Last week, FlexMR Insight Manager Louisa Thistlethwaite posted a thought-provoking article on the Paradox of Mobile Market Research. The article explains, in-depth, the challenges research agencies face when conducting mobile research. The article revolved around the observation that mobile research is not, in many cases truly mobile. It may be completed on a handheld device, but that isn't enough.
Mobile research is sold as a way to reach consumers in-the-moment, during key moments throughout their daily lives. Whether it's a trip to the supermarket, a family vacation or even the commute to work - we now have the capability to research consumers in that exact moment. Traditional research methods have long since suffered from their reflective nature. Instead of asking what consumers are feeling, they must settle for asking how they did feel. It relies on memory - something that is often far from perfect.
The paradox Louisa describes in her article is that despite being sold as a way to overcome this obstacle, much mobile research is completed in the exact same way. It may be completed on a smartphone or tablet, but it often isn't completed in-the-moment. That should be concerning to researchers. It negates the most important, discussed and sold benefit of mobile market research. Louisa challenged brands and agencies alike to be better - to enforce mobile restrictions that ensure in-situ completion. That is, after all, what we as researchers want.
The RBDR Reviews
Since the article was posted, it has become a topic of debate among mobile researchers. Bob Lederer of RFL Communications picked up on the significance of the topic and posted a video review of the article on the RBDR YouTube channel. You can watch the full review below:
A few days after the review was posted, CEO of FlexMR, Paul Hudson was invited to respond to the article - expanding on the observations made and providing greater insight into the issue. The interview discusses the prevelance of the problem, as well as why it is so crucial for agencies to develop innovative solutions as they further develop mobile offerings.
What are your opinions on the state of mobile research? Do you believe enough is done to cement the real-time, in-situ claims of the method, or do you think there is still work to be done? Let us know in the comments below and join the conversation.
View our free webinar recording on the topic - Researching Mobile Consumers in a Global Economy. Or, watch a short, two minute demo of our online and mobile research tools in action.