Mobile News Mix

MFour Hires a VP of Product and Two Senior Engineers

Posted by MFour on May 20, 2019 10:16:48 AM

Elaina,Mehdi,Paul Blog(L-R Paul, Mehdi, Elaina)

MFour has hired Elaina O’ Mahoney as Vice President of Product, a new position, as well as Senior Engineers Mehdi Eskandari and Paul (Thuy) Nguyen.

O’Mahoney brings more than a decade of experience leading product teams in the tech sector, including serving as Vice President of Product Management for CareerBuilder's Software Suite of human resources recruitment technologies. At MFour she will focus on creating easy-to-use data products that power smart business decisions by leveraging the special capabilities made possible by  Surveys On The Go®, MFour’s advanced mobile-app research app, and the validated, first-party U.S. consumer panel that uses the app to participate in surveys and opted-in behavioral tracking. O’Mahoney holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Colorado State University and is working on a Master's in Business Administration at Maryville University. Apart from work, Elaina loves to travel and spend at-home time with family. 

Eskandari joins MFour as a Senior Software Engineer. His credentials over the past ten years include Senior Web Developer for finance company American Advisors Group and Software Developer for Dealer Solutions Group. Achievements included helping to create apps and APIs to improve user experiences. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Hardware Engineering from Azad University of Tehran. Eskandari’s tech activities also including publishing his own mobile apps, one of which was among the ten most-downloaded apps in Iran for 2014.

Nguyen, a Senior DevOps Engineer,  has more then 20 years’ experience as a System Administrator and a Senior System Engineer, including positions at Alfa Systems and Sony Network Entertainment. He earned a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from California State University, Long Beach, and also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine. Thuy is an accomplished landscape photographer who also enjoys ping pong, spectator sports and playing drums and guitar in a soft-rock and oldies band.

Welcome aboard to our three new hires. 

Topics: mobile research, mobile consumer panel, consumer data, MFour hiring news

Don't Let Young Adults Go Under-represented in Your Consumer Surveys

Posted by MFour on Apr 2, 2019 6:00:00 AM

All market research consumer panels are not created equal. Only those that reliably represent the segments most relevant to a brand’s success are worth using. 

Less understood is the decisive role research technology and survey methodology play in determining whether a given study will include enough of the right respondents to reflect consumer reality.

Here’s a brief summary of recently published results from an online market research study that illustrates how online methodology is falling short when it comes to demographic representation of key Millennial and Gen Z consumers.

Project: A trade association that represents producers of a food that’s a staple of grocery stores’ fresh-produce departments sought data on U.S. consumers' attitudes, purchase frequency and purchase-drivers for the fresh-food item.

Methodology: A quantitative, nationwide survey that collected about 2,000 completes over the course of about two weeks, obtained from an online panel. Qualifiers were consumers who stated that they play a role in shopping for their household’s groceries.

Segmentation: Using screening questions, the study identified respondents by a variety of demographic categories, including age, sex, race/ethnicity, household income and education.

Shortfall: Only 2% of respondents in the produce-shopping study were ages 18-24. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 9.4% of Americans are ages 18 to 24 – nearly five times as many as were represented in the survey.

Meanwhile, 40% of the study's respondents were 55 and older, when they actually make up 29% of the U.S. adult population. 

The numbers don't align with reality because online research approach is increasingly incapable of fully including the key younger age groups. Pew Research Center reports that 94% of Americans ages 18 to 29 own smartphones, and 28% in that group are “smartphone dependent,” the term for consumers who rely solely on their phones to access the internet. That means more than a quarter of younger Millennials and Gen Z consumers in their late teens and early 20s are off the radar for online studies.

In-app mobile research is much more efficient and capable of representing younger consumers. Here's why:

  • Mobile-app surveys are  congruent with their lifestyles: smartphones and mobile apps are Millennials' and Gen Z's preferred portals for receiving information and expressing ideas and opinions.
  • They are naturally more inclined to take surveys on their phones, as long as the experience is technologically smooth and problem-free.
  • Mobile-app methodology also is a gateway to GPS location-tracking of consumers who give informed consent to have their movements observed from store to store.
  • These known, first-party consumers can then be surveyed inside the store or just after they've left. The researcher gets firm validation that they are actually shopping for groceries, and the ultimate payoff is the rich, reliable data captured at the Point Of Emotion® where buying decisions are made and recall is most reliable.

