Mobile News Mix

How To Visualize the Past, Present & Future of Consumer Journeys

Posted by MFour on Jul 11, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Time Machine Blog 6July18 

There’s an intriguing suggestion for consumer insights professionals in the July issue of Quirk’s Marketing Research Review: “Consider measuring the future to inform the present."

Research data that can accomplish this feat, we're told, can help brands “proactively change [consumers'] present behavior” in ways beneficial to future bottom lines.

Is this a suggestion that market research take cues from time-travel film scripts such as “Twelve Monkeys” and “The Time Machine?” Nope. It’s a piece of intriguing, out-of-the-box thinking from the Quirk’s article,“Going Beyond Self-Report,” by Jason Martuscello of BEESY, a marketing intelligence company grounded in behavioral science.

After getting our attention with his future-leaning vision of market research, the author makes it clear he’s talking about brands finding a way to influence today's consumers by asking about their expectations for tomorrow and beyond: “how they expect to feel” and where they “want to go.” Martuscello contrasts this eyes-forward approach with how “most research uses the past and present to passively predict future behavior.”

The article evenhandedly summarizes biases and limitations of self-report survey research, as well as biases and limitations of biometrics and other “new implicit [data] methodologies” that aim to supersede traditional surveys by probing for presumably more reliable non-conscious indicators of consumer sentiment.

But Martuscello also defends the value of self-reported consumer feedback – with the caveat that the surveys eliciting those responses must be well-designed.

“With concepts like cognitive biases and human irrationality taking center stage recently, it’s worth noting that people are real and can provide accurate answers to well-designed and structured surveys," he writes. "Tremendous business value can be exacted….People who claim self-reports are unreliable sources of information typically are misusing them,” or have partisan reasons for dismissing surveys as simply passé. 

The most trustworthy self-reported data about consumer sentiment and intentions, Martuscello adds, is that which demonstrates what he calls “stability,” “persistence” and “durability.”

“When intentions are stable (e.g., same over time) they are resistant to change and are better predictors of behavior.”

MFour's own method for overcoming recall bias and predicting consumer behavior emphasizes observing the actual buying journeys of real respondents from a first-party consumer panel, and using those observed journeys as a springboard to better-targeted and better-designed surveys that allow consumer insights professionals to  understand the “why” behind the "who, what and where." 

These consumer journeys, as visualized on the new Path 2 Purchase™ Platform, can be thought of as bringing together the past, present and future of real, validated consumers. Researchers get to follow  doubly opted-in members of the largest first-party, all-mobile panel of U.S. consumers as they move through time and space. The result is a way to influence future behaviors with data that helps decision-makers draw reliable conclusions about how and why current actions and attitudes came to be. 

The Path 2 Purchase™ process begins with targeting carefully profiled consumers who have been tracked and geolocated at a relevant retail location in real time. They then can be surveyed in-store or shortly after their visit. But instead of capturing an isolated event that is already receding into the past, Path 2 Purchase™ makes it possible to turn the survey encounter into a point on a continuum.

  • Researchers can look backward at the journeys that preceded the survey, illuminating the answers given at that specific moment.
  • Then they can carry on their studies into the future by watching the same consumers' ongoing journeys. If they stated an intention or a preference in the survey, did they follow through on it?
  • For example, you can interview a consumer at an auto dealership at an early stage in his or her car-shopping journey, and then see how many other dealerships, and of what makes, the same shopper subsequently visited.

This is why we say that Path 2 Purchase™ encompasses the future, as well as the present and the past. The result is a holistic view of validated consumer behavior along an ongoing continuum, rather than just a glimpse of a snapshot from a single point in time. 

And, thanks to the unique multimedia capabilities of smartphones and the advanced mobile-app surveys that take full advantage of their data-producing potential, you can literally see consumers as they are making their journeys. For example, by asking them to submit open-ended  “video selfie” responses that bring emotions and motivations fully to life. A further advantage of video responses: ironclad protection against data fraud, as you watch and listen as real people who are truly engaged with your questions give you their honest feedback.

To repeat a key passage from Jason Martuscello in his Quirk’s essay:

"It’s worth noting that people are real and can provide accurate answers to well-designed and structured surveys. Tremendous business value can be exacted….People who claim self-reports are unreliable sources of information typically are misusing them….”

