Our industry talks a lot about mobile first, but there is a growing need to practice what we preach. For example, Ben Babcock from Jet.com talked about building their mobile shopping platform. All of their programmers not only have a PC on their desk, but also a mobile device to make sure everything works properly on there.
As researchers, we should take the same principle and apply it to survey taking. We should test surveys on PCs and mobile devices. If we build it, they will come and take surveys. Their experience will be better and the data will benefit from it.