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

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 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

8 Questions To Ask a Mobile Research Provider

Posted by MFour on May 8, 2018 9:30:00 AM

Blog Pic Mobile Questions 8May18

Are you ready to join the wave of consumer insights professionals who are diving deep into mobile research? If the answer is yes, then congratulations on making that transformative decision.

But taking the dive is just the first step. No methodology will work if the execution is poor. With that in mind, here are eight key questions any savvy mobile-insights buyer should ask. And be sure not to settle for anything less than answers that are authoritative, assured and completely specific to the kinds of projects you need to accomplish. 

  • Is the mobile research you're selling the same as your online research, only more portable?
  • What specific research capabilities does mobile bring to the table?  
  • Where's the sample coming from?
  • What level of representation and responsiveness can I expect? 
  • Is it true that mobile surveys need to be kept extremely short? 
  • I've heard the way to go is "mobile optimized." What exactly does that mean? And is that really true?
  • There's lots of talk in the insights industry about how important it is to give survey-takers a quality experience. How does your mobile system accomplish that?
  • Can you give me some validation about response rates and respondents' satisfaction with your mobile surveys?

You can get the fast, authoritative answers you need to these questions and more by setting up a one-on-one demo that will focus on meeting your projects' specific needs, and how they align with mobile research capabilities powered by proprietary technologies such as GeoIntensity® and GeoNotification®, which enable state-of-the art location-based surveys.

We'll talk about tailoring solutions to your needs, whether it's a custom-research project where MFour provides everything from design and programming through analysis, or taking advantage of the fast insights you can get from a proprietary, mobile-only automated research solution such as Path-2-Purchase™ Platform and  MFourDIY®. Just get in touch by clicking here.

Topics: mobile insights, mobile research, mobile surveys, mobile technology, mobile market research, staff, Path-2-Purchase™ Platform

Need Quality Consumer Insights? Take This Expert Advice

Posted by MFour on Apr 25, 2018 1:24:23 PM



If you’re talking to the wrong consumers, consumer data and consumer insights suffer. A recent GreenBook webinar called “Working Together To Improve Respondent Experience” reminded us of the deeply inadequate state of online consumer panels, and the threat it poses to your ability to do your job and secure your standing in the decision-making process.

Kristopher Sauriol, Senior Director of Global Research Insights for Visa, was one of the participants, and he summed up the problem and what’s at stake in just a few words:

 “Your data is only as good as the people who are taking your survey….[But panel quality] is not always something research agencies  are forthcoming about….you either should ask, or you should look at some other agencies that do consider this a factor.”

We’d take it just a step further. Accessing validated consumers who are fully engaged in sharing what you need to know is not just “a factor.” It’s the factor. Finding them is a matter of reaching them in their preferred environment, via their preferred technology, the mobile app.

MFour’s story, in a nutshell, is that we built the app, 2 million representative U.S. consumers have downloaded it, and these are the consumers who are best situated to give the insights industry “data…as good as the people who are taking your survey.”

If you want a research partner whose entire business proposition is to provide you with quality, first-party consumers engaged by innovative, proprietary mobile research technology, just get in touch by clicking here.

Topics: mobile surveys, mobile technology, mobile apps, mobile market research, consumer insights

Understand Consumer Journeys on Path-2-Purchase™ Platform

Posted by MFour on Apr 3, 2018 10:09:53 AM

 Dashboard Blog 3Apr18

It's a breakthrough moment for consumer insights: for the first time, there's a one stop shop where you'll obtain observed behavioral data in combination with active, first-party survey data from real, validated consumers.

It's called Path-2-Purchase™, a first-party data platform that combines the power of location analytics with market research. This technology enables brands to see exactly where real consumers are now and where they’ve gone in the past. Instead of settling for inferences drawn from consumers' observed movements along the path to purchase, researchers now can field real-time, location-based surveys to capture motivations and emotions at any point in the purchase cycle.

Think of Path-2-Purchase™ as the marriage of Big Data's quantitative, observational "what" to the qualitative, emotion- and attitude-driven "why" that's crucial to really knowing who consumers are, and the motivations for their actions and desires. Path-2-Purchase™ answers a need to replace algorithmic inferences about consumers with real, validated knowledge and understanding. It harnesses first-party Big Data to accomplish what Big Data does best: let you see what consumers do. And it harnesses a first-party panel of the industry's most thoroughly validated and engaged consumers to tell you about themselves directly, with no need to infer.

