How Mobile Research Communities Can Deliver Better Insight
You probably already know the difference between qualitative and quantitative research, but in case you don’t, here’s a quick summary. Quantitative research tells you what’s going on, or how much is taking place. Qualitative research will then give you the answer to ‘why' these things are happening.
Technology has not only democratised research, it’s provided a platform to reach further and engage consumers in new and creative ways that (qualitative research methods such as) focus groups and depth-interviews can’t.
Mobile research communities, as they have come to be known, bring your customers close to you and enable you to see and experience how they are using and experiencing your brands, products and services first-hand. And as mobile phones are carried with us at all times, and left on almost 24/7, they provide the near perfect way to go where consumers go without interring with them or having to physically be alongside them.
Here are five reasons why mobile research communities can deliver better insight.
But beware, if you don’t plan for success, design great online research or pay close attention to your participants, this promise may not be achieved.
1) Depth and breadth
Unlike focus groups, mobile research communities give everyone in the room a voice, not just the loud ones. They provide a level playing field where everyone can be heard and share their views, ideas and experiences happily without interruption.
Better still, because you have the ability as the researcher or moderator to probe areas of interest over a longer period of time, you get more depth and richness (via multimedia) from a larger cross-section of your sample.
2) Close to the moment of truth
Consumers have their mobile phones with them at all times, so it’s easy for them to lift it out of their pocket and share moments and experiences with you as they happen. Social moments, unwrapping new purchases, even sharing the birth of a new child all count as valid moments we’ve captured in the past, and it’s an account that you’ll find hard to repeat after the moment.
3) Reach and ease
We speak about how easy it is to deliver internal studies without leaving your desktop. Mobile research communities can be launched in quick time with participants recruited from around the world, not just your domestic market. Then, within hours and sometimes minutes, you’ll start capturing rich data and identifying those all-important themes and trends.
4) Before, during and after
The ability for mobile research communities to engage consumers before an event, in-the-moment and then have them reflect on their experiences after the event is unrivalled. Consumers are often blissfully unaware of what motivate their behaviour, so by triangulating your approach you will get closer to the truth.
5) Understanding the old and new
Mobile research communities allow you to understand what’s taken place in consumers' lives up to that point. They also enable you to explore new products and ideas and understand unmet needs and the context in new and exciting ways.
Above all else, mobile research communities harness consumers’ existing online communication behaviours and make the experience fun and engaging as if they were speaking to friends in their social networks.