For a productive demo and discussion of how you can get reliable location and survey data that helps you rise to the challenge of looking ahead and not just behind, just click here.

Topics: mobile market research, market research, path-2-purchase, consumer insights, surveys

Christmas in July? For Consumer Insights Pros, it's Part of the Job

Posted by MFour on Jul 5, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Christmas in July blog 28Jun18

If you’re a consumer insights professional for a brand or retailer, you’re probably getting ready to celebrate Christmas in July, although “celebrating” might not be quite the right word for it.

With so much revenue at stake during the holiday season, it’s smart to get an early jump on obtaining data that can give you an early read on consumers’ holiday spending inclinations and expectations. A baseline sense of their attitudes toward gift-shopping, travel and holiday parties could be the foundation for smart, data-informed thinking that will pay off during the year-end shopping crunch.

Those payoffs are potentially gigantic, so a few ounces of data-driven early preparation could reap a ton of success come the holidays. The National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that U.S. consumers spent $692 billion last November-December, not counting restaurants, gas stations and auto dealers. With that much money on the table, it’s worth your while to take a systematic, data-informed look ahead.

A wide range of retail categories historically have earned 20% or more of their annual revenues during November and December, according to the NRF. They includes jewelry stores, department stores, discount department stores, electronics and appliance retailers, clothing and shoe stores, sporting goods stores, hobby shops, book stores and music stores.

Here are examples of early-insights holiday research projects that might be worth exploring:

  • What are your loyal customers’ deep-down feelings about what makes for a great Christmas- shopping experience?

  • Start by gathering observational location-tracking data to identify your year-round loyalists (or your competitors’ loyalists).
  • Survey them now about what has made past Christmas shopping experiences special, or disappointing? What they say in July could be at least as revealing as what they say during the post-Thanksgiving heat of the hunt.
  • What makes special holiday features such as decorations and live Christmas music memorable and appealing rather than merely cliched? What turnoffs get in the way of a satisfying holiday shopping experience?
  • Art supply stores and hobby stores can track, identify and survey their loyalists and non-buyers who shop nearby. Get a preliminary sense of the market for DIYcreativity in gift-giving and greeting cards. 
  • When should casual dining restaurants launch special holiday menus? What offers would induce their regular customers to ramp up their patronage by organizing larger dine-out dinner parties with friends and coworkers? When do consumers most want to socialize outside their immediate families?

If you think it’s worth breaking a sweat in July to land data and insights that will pay off when "Jingle Bells" is in the air, we should talk soon. Set up a productive and informative demo by clicking here.

Meanwhile, here’s wishing a happy and safe Fourth of July to all.

Topics: market research, consumer insights, Christmas shopping, holiday retail

MFour Joins DPAA, the Leadership Hub of the Digital OOH Industry

Posted by MFour on Jul 3, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Blog DPAA logo 

MFour is delighted to be the newest member of DPAA (Digital Place Based Advertising Association), a global organization that provides leadership for the Digital Out of Home industry, serving as a nexus for information, marketing, and connections and collaborations. 

"MFour…is at the heart of why advertising on digital out-of-home media is growing so rapidly,” said Barry Frey, DPAA President and CEO.

“What we can do is extremely helpful to digital out-of-home advertisers and others in the OOH space,” added Chris St. Hilaire, MFour’s CEO and co-founder. “We are honored to be joining DPAA, and look forward to sharing what we’ve learned with our fellow members.”

To read the DPAA’s full announcement, click here.MFour enables OOH advertisers to observe opted-in consumers’ location journeys in real time, then survey them soon after an ad exposure or after any other relevant experience. To set up a live demo, just get in touch by clicking here.

Topics: market research, consumer insights, advertising research, OOH, ad measurement, digital advertising, out of home advertising

Stop Looking for Consumer Insights in All the Wrong Places

Posted by MFour on Jun 27, 2018 6:00:00 AM

Smartphone users blog 26Jun18You’re always on a quest for the best consumer insights, so doesn't it make sense to engage consumers in the way they’d most like to be engaged?

