Today, as the use of mobile exceeds that of desktop (51.3% of Internet use in the world) and more than 85% of adult population in the UK are equipped with a smartphone, Mobile is becoming more and more important in the area of market research. Mobile penetration has been rising across all age groups, and income brackets, enabling mobile surveys to reach a broader and more representative audience.
We increasingly see brands and research organisations taking advantage of this new channel to measure everything from customer experience to brand image or buyer behaviour.
When to use mobile surveys?
Mobile surveys can be used almost for any type of surveys and polls. The advantage of mobile surveys is that brands and organisations can interact with consumers wherever they are and get their direct and immediate feedback.
Mobile surveys can be used, for example to measure customer satisfaction, such as the NPS (Net Promoter Score), to collect feedback during an event, or to conduct a market survey, for example to measure brand awareness at the moment of purchase.
Surveys can be made in a punctual or a regular and automatic way, and messages can be triggered based on specific programmed scenarios. So, there is no need to cover all the aspects in one single questionnaire, but questions can be adapted based on the consumer responses in an interactive way.
Interactive mobile surveys via push notifications provide a greater context on user behaviour, through machine learning, among others, and provide new data for market research purposes. With mobile you can pin point your audience or create a panel based on very specific criteria, including the active and passive data of mobile users. For example, location-triggered mobile surveys can be used to measure to gather feedback on in-store or event experience. The data is collected in real time, which means you get results in the blink of an eye.
Taking advantage of machine learning
The selection of a sample, and the choice of tone, sequence of questions and formats used are all key factors to maximise response rates and quality. Mobile is a channel that allows instantaneity and ultra-personalisation of the interaction and engagement with a user but cannot guarantee a high completion rate for a survey, as high as it is in comparison with other channels.
The use of machine learning enables to consider the specificities and individual preferences of the respondents to maximise response rates; from the identification of a truly representative sample of app users to the optimisation of formats used. Machine learning is therefore a way to optimise survey management, both in terms of formats and content for a given sample of people.
Focus on Consumer experience
On mobile, it’s not just about asking the right question but equally about the format and context. When sending a message, the solution will automatically consider the language, format and time of receipt of the message. Mobile surveys get very high engagement rates, but they need to capitalise on the moment and be effortless, as consumers are no longer inclined to complete a 10-minute survey.
User experience and design are paramount. With rich formats, such as multiple-choice questionnaires (MCQs), images or videos, mobile surveys can be made more attractive and easier to fill out to improve response rates. To encourage consumers to respond to surveys, one can also offer rewards or offers tailored to the user preferences, for example.
Limitations and the impact of GDPR
To study the behaviour of mobile users, we use the applications on their phone, but also geolocation, if the user agrees. We must never lose sight of the fact that the data belongs above all to the user. We can only observe a user’s behaviour if the user consents. We cannot under any circumstances capture data if we have not been authorised.
Everyone processing personal data will be affected by the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), effective across EU from 25 May 2018. Solution providers and organisations processing data and must be able to justify the level of data protection offered and the respect of the privacy of consumers. When the new European GDPR directives were published, we of course analysed their content and made sure that we were compliant in every aspect.
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Article originally published in Survey Magazine, April 2018.