The key advantage of advanced, in-app mobile research is its ability to combine always-on observational data with survey data to give researchers a rich understanding of validated, first-party consumers. It's the only way to reach them in their natural, mobile-app environment for peak engagement and top-quality survey data.

For an example of in-app mobile's ability to reach younger adults, read about MFour’s 2016 Millennials project, which documented that generation’s opinions about entertainment, money and technology. It demonstrates  the ease and speed with which in-app mobile research can access representative numbers of adults in their mid-thirties and younger.

Another project, on validated shoppers’ experiences on Black Friday, 2018, illustrates the benefits of mobile GeoLocation studies. In that case, consumers were located inside one of five top retailers on Black Friday, then received a survey via their Surveys On The Go® app as soon as they were observed leaving the store. Click here for an infographic on the Black Friday findings.

To sum up: researchers seeking insights from grocery shoppers or consumers who are shopping in-store for any other product category can now use mobile location-journey data to find validated, first-party research participants who meet their demographic criteria, with young adults well within reach. There's no need to settle for a non-representative fraction of the young consumers whose preferences are already shaping the product and retail landscape and will continue to dominate for decades to come.

Topics: in-app Mobile surveys, mobile consumer panel, always-on data, observational data, retail research, mobile geolocation

What Does Digital Advertising Need Most? Effectiveness Metrics from a Mobile Consumer Panel

Posted by MFour on Feb 28, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Digital is dominating the advertising industry, and ad effectiveness measurement with an all-mobile consumer panel gathered around a mobile market research app is the necessary solution for understanding how well $129 billion in projected 2019 spending is performing as brands try to influence smartphone-centric consumers.

eMarketer predicts 2019 will be the milestone year in which U.S. advertisers for the first time spend more on digital ads ($129 billion) than on television, radio and all other “traditional” advertising channels combined ($109 billion) as they seek to exert influence all along the purchase path. Mobile digital ads will account for $87 billion – 67% of all digital spending, and 36% of all ad-spend dollars across all channels.

It goes without saying that documenting the effectiveness of all those digital advertising dollars is a crucial job for market research. But that task has been deeply problematic, with standard  measurement methods unable to collect reliable metrics in the digital realm. With that in mind, MFour recently announced a comprehensive solution driven by feedback from validated digital ad recipients from the 2.5 million member, all-mobile U.S. consumer panel that uses the Surveys On The Go® mobile market research app.

As Chris St. Hilaire, MFour’s co-founder and CEO has framed it, “until now, digital ad measurement has been directional at best, focused on desktops rather than smartphones despite consumers' massive shift to mobile. Brands are shifting ad spend to mobile because they know that’s where consumers are. Digital Brand Studies don't just guess. They provide accurate, validated metrics. Measuring ad effectiveness doesn’t have to be like reading tea leaves any more.”

For more on Digital Brand Studies, just click here.

 

Topics: mobile market research, digital advertising, mobile consumer panel, Digital Brand Studies, market research panel

Gen Z Is Even More Diverse than Millennials, and it Takes a Mobile Research  App To Reach Them

Posted by MFour on Feb 11, 2019 1:55:56 PM

Pew Research Center’s recently published series of deep dives into the demographic characteristics and social views of American Post-Millennials (also commonly known as Gen Z) is worth a look for consumer insights professionals. With the oldest Gen Zers moving into post-adolescence, they most certainly are on marketers’ and market researchers’ radar as a key cohort of consumers whose characteristics, lifestyles and attitudes demand understanding right now and on into the future. Among other things, Pew notes, this is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in U.S. history.

The oldest Post-Millennials, who are turning 22 this year, are getting college educations and/or have begun to enter the work force.  Also, the Gen Z multitudes who are still in their childhood are driving a great deal of purchasing by their Millennial (ages 23 to 38) and Gen X (39 to 54) parents. Pew’s studies continue to compile data documenting similarities and differences between these generations.

The defining demographic reality of the late 2010s, in which the oldest Gen Zers and the youngest Millennials are coming into their own as young, independent consumers, is the dominance of smartphones as the pervasive tool consumers of all ages use to learn about products and services, buy products and services, and express and widely circulate their opinions about products and services.

But almost incredibly, only 54% of consumer insights professionals who responded to GreenBook’s most recent GreenBook Research Industry Trends (GRIT) report said they are using “mobile first” surveys to obtain consumer data. What’s worse, “mobile first” is not the kind of mobile research the industry should embrace. It fails to reach consumers in their true comfort zone, which is the mobile app. As eMarketer has documented, mobile consumers prefer the app environment by six to one over accessing and exchanging information on the mobile web,” which is where “mobile first” research takes place.