A new report from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), tells you exactly where to look. Here’s the key takeaway from the CTA’s announcement of findings from a survey of 2,016 U.S. adults:

“Smartphones continue their meteoric popularity and are now owned in 87% of U.S. homes, second only to televisions at 96 percent ownership.” Laptop computers are in 72% of households.

Adds Steve Koenig, the organizations’s vice president of market research, “The rapid ascent of smartphone ownership in U.S. households exemplifies the versatility of these devices – for communication, for entertainment, for productivity and more. And because of that, it’s possible we’ll see smartphone ownership in the U.S. match that of TVs within the next five years.”Separate studies by Pew Research Center have found that 77% of individual U.S. adults use smartphones, with the numbers soaring past 90% for Millennials and Gen Z. Meanwhile, says Pew, 20% of U.S. adults are strictly smartphone-reliant for online access, choosing to dispense with broadband subscriptions.

If you’re seeking insights from mobile consumers (who are now synonymous with consumers, period), you’ll profit from learning about mobile research best-practices. The crucial distinction to remember as  you explore how best to reach mobile consumers is between mobile research conducted with a proprietary app that’s been downloaded by a large and representative panel of validated, first-party consumers, and the mobile web approach (aka “mobile optimized” or “mobile first”). Mobile-app fully embraces the Smartphone Era and its vast possibilities for consumer insights. Mobile web, as its name implies, takes half-measures by attempting to adapt traditional online surveys to small screens; there's no attempt to master the special app technology required for seamless, sophisticated experiences for the researcher and mobile consumer alike.

If you’d like to learn more about in-app mobile and special capabilities such as location studies and harnessing phones’ multimedia capabilities for qualitative, in-their-own-words “video selfie” feedback, let’s set up a live demo. Just click here.

Topics: mobile research, smartphones, consumer insights, in-app Mobile surveys

Don’t Miss This Chance To Stretch Your DIY Research Budget 30%

Posted by MFour on Jun 13, 2018 12:16:43 PM

DIY Discount Blog Pic 13Jun18

Is a limited budget constraining your ability to obtain the high-quality data and consumer insights you need? Are you muttering under your breath that the limits you’re under are penny-wise but pound-foolish?

Recognizing that you’re hardly alone, we’re helping you get the most bang, and the fastest turnarounds, for your research bucks by pointing you to MFourDIY®.

Now through June 29th, the DIY Summer Promotion will put 20% to 30% more money in your pay-as-you-go account. $10k grows to $12k, 20k becomes $25k, and $50k rises to $65k.

  • Design your survey intuitively on an easy-to-use interface.
  • See results in real-time on your project tracker.
  • Expect response rates of 25% within an hour and 50% within 24 hours.
  • Get sophisticated design features and targeting variables at a cost-effective price.

The key to insights with MFourDIY® is the quality and representativeness of the consumers you’ll reach: 2 million validated U.S. users who have downloaded Surveys On The Go®, the most advanced, highest-rated and time-tested survey app.  

Score with attention-grabbing data and quality consumer insights that impress your decision-makers, and who knows? Maybe you’ll get a budget boost to boot. But regardless how money is being allocated in your organization, MFourDIY® will get  you the speed, efficiency and effectiveness your stakeholders expect.

To sign up, just click here.

Topics: DIY, mfourdiy, consumer insights, research automation

Why Consumer Insights Pros Should Follow Marketing Pros' Lead

Posted by MFour on Jun 6, 2018 11:37:21 AM

Laptop Destroyer blog 30May18

Should consumer insights professionals take an investment tip from the marketing departments of the brands they serve?

For brands, the smart money increasingly is on reaching consumers on their smartphones, according to a recently-issued report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) on how brands are dividing their digital ad-spend budgets. Here are key comparative figures for mobile vs. desktop ad revenues for 2017:  

  • Overall spending: Mobile, $50 billion; Desktop, $38 billion.
  • Percentage revenue gain, 2017 over 2016: Mobile, 36%; Desktop, 6%.
  • Share of digital ad spend: Mobile, 57%; Desktop, 43%.
  • The report also notes that in 2017, video ad spending on mobile rose by a whopping 54%, vaulting mobile ahead of desktop’s share of video ad dollars for the first time.

