Brand & Market Researcher need to start interacting with the mobile generation.

September 5, 2017

In just a few short years the idea of a mobile era has evolved from distant theory to everyday reality.

People no longer spend their free time sitting in front of their PC and even when they do they’ll often be on their smartphone or tablet as well. We wake up and check our mobiles, work with them, eat with them, spend our leisure and TV time with them, and finally go to sleep using them.

Advertisers have observed and reacted to the trend. According to IAB, mobile ad spend in the US, at $36.6 billion, has for the first time exceeded all other digital spend.

Pollsters have seen campaign after campaign being called wrongly using traditional panels, whilst mobile app-based research has tended to make the correct calls, time after time.

According to the Pew Research Centre approximately 4 in 5 Americans now owns a smartphone, and for Millennials the figure is already above 90%.

What’s more, apart from the calls we make, it’s app usage that dominates our time. ComScore found that 58% of all digital usage time occurs in mobile apps, far exceeding desktops/laptops’ 33% share. By contrast, mobile web has only an 11% share of access time for mobile devices.

It’s now time for the research community to react in a similar way and use mobile as a key research platform. In the 180 countries where there is a 3G or 4G/LTE network we could be gaining more relevant and accurate consumer insights.

The implications for the research industry are clear:

We need to be engaging respondents when they are using their existing mobile apps.

This has the added benefit of shifting research sampling from national to international. We can reach people anywhere in the world, quicker than we would have done with a traditional local telephone omnibus.

At MobOpinions we’ve been pioneering the field of in-app research. And our work with leading brands and research agencies has provided new insights for the research community:

  • By reaching ‘newbies’ we do not need to depend on panels. Accuracy of response is improved, and panel bias reduced, i.e. we avoid people who regularly take surveys.

  • When engaging a generation that is so easily distracted, the use of graphics and user-experience are critical. By factoring in speed, simplicity and an entertaining flow, survey completion rates improve dramatically.

  • Instead of defining groups of respondents solely by traditional demographics, psycho-graphics or brand usage, we can now also define them by their mobile profile. We know whether their phone is Apple, Android, Samsung, etc. because we automatically gather their device-ID.

Mobile is not just a shift in screen size, it offers a whole new research approach that requires thoughtful survey planning, integration, and user-experience delivery. Once these have been achieved there are huge benefits on offer in terms of reach, speed of response, accuracy, and value-added mobile usage insights that can help in truly understanding this new generation of consumers.

To discuss the article, or to find out more please contact [email protected] .


MOBOPINIONS mobile survey research platform reaches over 1 billion monthly respondents globally, through thousands of apps on smartphones & tablets. The proprietary platform enables survey researchers and brands to gain opinions and insight from mobile audiences using the apps data to gather location, demographics and device specific information, including the Device Ad ID, which has been used with Facebook, Google and other digital advertiser to reach users displaying similar behavioral attributes