It's simply a matter of bringing needed clarity to our understanding of consumer journeys, said Chris St. Hilaire, MFour's co-founder and CEO. “Everybody knows `path to purchase’ is important, but there’s no agreement on what it means," St. Claire observed. "We created our Path-2-Purchase™ Platform not only to provide clients with visibility into consumer journeys in the real world, but to finally give a clear definition of the term itself.

Another aim is to give all stakeholders in business decisions a clear, demystified understanding of the data on which they're basing business decisions. “Our goal is to democratize market research with validated consumer insights for everyone, so that it is accessible to all decision-makers within an organization, starting with the C-suite," St. Hilaire said. "Market research tools should be as intuitive to use as, and Path-2-Purchase™ Platform is our beachhead offering to make that happen.”

The observational data component of the Path-2-Purchase™ Purchase Platform is obtained by

Specific capabilities of Path-2-Purchase™ include:

  • Tracking the journeys of 2 million validated and profiled U.S. consumers across more than 12.5 million locations. They comprise an engaged, fully representative, first-party, proprietary panel united by membership in Surveys On The Go®, the highest-rated consumer research app.
  • Detailed real-time and historic customer-journey location data. Research clients can append visit histories for a nuanced, granular understanding of which consumers visit which locations; how frequently they visit and for how long; the days and times of their visits; and the sequential routes real consumers take as they move from location to location along their paths-to-purchase.
  • Uses of Path-2-Purchase™ consumer journey data include identifying and then surveying brand loyalists, brand agnostics, and brand resisters. This opens an unprecedented window for targeting and understanding competitors’ consumers.
  • Always-on location tracking of consumer journeys enables researchers to identify, define, and communicate with important consumer segments who previously were off-the-radar.
  • Behavioral data and survey data is collected and stored in a unique enterprise data warehouse that MFour has named the Consumer Knowledge Center. Users derive business insights from historic data in the Knowledge Center, including qualitative, behavioral, location, and demographic variables. Places, frequencies and dwell times of visits are complemented by all responses to Point-of-Emotion® mobile surveys.
  • Clients can access off-the-shelf segmentation data from the Consumer Knowledge Center in packages tailored to their specific insights needs.

The foundation for Path-2-Purchase™ was laid by MFour’s previous innovations in mobile-app survey technology and panel validation dating back to the launch of Surveys On The Go® in 2011. Clients benefit from fast, fully representative access to otherwise hard-to-reach groups, including mobile-centric Millennials, Hispanics, African Americans, young parents and the upcoming Gen Z.

To learn all about Path-2-Purchase™ Purchase Platform in a personal, one-on-one demo, just get in touch by clicking here.

Have a question or a point of view you'd like to add to the conversation? Feel free to comment below!


Topics: mobile market research, path to purchase, path-2-purchase

3 Friday Insights Into Mobile Research

Posted by admin on Oct 21, 2016 10:15:56 AM
Here's your Friday roundup of 3 items from our blog to keep you up to speed on mobile research as you head into the weekend.
Whatever else you do, don't forget to check at the bottom for something to mobilize your spirits.
And here's a Friday tune to get you bouncing into your weekend.

Topics: mobile targeting, MFour Blog, mobile market research, mrx

3 Friday Infobits from Mobile Research 101

Posted by admin on Aug 19, 2016 9:20:29 AM

There's so much to say about mobile research – we could just fill you up with the facts. Instead, take it at your own speed by sampling our weekly Friday roundup of 3 items from the MFour blog. You can expect information, insights, how-to's and occasional whimsy. Whatever else you do, don't forget to check at the bottom for something to mobilize your spirits heading into the weekend.

And here's a  Friday tune  to send you humming and smiling into the weekend.

Topics: MFour Mobile Research, adblocking, MFour Blog, mobile app, mobile market research, myths about mobile

Cutting Through the Confusion About Mobile Research

Posted by admin on Aug 9, 2016 10:47:39 AM
mobile phone image
You’ve heard that diving into mobile research is a must, because smartphones are where people carry out life’s daily tasks and experience its daily pleasures.
But mobile research is still a new concept. Like anything sudden, new and transformative, mobile can seem nebulous and confusing. Plus, there are so many suppliers touting so many mobile solutions.
Here’s a clear explanation to help you get your bearings: a commentary for Quirk’s in which MFour CEO Chris St. Hilaire looks at what’s at stake and provides clear guidance on sorting through mobile research options to choose what works.

Topics: MFour Mobile Research, max, News, MFour Blog, mobile market research, smartphones, chris st. hilaire

MFour in the News

Posted by admin on Nov 17, 2015 4:03:44 PM

MFour was featured in the news recently for our expansion and new hires. Check it out!

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Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 3.39.55 PM

Topics: new hires, MFour Blog, mfour in the news, mobile market research, new office, market research

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