“Smartphones and tablets have become indispensable tools in the hands of consumers, from the moment they wake up to right before they go to sleep,” Anna Bager, the IAB’s Executive Vice President, Industry Initiatives, said in an announcement of the report. “A double-digit uptick in spend on mobile video is testament to both the pull of mobile and consumers’ never-ending demand for sight, sound, and motion—even while on-the-go.”

In the face of facts and business trends such as these, it seems increasingly incongruous that MFour’s solutions executives report pushback against mobile from a surprising number of consumer insights pros who want to stick with familiar, desktop-centric, online methodology. Among other things, last-gen approaches lose the chance to achieve compelling, location-based consumer understanding by accessing proprietary, smartphone-specific technologies such as GeoIntensity® and GeoNotification®

For a research industry that’s all about the numbers and how they’re trending, It just doesn’t add up. The boom in mobile advertising shows where the trend is going and where the smart marketing money already is. Unless we’re missing something, mobile is where the smart market researcher needs to be as well. In both consumer insights and consumer marketing, everything depends on being able to reach consumers, and the latest ad spending figures testify to how that’s best accomplished in the Smartphone Era.

For an informative and productive conversation about how you can invest in state-of-the-art, in-app mobile research to meet the engaged, validated, and representative consumers your own projects demand, just get in touch by clicking here.

Topics: mobile market research, consumer insights, advertising research, data quality, adv

Free Trial: Combine First-Party Observed Behavior With Surveys at 12.5 Million U.S. Locations

Posted by MFour on Jun 5, 2018 4:15:15 PM

P2P Dashboard

Marketing and consumer insights professionals who've visited the the MFour blog have seen lots of posts about the new Path-2-Purchase™ Platform. Now you can experience it for yourself. We've debuted a free, interactive Path-2-Purchase™ dashboard, and as you play with it, you'll see it's a dramatic step forward for the art of targeting and tracking consumers across their buying journeys. 

Read the full details here. Or to jump right into your free trial, just click here.

The Path-2-Purchase™ dashboard is a highlight of a new MFour.com website that’s been fully revamped and redesigned for easy access to clear, detailed, transparent content that lays out the state-of-the-art in mobile market research, including MFour's noted location-based survey capabilities powered by proprietary GeoIntensity® and GeoNotification® technologies. Please spend a few minutes strolling around the site, which we believe you'll find to be the largest, most useful and substance-filled repository of information about mobile market research and its best-practices you've ever encountered.

 

 

Topics: mobile targeting, mobile market research, market research, Path-2-Purchase™ Platform, consumer insights

Understanding CPG Non-Buyers with Path-2-Purchase™ Research

Posted by MFour on May 31, 2018 9:30:00 AM

Fast delivery blog image 15May18 


Can the CPG industry speed up its delivery of store inventory to sustain profitability? And can the consumer insights teams for brands and retailers speed up their delivery of CPG data to meet the unavoidably punishing deadlines that come with the breakneck pace of today's on-demand mobile commerce? 

The rising demand for speed, the intensity of deadline pressure, and the huge stakes involved are documented in a recent study by the Grocery Manufacturers’ Assn. (GMA) called “How CPG Supply Chains Are Preparing for Seismic Change.” A key takeaway is that producers of consumer goods face increasingly intense pressure to deliver products faster, and to a more diverse array of outlets, including the warehouses of Amazon and other e-commerce sites as well as traditional bricks-and-mortar stores. Retailers, the report says, are enforcing delivery deadlines by imposing fines when product shipments don’t arrive on time. All for the sake of ensuring that shoppers will be buyers, not non-buyers.

Understanding non-buyers is crucial in any context, and Path-2-Purchase™ Platform gives the consumer insights teams of CPG brands and retailers an unprecedented opportunity for fast insights. Here's how it works:

  • Researchers can track where validated U.S. consumers are now, and where they’ve been in the past, across 12.5 million U.S. locations, including all outlets of the top 1,000 retailers.
  • Immediately target mobile surveys to any relevant consumer profile, with the ability to build custom segments based on who panelists are and where they’ve gone. 
  • Identify and use proprietary mobile GeoIntensity® and GeoNotification®  technologies to approach consumers who sometimes go to your own store, and sometimes to a competitor’s stores.
  • Talk to targeted shoppers instantly in-store or just after they’ve left, while the experience and their emotions are still vivid and unimpeded by recall bias.
  • Identify non-buyers in the exit interview, and explore why they bought nothing, or didn't buy all the items they had intended.
  • How big a factor is unavailability, as opposed to pricing? Did the shopper ask for help finding the product? Does the data point toward delayed or incomplete product delivery? Answer these questions and you'll give your decision-making research stakeholders a road map to reducing non-buyers and the lost sales they represent. 

