Mobile technology is proving to be the gift that keeps on giving to the mobile research community as well as consumers interested in driving product and service improvements with their favorite merchants. Mobile survey technology continues to revolutionize the consumer research industry, rapidly changing the methodology of market research data-capture. Mobile technology has introduced amazing efficiencies for mobile market researchers. Below I discuss a few of the most dramatic technological advantages over more traditional data capture methodologies from the perspective of the mobile research professional.
Mobile Research survey apps (b2b)
- Offline survey apps – survey apps that are installed on the mobile device, instead of a mobile web survey (which is running an online survey on a mobile device), provides the advantage of running online (when connected to the Internet), but more importantly they can also provide offline data capture as well. For example, the TouchPoint mobile survey app checks for an Internet connection after every survey is completed and if it finds it, it uploads the data in real-time, if not , it simply stores the data locally on the device for upload at a later time.
- GPS tracking – in addition to the date, time and duration of a survey, now each , mobile survey apps capture the GPS coordinates as well which provides an additional layer of information within the survey reporting. Now we know where the respondent was when they answered the survey. What a great solution for mystery shopping research companies whose pain-point is knowing with confidence that their mystery shoppers were actually at the merchant location when completing the survey!
- Media capture – now mobile researchers can include media capture along with the quantitative survey data. Using the example again of a mystery shopper, think about the effectiveness of being able to use the survey tablet or mobile phone survey app to snap a picture of the dirty bathroom or changing room and append it to the survey data with their report. In addition to photos, most enterprise capable survey apps also support video and verbatim voice comment capture.
- Push notification and Location-based services – promises to be very exciting technology for mobile research. Using a combination of GPS and Wi-Fi signals, devices can transmit where they are within a few hundred feet. Although this technology is still maturing, it promises to provide some very exciting push capabilities. For example, for those consumers participating in a research panel can receive surveys in real-time to their mobile device based on where they are located at any given time. Think about a merchant location that is wanting to gather consumer feedback from shoppers when in their stores – those shoppers would receive a Push alert when they arrive at that merchant’s location asking if they’d like to participate in their survey! One point to consider here is connectivity is required for to take advantage of this feature. Although offline survey apps can store survey data locally when offline, they cannot download new content or new surveys when offline!