I know, it shouldn’t be news, but it bears repeating: all research is mobile.
Basically, half of the people you contact (be it by a call or an email or through a social network) are receiving your message and responding to via mobile phone. And that number is due to only go up.
Let’s look at the stats: Today, there are 2.6 billion or so smartphone subscriptions in the world. And, according to the annual Ericsson Mobility Report, by 2020 (that’s only FOUR years) that number is expected to be 6.1 billion. That’s 70 percent of the world’s population.
Unfortunately, there are lots of ways that mobile research fails to live up to its promise. So, let’s talk about ways to win:
- Responsive Design
I am shocked at the number of websites and emails that still don’t use responsive design. It’s been a year since Google began using mobile-friendliness as a criterion in ranking websites. Don’t be a dinosaur, make it easy for respondents to participate!
- Be in the Moment
Mobile works best when you ask respondents to complete a very simple task at that moment. Otherwise, the likelihood of ignoring the request or simply abandoning it mid-way through skyrockets.
- Develop a Singular App
Facilitate participation by creating an app specifically designed to make it easy for your respondents to participate.
Your respondent walks into a coffee shop and immediately receives a text request to respond to a question, or complete a simple task (such as, take a picture). This is an example of using geofencing: creating a virtual perimeter on geographic areas that have interest for you. Because your respondents have agreed to enable the location settings on their phones, you can reach out to them in particular locations. You can also incentivize (and set limits on) responses, such as, the first 500 people who respond get paid $2.
- RFID Tags
The radio frequency identification tags on products can also be used to reach out to respondents at a specific location. For example, your respondent enters the Dairy section of the grocery store and you text a question about yogurt.
The question isn’t whether or not to include mobile in your research, the question is how to effectively employ mobile to get the most value and insight from it.