Mobile News Mix

Use These 3 Easy Tools To Make Sense of Connected Consumers' Complex Shopping Journeys

Posted by MFour on Mar 7, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Thanks to smartphones' impact on shopping behavior, today's purchase paths are markedly more complex than the traditional model that sufficed before the world became mobile and consumers became continuously connected to it.

A recent report from Digiday illustrates how complex retail shopping is becoming. The article focuses on the proliferation of dynamic pricing, which has introduced a new level of uncertainty, ephemerality and risk to attempts to adjust prices to maximize revenue and market share.  

“The notion of `everyday low prices,’ trumpeted by retailers like Walmart and Target, is being turned on its head,” writes Digiday reporter Suman Bhattacharyya. “In its place, pricing algorithms spit out different figures based on factors that could include time of day, demand, location, competition, and customer buying patterns.” For example, someone using a retailer's app to search for products might see different prices than a shopper in the same retailer’s brick and mortar stores.

The article says that Amazon's algorithm-driven powers of flexible pricing have prompted competitors to introduce dynamic pricing strategies of their own. But there are pitfalls: “While retailers recognize that dynamic pricing is necessary to stay competitive, it comes with the risk of undermining customer trust due to perceptions of price gouging or price discrimination.”

As consumer reality becomes more complex and difficult to pin down in this era of constant consumer connection, a first-party mobile consumer panel whose validated, demographically profiled members can be observed as well as surveyed will bring much-needed stability, reliability and utility to market research. Here are a few examples:

  • You can use always-on behavioral data that doubly opted-in mobile consumer panel members authorize MFour to collect, whether it's to focus on their physical journeys in-the-moment, or track them or over weeks and months for insights into their visitation patterns.
  • Combining observed location visits with event-triggered surveys lets you communicate with validated shoppers while they’re still in a store, or just after they’ve left. You’ll collect feedback at the Point-of-Emotion®, avoiding the gaps in time between store experience and data collection that allow recall bias to seep in.
  • Identify shoppers by the mobile apps they use, allowing you to target surveys to them with 100% accuracy. Ask about their experiences with the app itself, or use mobile app tracking as an identification tool for targeting digital shoppers whose app use validates their interest in the brand.

But remember: no research technology will help you understand connected consumers if your participants are not fully engaged, representative and validated as accurately-profiled real people. 

Neither observed data nor survey data will yield quality insights if you’re not observing and surveying the people who are most  relevant to the business problem at hand. It may sound counterintuitive, but the solution for understanding a world that presents consumers with complex, multi-channel opportunities to shop and be influenced is to activate research that springs from a single source: an all-mobile panel, organized around a standard-setting mobile research app. Only a demographically diverse market research panel that's consistent with today's always-on, app-dominated information flow can provide the validated representation and proven engagement you need to observe, survey and understand. 

Topics: consumer data, purchase path, always-on data, connected consumers

5 Key Questions To Ask Consumer Panel Vendors

Posted by MFour on Feb 26, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Here are five intensely important questions to ask when you’re deciding how to do consumer market research in today’s always-on data environment.

  • How can I get data I can trust, from a consumer panel that’s worth trusting?
  • Given the drastic changes in consumers’ purchase paths, how can I identify all the key touchpoints to collect market research data when and where it truly matters?
  • When confronted with Big Data and its sources, how can I tell what’s gold from what’s fool’s gold?
  • How can I get research projects done fast enough to satisfy my clients or stakeholders?
  • With so many providers launching so many products, how can I tell which ones really work?

Now here are five simple responses that will point you toward the answers. 

Related: Market Research for Consumer Products

Trusting the consumer panel/trusting the data:

  • Just ask specific questions about where your data is coming from. If the answer is not clear and simple, look elsewhere. Recruiting a quality, representative market research panel is widely seen as a Herculean task. MFour’s solution is simple: people love their phones. They especially love using apps on their phones. Partner with a mobile market research provider who has a great market research app that attracts a quality, reliable engaged first-party all-mobile consumer panel.  MFour’s app, Surveys On The Go® (SOTG) has been proving its mettle since 2011 and has attracted more than 2.5 million U.S. users. They’ve validated their engagement by giving SOTG a 4.5-star rating on both the Apple and Google app-download sites.

