Trying and failing to engage a market research panel that will consistently give you the data you need, when you need it, calls to mind the refrain of a Number One pop hit from 1963: “It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to.”
It’s not uncommon for researchers to turn to MFour after they’ve experienced sampling shortfalls and busted deadlines due to unfilled quotas. There may not be any actual tears involved, but they're definitely unhappy. The problem often lies in their having used multi-sourced, third-party consumer panels when a single-source, first-party option is the surest, fastest, most efficient way to get projects underway and bring them off, tearless and trouble-free.
MFour’s answer to market research panel recruitment in the Smartphone Era is its signature mobile research app, Surveys On The Go® (SOTG). This advanced research technology is the focal point for our large, diverse panel, all of the U.S. consumers who have downloaded the app. While there’s much to say about SOTG and the users who engage with it, a few numbers tell the story.
- A 4.5-star rating out of 5, across more than 100,000 individual ratings in the Apple App Store and on Google Play, attests to app-users’ satisfaction with their research experiences.
- Because SOTG users enjoy their research experiences and jump on survey opportunities quickly, clients can expect 25% response rates in the first hour, 50% within the first 24 hours.
- Engagement doesn’t diminish for longer surveys: expect a 95% completion rate even with LOI of 20 minutes or more.
Activating special smartphone capabilities such as location-based in-store and after-visit surveys, and open-ended “video selfie” responses, opens up a data goldmine for the researcher and provides a fun, rewarding use of the phone for the respondent. That’s why SOTG users are eager to participate whenever they receive a survey invitation.
Here are some other data points to consider when choosing between mobile and online panels.
The younger the consumer, the less likely that person is to even own a personal computer. According to Pew Research Center, 28% of U.S. consumers ages 18 to 29 rely solely on smartphones to get online.
Among consumers ages 30 to 39, 24% are reachable by smartphone only.
It’s even worse if you need to survey Hispanics, 35% of whom are smartphone-only.
Among African-Americans, 24% of consumers are smartphone-only.
When you decide to go with mobile research, don't make the mistake of treating it as a commodity. Mobile methodologies and technologies are not all the same, and it's essential to choose one that's focused on delivering research experiences that smartphone users will enjoy.
As this article by Jason Spero, Google’s Vice President of Global Performance Solutions, attests, today’s smartphone-centric consumers don’t merely expect to have great experiences on their phones. A a strong majority will be completely unforgiving if their mobile experiences fail to meet their expectations.
“When people have a negative brand experience on mobile, they are over 60% less likely to purchase from that brand in the future,” Spero observed. Conversely, “nearly 9 in 10 smartphone owners who describe a mobile brand experience as helpful or relevant would purchase from the brand again.”
For “brand experience,” substitute “consumer research experience,” and you’ll understand why consumers are often put off and lost as research subjects when their experiences fall short.
Activating special smartphone capabilities is a mutually-beneficial way to give consumers the kinds of experiences they want.
- Location-based in-store and after-visit surveys let you stop asking about experiences and behaviors that have taken course over weeks or months. Nobody wants to face questions they can't really answer because they don't have a firm recall.
- Asking for open-ended “video selfie” responses is an invitation to consumers to do what comes naturally on their phones: create media and share it.
- Video answers also are a goldmine of qualitative, experiential data for researchers. Working them into your presentations adds a vivid human touch to the consumer stories you're trying to tell.
Just think of all these options as party favors you'll get when you make your survey research projects first-party.