Mobile Research in a Mobile World

Randomised ListI spent Wednesday last week chairing the first day of the MRMW conference in Kuala Lumpur, a well-attended event with participants and contributors from around the globe. The conference highlighted a number of key trends about mobile market research (MMR), including:

  1. Mobile is still, and perhaps increasingly, a hot topic for a wide cross-section of buyers, users, and providers of research.
  2. One key trend from the conference was that although smartphones are great for qual, and whilst some interesting work is happening on tablets, and despite the need to use feature phones at the moment, the future of most MMR (by volume and value) will be via smartphones and will relate to quantitative research.
  3. Several of the presentations highlighted that a key challenge, with MMR, is sourcing an appropriate sample. However, this problem is being reduced by the growing number of mobile panels that are springing up around the world, and the adoption of mobile-enabled research communities.
  4. Another challenge for MMR is the issue of how to fit a mode that focuses on short surveys (2, 3, 5, or perhaps 10 minutes) into a market where surveys have been getting longer and longer (30, 40, and even 60 minutes). The general agreement is that MMR is not a replacement technology for doing long surveys, it has its own strengths and these are the key to what it should be used for.
  5. In the future, indeed now, passive data, questionnaires, and social media need to be integrated – mobile will be key to this integration, but the integration will require a big data competence (which in turn implies utilising people like data scientists).

The feeling from the audience at MRMW was that what the research industry needs now are more case studies, more RoR, and more ‘best practice’ guides.

I am particularly keen on this area as I am working with Navin Williams to put together an online learning course for MMR and after that a book – more on both soon. If you have material that you’d like to contribute to the course or the book, please drop me an email, or LinkedIn message, or Twitter DM.