Mobile Marketing Research

The digitalization of society makes it increasingly difficult to deliver representative results with market research concepts. Today consumers cannot be divided into clearly separate categories and reached easily via telephone or mail. Mobile Marketing Research makes it possible to reach customers or consumers via their smartphone or cell phone.

Mobile Marketing Research


Mobile marketing research describes surveys that are sent via cell phone or smartphone. These are generally opinion surveys, feedback sheets, customer surveys and marketing research about mobile devices.

As with online surveys, the large, modern cell or smartphone screens enable different types of questions. One can either ask “yes” or “no” questions, provide answer options with multiple choices, or a closed selection list from which the respondent can select an answer. Companies can also include text fields for creative answers or a matrix question in which various items must be evaluated. Semantic connections that are asked in a complex evaluation scheme are also possible. Ideally, a mobile marketing survey should take no longer than ten minutes otherwise, respondents will lose interest.

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Historical Market Research

Back in 2007 a new and exciting invention came out, it was known as the iPhone and Apple claimed it to be “five years ahead of any other mobile phone”. However, before this society didn’t know what a smartphone was. For those who had phones they were often bulky, with small, green screens and little functionality beyond SMS, basic browsing and email retrival. Sending texts and emails was slow and labourious compared to today. So how did companies do their research? How did they find out what the public wanted?

Past Methods

Traditional methods were used in the past, consumer surveys would be posted randomly to homes in the hope the consumers would fill it out and send it back. Of course, many didn’t so companies would look to other methods. Some businesses would cold call customers asking them to answer questions. Some hired workers to go door to or stop members of the public on the street. All of this took a lot of time, money, effort and wouldn’t always get them the data they wanted. When people started to use mobile phones with screens some businesses would send SMS surveys but these were limited.

Technological Advancements

Unsurprisingly, by 2006 there were more people in the world who owned a mobile phone than who owned a landline. By 2020 the mobile smartphone was the device used the most to access the internet. This acceleration in the advancements and use of technology meant it was time for researchers to shake things up. As soon as people started using their smartphones businesses had a new way to engage with customers.
Email, SMS, pop-ups, virtual chat, social media and more all became new routes to ask consumers questions. This can vary from a satisfaction questionnaire after using a service to completing a long but fun and engaging survey via an email link. Additionally, people are very much attached to their phones and as such will be willing to complete surveys. In many underdeveloped areas of the world people are able to own a mobile phone but have never owned a PC or laptop. This gives even more reach across the world to researchers.

Benefits of Mobile Marketing Research

The benefits of mobile marketing research are that customer data and opinions can be queried in real-time. Surveys can be carried out anywhere and at any time and therefore reach more customers. Most under 25-year-olds have a smartphone and many business people can always be reached on their cell phone. Companies can utilise smartphone technology to engage with customers.
Specifically designed sites and apps encourage customers to share their opinions, sometimes this is for free, for points/prizes or it can be paid. Push notifications remind customers to complete research which is shared instantly with the relevant businesses. Dedicated methods like this can cut costs and time for the company and provide a benefit to the customer. This two-way situation can even be enjoyable for some and therefore creates more and more people to complete the research with ease.

Targeting Consumers

Geotargeting means companies can know where their customers are via their smartphone. When a business wants the opinion of people who are in a certain country, state or even town they can use geofencing to target the right people. The ability to share is also beneficial as customers tell one another about the company. Additionally, this can lead to certain kinds of marketing compaigns to “go viral” meaning more exposure. The personal and direct nature of surveying via a phone means more intimate questions can be asked. People are unlikely to talk about their personal life on a street or a group study. However, the discreet nature of mobile marketing means no one else needs to know.

Data Collection

Results are often simple to track for those doing the research. Collecting the data is easy and simple to then show results. This leads to companies being able to adapt, be more relevant and to be more accurate in the future. The data can also go on to help the company gain exposure. While search engine optimisation (SEO) certainly benefits companies it is complex. Yet the basics can be assisted by content marketing to draw customers in, this is often done via promotions in social media. It can also be done via their own website or marketing materials sent direct to customers.

Drawbacks of Mobile Marketing Research

Firstly, companies must make a good impression and the initial impression is the most important. For examples, if a pop-up interrupts what someone isreading, or a survey shows errors messages then the customer is likely to abandon the site or app. It could also give the company a bad name if the errors are particularly bad or offensive. Additionally, companies must remember that not all customers are equal. Whilst smartphones are undeniably popular, not everyone has one. Therefore, businesses need to be aware that they could be inadvertently making their content inaccessible.

Consumer Differences

The other thing to take into account is that not everyone has the same expenditure than everyone else. For some they can pick up their phone and browse without a care. Others however, may have to keep a very close eye on their data. This may be down to low income, high data cost or both. Thinking that everyone can access your marketing content all the time is a mistake and may lead to less data than anticipated.

The Future of Mobile Marketing Research

In the past, companies thought of mobile market research as a simple addition to their current research. However, it’s best advised that it is seen as it’s own thing. The reason for this is that it’s growing all the time and becoming more and more popular. As previously mentioned, many many people across the world own a mobile phone, especially a smartphone. This way of contacting people is becoming the norm rather than the exception. For these reasons it is important that companies incorporate this method or they will be left behind.

Recent research shows that people prefer texts over calls, most internet users use their phone, many people carry out transactions on their phone. This trend isn’t slowing down and it’s expected to rise more and more in the future. In 2020 in the USA it was shown that 71% of visitors to retail sites used their mobile phone. Therefore, it’s vital for companies to invest in mobile marketing research. It’s shown time and again that consumers are drawn to interesting and creative content. This can be done so much easier via SMS, pop-ups, apps etc compared a phone call or letter.