The Challenges And Opportunities Of Mobile Research


Reineke Reitsma

[Posted by Reineke Reitsma]

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In the past year I've spend quite some time looking into innovative research methodologies. One methodology that really has won over my heart is mobile research1 (see my report The challenges and opportunities of mobile research for full details). The anytime anywhere aspect of the mobile phone, combined with people's emotional attachment to it, makes it an ideal device for people to share their thoughts and opinions in a research context.

I recently published a case study in collaboration with MESH Planning, Microsoft Advertising and Fox Movies that shows how mobile research helped them gain insight in the buildup of movie promotion. Movies are "hot" only for a limited amount of time, and the big push is just before the launch and in the first week after.

To track awareness, appreciation, and impact of the movie ads real-time, respondents where asked to send a text message whenever they saw
or heard something related to a certain set of movies. The respondents had to answer the following questions (using text codes):
Which film was it? Where did you see, hear or experience it? How did it
make you feel? How much attention did you pay?

MESH Planning received over 4,000 experiences, over 2,600 comments, and 266 pictures:

ExperiencesMESH 

The study helped Fox and Microsoft Advertising understand the effectiveness of advertising in each of the channels, the underlying reasons for people to rate the channels as they did, and how appreciation of the ads changed over time. Using mobile research also helped surface the relevance of less obvious channels like Internet (both online advertising and trailers), interviews/reviews, and conversations with friends or family.

But despite the great benefits that mobile research offers to consumer market researchers, we don't see massive uptake in the next couple of years. But in five years time, as the mobile Internet becomes mainstream and the mobile industry overcomes most of the technology issues, mobile research will reach a larger audience and I believe it will change the way research is done.

I'm interested in your thoughts - how do you see mobile research evolve in the coming years?

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Please note that we define mobile research as research conducted via SMS or the mobile Internet.

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