Although the GRIT report barely mentions mobile-app research, forward-looking marketing and consumer insights professionals at major brands, market research firms and advertising agencies are increasingly aware of and on board with the mobile-app research methodology. They recognize the speed, timeliness and quality of data collected from a first-party consumer panel of mobile app-users, and can see that it’s the pathway to research success in the Smartphone Era.

Scores of major brands and firms partner with MFour, often with the specific aim of reaching Millennial and Post-Millennial consumers, the leading adopters of mobile app activites (although Generation X and Baby Boomers are also rapidly making up any generational gaps in mobile app use).

Look at this visualization of MFour’s panel characteristics and judge for yourself the kind of coverage and engagement you can expect when you need to reach consumers in the key 18- to 49-year-old age groups. Pew notes that Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in U.S. history – 52% Caucasian, 25% Hispanic, 14% African-American, 6% Asian and 4% other.  When it comes to consumer panel diversity across Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z, MFour an Surveys On The Go®are already there.

In the 2010s it has become a watchword among most consumer insights professionals that Millennials, Hispanics and African-Americans are “hard to reach” for market research. But if you’re smart enough to connect with them through an advanced mobile research app, that simply isn’t so.

Topics: african americans, millennials, market research, Gen Z, hispanic consumers, consumer panel, mobile consumer panel, mobile data, mobile consumers, Pew Research Center, demographic representation

Hispanic Consumers Get the Word About MFour's Surveys On The Go® Research App on Univision's `Despierta America' Morning Show

Posted by MFour on Feb 6, 2019 10:18:46 AM

Stranded at Home by the Polar Vortex? Univision's TV morning show, "¡Despierta America!," and lifestyle reporter Erick Cuesta recently advised their Spanish-speaking audience to download MFour's Surveys On The Go® market research app to spend that time profitably by earning cash taking consumer surveys.

Brands are keen to understand the preferences and opinions of Hispanic consumers, who are a continually growing force in the marketplace. And, as the recognition by "¡Despierta America!" attests, SOTG is an ideal conduit for connecting with them.

"No dejes que tu dinero se congele: apps para hacer un dinerito extra si estás atrapado en casa por la nieve,” was the Jan. 31 segment’s caption – “Don’t let your money freeze: apps to make a little extra money if you’re stuck at home by the snow.”

“We’re thrilled to be showcased on the popular award-winning morning show ‘¡Despierta América!’” said Chris St. Hilaire, MFour's CEO and co-founder.  “With 2.5 million users of Surveys On The Go® we can connect leading brands with America’s Spanish-speaking population, which other research companies consider ‘hard to reach.’”

MFour is a go-to choice for brands and advertisers who need insights into the preferences, opinions and online and offline buying journeys of all segments of the American population, including crucial Hispanic consumers.

While the market research industry has tagged Hispanics as “hard to reach” when it comes to participating in consumer surveys, MFour provides full representation of the U.S. Hispanic population. They constitute 20% of the validated, first-party consumer panel whose members use Surveys On The Go®, closely matching the U.S. Census Bureau's estimate that Hispanics make up 18% of the population. MFour also captures the diversity within the Hispanic consumer demographic by segmenting them into three sub-categories: Acculturated (65%), Bicultural (33%) and Unacculturated (5%).

Watch the “¡Despierta América!” feature at https://bit.ly/2SarMxT

For more on Surveys On The Go®, click here.

 

Topics: mobile research, surveys on the go, hispanic consumers, mobile consumer panel, mobile consumers, survey data, demographic representation

How a Restaurant Chain gets an 80% Completion Rate with its Mobile Tracker on MFourDIY®

Posted by MFour on Jan 28, 2019 6:00:00 AM

What might retail and restaurant brands learn from tens of thousands of first-party U.S. mobile consumers who not only have been GeoValidated® as their customers, but whose profiles fit the specific consumer types the brand considers most important to understand?

Building a custom panel of profiled, known visitors makes it possible to conduct plug-and-play tracking studies in which the questionnaire can be repeated for each wave of customized, non-duplicated consumer panelists.

In one case, a client who customized its audience saved time and money by designing and fielding its own tracking study on MFourDIY®, the only all-mobile DIYsurvey-building platform. The opportunity for accurate segmentation is a key feature: as new members sign up for the consumer panel that participates via MFour’s Surveys On The Go® mobile research app, those who fit the required profiles are automatically funneled into the custom panel, ensuring ongoing representation and consistency for the tracking study. 