For a productive conversation about Path-2-Purchase™ and how to use it for insights into non-buying behavior, just get in touch by clicking here. And to see the GMA’s report on CPG supply-chain issues, just click here.

Topics: consumer insights, data quality, cpg

MFour Bolsters its Research Operations Team with Two New Hires

Posted by MFour on May 30, 2018 9:30:00 AM

Hiring R Gubernik

Hiring L O' Campo

Reed Gubernick (L) and Laura O' Campo

MFour has added two new Operations Department team members who will help ensure that clients receive excellent service and project outcomes. Reed Gubernick joins as a Research Manager, and Laura O’ Campo as a Research Associate.

Reed arrives with market research experience at previous employers NPD Group and Qualtrics. He’s a graduate of Brigham Young University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Statistics & Analytics and exercised entrepreneurial muscle by founding a clothing-design company.

Laura previously was a Project Manager for WeLocalize Life Sciences, working closely with clients of its translation services for clinical trials. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Allegheny College, where she was a double-major in Psychology and Spanish. Her leisure interests include spending time with family, kayaking, volunteer work and giving a home to two ferrets and a Chihuahua.

Welcome aboard, Reed and Laura!

Topics: consumer survey, market research, consumer insights, hiring news

No Blowing Smoke: Sharp, Sensible Thoughts from Swedish Match’s Research Chief

Posted by MFour on May 29, 2018 9:49:19 AM

Blog Swedish Match Quotes 15May18 

Here are some thoughts well-worth passing along, from Steve Seiferheld, Director of Market Research for the U.S. Division of tobacco-products company Swedish Match. They’re from a recent edition of Quirk’s Media’s ongoing Q&A feature, Conversations with Corporate Researchers.

What stands out is Steve’s willingness to call out complacency and inertia in the market research industry with a clear, strong voice. He’s rightfully adamant about the need for insights professionals to bolster their self-confidence about their importance to their organizations. To which we would add that confidence starts with an unshakeable self-assurance that the technological tools and data sources you’re using are state-of-the-art.

A lack of confidence in your tools and the data you've obtained with them is likely to color your presentations to decision-making stakeholders. Conversely, smart, specific recommendations  grounded in confidence that your data is state-of-the-art will go a long way toward earning you a respected spot at the decision-making table.

Take it away, Steve Seiferheld – and thanks!

  • “We continue to focus on the same tired, in-the-weeds issues without being able to construct a simple story on how to move a business forward. Twenty-five years ago we were worrying about how to weed out bad survey respondents. Today, we are worrying about how to weed out bad survey respondents. Why?”
  • “…let your objectives drive your methodology, and never vice versa. I choose the methodology that will make it easiest for my target audience to provide the type of feedback I need.”
  • “Nobody seems willing to point out how we are our own enemy. Our industry needs voices to steer us toward being leaders in our organizations. Swedish Match values me because when I present, my key findings tell people what to do. Other researchers hurt our industry by worrying more about Likert scales and eye-tracking than how to acquire more customers and improve profits.”
  • “Repeatedly I encounter corporate researchers who see themselves as subservient to marketing, sales and other functions. We cannot expect progress until researchers shed that mentality. My role is just as important as anyone else’s. I understand the consumer better than anyone else in my organization and understanding the consumer is vital to ensuring a company’s success.”
If these thoughts make sense to you, start putting them into action. Learn how the most advanced mobile-app research capabilities, such as proprietary GeoIntensity® and GeoNotification® can get you reliably validated data, vivid insights and compelling consumer stories you can bring to the table to drive positive action for your company, and earn respect for your role as researcher. To get in touch, just click here.

Topics: consumer research, quirks, market research, consumer insights

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