What are the key mobile market research questions?

Answer to Contemporary Market Research Questions

In 2013, ESOMAR published Answers to Contemporary Market Research Questions. A book which seeks to answer the questions that somebody new to a topic would often like to ask, but may be too embarrassed to ask. The book can be purchased from the ESOMAR website here.

In 2014, new chapters are being added to the book, and one of the new chapters will be mobile market research. At this stage we are identifying the ten (approximately ten) questions that the chapter should answer. Below are our initial thoughts.

  1. Can I assume that my research can be conducted entirely via smartphones?
  2. What are feature phones and how are they used in mobile research?
  3. When should I use mobile only and when should I use mixed-mode research?
  4. What is a research app and when are they used?
  5. What is passive data collection?
  6. Does mobile research give the same answers as online research?
  7. What are the key uses of mobile in qualitative research?
  8. How is geolocation being used in mobile research?
  9. What are the key legal and ethical issues for mobile research?
  10. ?

We would welcome your suggestions, for changes, additions, or deletions?

3 thoughts on “What are the key mobile market research questions?

  1. Hi Ray, good thread! These are some of the typical questions we at On Device Research get from both market researchers, and client-side insights folks:

    * Mobile panel: how representative is it, how is it recruited, what’s the incentive?
    * Mobile survey specifics: optimal length, rules on question types
    * Viability of rich media answers (photo, audio, video)

    Some other’s are already listed.

    Because of our speciality often we need to explain the difference between developed (smartphones + 3G) and developing/growth market (features phones + 2G + pay as you go).

    Hope this helps.

  2. Hi Ray,

    Some questions that come to mind from a solutions point of view when we read “Mobile Research” :

    1. Does Mobile research always translate into “Faster results”? Is “Faster” one of the main objectives when comapnies turn to mobile surveys?
    2. If they do, they will necessarily be some basic “Points to remember before you design your survey”

    Keen to hear your POV.


  3. Hi Ray, great questions. Here are some questions I’ve tackled on the practitioner side of mobile research:

    1. How will respondents or participants be acquired? Will the sample be purchased, or will live users of an experience be intercepted? Will other approaches, like apps, geo-targeted mobile advertising buys or QR code distribution be used? What response rates can we expect from these different approaches?

    2. Is the research instrument optimized for mobile display and a good user experience?

    3. Is it best practice to begin designing all surveys so that they have a mobile version and a ‘desktop version’? As mobile surveys often need to be shorter or more concise than their desktop counterparts, how does this affect the consistency of the overall analysis?

    4. Are there some use cases where we would recommend ONLY doing mobile research? For example, event research, shopping research, crowd sourcing of insights in real time, etc.

    5. More of a back end consideration, but surprisingly important – how is the data going to be collected, cached and stored? Is it cached in the device or is it transmitted to a server at the close of the survey, at timed intervals, or with each page refresh? The former option becomes really important when network coverage is spotty (particularly special events when thousands of extra people strain the network).

    Looking forward to hearing where you land on this.


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