Staying in touch with changing consumer purchase paths:

  • It’s a long and winding road that leads consumers to your door, and today that door is often a retail website or a brand’s app instead of, or in addition to, the door to a physical store. The common denominator is the smartphone, which consumers use to go online and keep in their hands, pockets or handbags when they’re offline.

The online/offline distinction is becoming less clear because there’s so much toggling back and forth, as in checking prices on the web while shopping in a brick-and-mortar store. You need to find research tools and products that can take you everywhere there’s relevant, insights-rich data. It may be online or offline, it may be observational or survey-based, it may be event-triggered or not specific to a moment or a place. But it has to be always on, and it has to take you everywhere your consumers are going along the new purchase paths their smartphones are carving for them.

Big Data Tsunami

  • Just stick to the fundamentals: who are the actual consumers who are providing the data, when did they provide it, and where were they in online or offline space when they generated it? Big Data will confuse you if you don’t have a clear and simple understanding of its sources. It becomes an extremely useful tool for consumer segmentation and other research purposes if you do have the clear and simple understanding of your data sources. Who, exactly , is generating the data you’re observing or actively eliciting, and how have they been recruited?

Fast and faster research

  • It comes down to whether you can connect quickly with known consumers, and how quickly they respond. Waiting for panel aggregators to fill your quotas is slow and leaves a lot to chance. Gathering a first-party consumer panel around a market research app gives you a unified, consistent, always-on data source that’s both validated and fast. You can expect MFour’s SOTG app-users to give you response rates of 25% within one hour and 50% within 24 hours.

Wading through the research product glut

  • Keep it simple. If the consumer panel is reliably representative and quick to respond, the under-the-hood technology and methodology that wins their participation and obtains their data is by definition working smoothly and effectively. If you can get everything you need from a single source – the consumers, the technology, versatile use cases and in-house project support steeped in market research know-how from survey design, programming and fielding through analysis and data reporting, then so much the better.

If one-stop shopping sounds appealing, just scroll to the menu at the top of this page and dive in for details on how mobile app research will drive success with your current projects.

 

 

 

Topics: mobile market research, surveys on the go, in-app Mobile surveys, mobile app research, consumer data

MFour Announces New Team Members in Product Marketing and Sales

Posted by MFour on Feb 8, 2019 1:37:11 PM

TAT Blog

(L-R Natasha Tran, Thomas Palompelli, Allison Constable)

MFour has hired three team members in Product Marketing and Sales who will help bring innovative online and offline mobile data products to market and help businesses use them to support smart decision-making.

Thomas Palompelli is Director of Product Marketing, a new position that plays  a key role in defining, developing and launching MFour’s data products. He brings extensive experience in advertising and ad tech, most recently as Director of Product Marketing at FreeWheel, a Comcast company. At MFour, Tom’s portfolio encompasses a wide range of product offerings for brands and retailers who need quality consumer data in all its dimensions. He holds a Master’s degree from Fordham University in Business Administration, Management and Marketing, and a dual-major Bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management and Information Systems and Operations from Fairfield University. Having grown up, attended college and spent his career until now in the Greater New York City area, Tom is beginning a new chapter as a Southern Californian. He enjoys riding a motorcycle and will now face a big decision: to lane-split or not to lane-split. It’s illegal back in New York.

Allison Constable joins the Sales team as a Senior Solutions Executive, advising brands, media companies and agencies on how to harness MFour’s groundbreaking products to drive better insights into advertising effectiveness. She brings considerable experience to addressing clients’ challenges in testing and measuring the impact of their advertising. Allison’s previous positions include Business Development Director for Media & Content at Kantar, Ad Effectiveness Analyst for Buzzfeed and Client Supervisor for Millward Brown Digital.  She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communication at Elon University. Outside of work, she likes reading and listening to podcasts about human behavior and emotion, CrossFit, yoga, petting every dog she sees, spending time outside, cooking and hosting dinner parties for her friends.

Natasha Tran arrives as a Senior Solutions Development Representative, educating prospective clients about MFour products, including always-on tracking of consumers’ offline and online buying journeys. She previously was a Sales Executive for real estate data company Zillow Group, specializing in driving new business for its advertising platform. Natasha also gained a first-hand perspective on the needs of businesses and their customers in an earlier job as an Assistant Manager for Enterprise Rent-a-Car. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Riverside, majoring in Media and Cultural Studies, with a minor in Business Administration. Her outside interests include snowboarding and enjoying time with her dog.

Topics: mobile research, market research, MFour careers, consumer data

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