Over time, the client in question has seen completion rates of 80%, and drop-off rates under 2% from respondents who fit its consumer profiles and have been geolocated in one of its locations. The tracker focuses on questions about lifestyle and attitudes that impact how its validated customers view eating and health. Among the findings: 

  • 60% of respondents agreed completely or very strongly that “the state of my health is largely in my control." 
  • 25% stated agreed completely or strongly that “I consider myself to be fit and in shape.” 17% said just the opposite. ”
  • Life is hectic out there: 40% of respondents agreed completely or strongly that “I’m always busy and on the go.” Only 8% were completely or strongly certain that “busy and on the go” does not describe their lifestyle. 
  • The accelerated speed of life often dictates decisions about meals: 36% strongly or completely agreed that they opt for speed even though they feel that on-the-go restaurant meals can be unhealthy.
  • Consumers want to fill up when they eat out, with 40% of respondents agreeing strongly or completely that good value depends on “more food for the money.” 
  • At the opposite end of the spectrum, only 7% were convinced that quantity is not essential to good value in restaurant food.
  • When it comes to where the rubber meets the road – or the meal meets the mouth  – a substantial majority of the client's validated customers confessed that they sometimes put pleasure over discipline: the statement, “I love rewarding myself with indulgent food or beverages,” elicited strong or complete agreement from 42% of participants, and an additional 36% said they were “somewhat” in agreement that they love indulging themselves.  
  • Just 9% of respondents indicated a strong or complete rejection of indulging themselves when they eat.To that 9% we can only say, “well, if you’re not going to eat those fries, just pass them over to us.”

 

Topics: GeoValidation, quick serve restaurants, mobile consumer panel, mobile tracking

Why Is `Why?' the Market Research Question Your Geolocation Provider Can't Answer?

Posted by MFour on Nov 6, 2018 7:00:00 AM

Blog Toddler Why 2Nov18

Toddlers do it incessantly. So why can’t virtually all of the location-research providers who’ve been trying to sell the market research industry on their ability to track consumers’ store visits?

We’re talking about being able to ask the fundamental question, “why?” As anyone who’s spent much time with little kids can attest, it’s never far from their tongues.

Why?

Because “for children, `why’ questions help them make sense of the world around them….These `why’ questions also help spur and accelerate learning,” says Rebecca Palacios, one of America’s most respected experts on early childhood education, in a Huffington Post article titled “Why Do Children Ask Why?”

So here’s our own “why” question of the day:

Why can’t those location-research tech and analytics providers let you do as a consumer insights pro what you did almost nonstop when you were knee high to a Great Dane?

Why won’t they let you ask the “why” behind the buy?

Here’s why: technology and data analytics providers don’t really know market research.

They know how to find undifferentiated people, and tell you how many of them have gone to a given location. They’re able to collect footprints, but they can’t help you connect with the actual human beings who are leaving them. They can’t help you ask “why,” the most important question when it comes to understanding and influencing consumer behavior.

Yes, footprint data can be illuminating to an extent as a standalone, but its most advanced use is to point you in the right direction in your quest to truly connect with consumers and understand the many whys behind where they go – and what they think, feel, see and do while they’re there.

MFour creates location technology, but we do it in the specific context of perfecting it for the sake of market research. We pioneered building location capabilities for market research, and we’re the only company to have simultaneously built an all-mobile, validated first-party panel for that technology to track.  (with their double opt-in informed consent).

You’re in the business of obtaining a 360-degree view of consumer behavior, and so are we. Not just the “where,” but the “why.”

  • Why did a consumer we located as he passed in view of a billboard for Target visit a Target store three days later? 
  • Was it attributable to the ad exposure, or just a coincidence?
  • Why do some consumers alternate frequently between Target and Walmart – as reflected in their location footprints?
  • Why are some big box shoppers loyal to one while completely rejecting the other?

The moral of this post is that you should never let any market research provider sell you short by not permitting you to unleash your inner three-year-old. Don’t settle for footprints and algorithmic models that can’t begin to give you the “why” to questions like the ones above.

Always insist on the “the why” behind the buy.

Why?  Because you can’t afford not to.

To learn more about how to target, track and survey mobile consumers by using MFour's Path-2-Purchase® Platform, just click here

 

Topics: consumer survey, mobile research, geolocation, market research, Path-2-Purchase™ Platform, surveys, mobile app research, in-store surveys, consumer panel, mobile consumer panel

Post a comment

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all