MFour Introduces Digital Brand Studies

Posted by Mike Boehm, MFour on Jan 15, 2019 6:17:37 PM

 Digital Brand Studies

MFour Introduces Digital Brand Studies for Validated, Non-Inferred Advertising Metrics

Finally, a Mobile-First Digital Ad Measurement Solution Built for the Smartphone Era

Irvine, CA: MFour Mobile Research, the recognized leader in GPS survey technology and consumer data, introduces Digital Brand Studies, bringing a much-needed mobile-first approach to ad-effectiveness measurement for digital advertising.

Mobile advertising now accounts for 70% of all digital spending, per eMarketer. Digital Brand Studies obtain fast survey feedback from actual, exposed mobile consumers, enabling brands and agencies to assess lift, awareness and intent to buy using deterministic data, not probabilistic modeling.

The difference-maker is MFour’s carefully-profiled, first-party consumer panel – 2.5 million U.S. consumers who use the Surveys On The Go® mobile research app. They provide reliable representation of key mobile audiences digital advertising campaigns need to reach, including Millennials, GenZ, Hispanics and African-Americans.

“Until now, digital ad measurement has been directional at best, focused on desktops rather than smartphones despite consumers' massive shift to mobile,” said Chris St. Hilaire, MFour’s co-founder and CEO. “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 anymore.”

Here’s what users of Digital Brand Studies can expect:

  • MFour’s all-mobile panel and cross-platform approach registers mobile ad exposures and desktop exposures.
  • Interview two demographically matched audiences of at least 100 consumers each: an exposed test group and an unexposed control group.
  • Real-time reporting enables in-flight optimizations of ad campaigns.


  • Choose a turnkey solution that includes impact analysis, or a custom solution for more in-depth analysis and attribution.

 Digital Brand Studies cost $5,000 for the standard option and $12,000 for a Plus option adding crosstabs, data analysis and custom attribution metrics. To learn more, contact

Topics: digital advertising, mobile solutions, mobile consumers

Winter Is Coming for Online Market Research, Frozen Out by 5G Mobile Connectivity

Posted by MFour on Dec 21, 2018 11:50:55 AM

If you’ve been late to the party in adopting advanced mobile market research, you have perhaps two more years to get on board with today’s unique mobile data solutions – or else. The longer you remain in a state of inertia by clinging to the online studies that have been a steady standby since at least the early 2000s, the less representative your data will be. Online representation of U.S. consumers is crumbling at an accelerated pace, and in two years it will be a memory.

Call it the threat and the opportunity of a rising G-force.

In physics,  G stands for “gravitational” and represents the amount of resistance encountered by objects in motion. “Because of the stresses and strains on objects, sufficiently large g-forces… can be highly destructive,” says

“Stress,” “strain” and “highly destructive” are unavoidable conditions for researchers and brands that ignore the inexorable effect of a different kind of G-force in which G is for “generation” – the term communications technologists have coined to describe advances in the speed and efficiency with which successive generations of smartphones process mobile data.

This “G” spells great opportunity for market research that’s committed to meeting today’s consumers in the mobile sphere where they live. But it’s  disastrous for those who remain slow to adapt to the new reality.  Online consumers continue to morph into mobile-only consumers, and for the vast majority of U.S. residents, smartphones already are the dominant means of receiving, sharing and creating information. Now online is about to suffer a death blow from the next G-force in communications: the advent of 5G mobile access to the internet.

  • The dawn of 5G smartphones is rapidly approaching. 5G adoption is expected to take off as soon as 2020, thanks to data speeds 10 to 100 times faster than the current mobile standard, 4G.
  • “5G networks are the next generation of mobile internet connectivity, offering faster speeds and more reliable connections on smartphones and other devices than ever before,” reports, with United States mobile providers leading the way. “Many companies are busy making sure their networks and devices are '5G ready' in time for 2020, meaning some networks may launch before then.”

A recent rundown from Business Insider summarizes what the onslaught of 5G will mean for consumers as mobile data races ahead of online data.

  • “Mobile 5G networks will be able to transfer data at speeds that are 10-100 times faster than on 4G…making mobile internet activities…more seamless and enjoyable on smartphones….
  • “Mobile 5G will provide consumers with internet speeds even faster than their current home internet speeds.”
  • “For instance, AT&T's impending mobile 5G network will have peak download speeds of 400 Mbps,” quadrupling the average speed of current home broadband connections.

In fact, the destruction of online consumer research representation already has crossed beyond the point of reversal.

  • Pew Research Center, which tracks Americans’ internet access, reported earlier in 2018 that fully 20% of U.S. adults rely solely on mobile and have abandoned traditional online broadband access to the internet. That’s up 67% from just two years earlier.
  • The number of these “smartphone dependent” adults who lack home broadband rises to 29% for 18- to 29-year-olds, and 24% for those ages 30 to 49. If you’re not reaching these key, mobile-only consumers, your research representation already stands 20% or more below the threshold of reliability. There’s no trusting data that comes from such a narrow bandwidth of the public.

The takeaway isn’t hard to see: if you’re not already studying consumers with advanced in-app mobile location-tracking and surveys, you’re digging for data in all the wrong places. 

The good news is that it’s not hard to play a rapid game of catch-up. Scores of leading brands and market research firms partner with MFour for mobile-app research technology and the fully-representative first-party, all-mobile consumer panel MFour has cultivated around its groundbreaking Surveys On The Go® mobile research app. Among MFour’s offerings are mobile brand tracking studies whose data is of-the-moment, but can be integrated with historical online tracking data to avoid a sharp break with your existing data sets.  

Those who fail to integrate mobile successfully into their trackers will have a woeful time getting quality data. It’s just one of the ways in which winter is coming for online market research.



Topics: mobile research, market research, consumer insights, mobile solutions, 5G technology

21% of Black Friday Shoppers Left Without Buying. Only Mobile Exit Surveys Will Tell You Why

Posted by MFour on Dec 19, 2018 10:26:07 AM


Even on Black Friday, retailers aren’t immune to the problem of non-buying behavior, the frustrating, revenue-sapping phenomenon of being able to entice a consumer into a store, only to have that same consumer leave without buying anything.

Using GPS location tracking, MFour surveyed 3,857 shoppers just as they left five major stores on Black Friday. With their experiences fresh in mind, 21% of the shoppers surveyed said they did not make a purchase during their visit. Identifying non-buyers is the first step toward turning them into spenders, and in-the-moment, right-time and right-place mobile exit surveys are the state of the art for understanding shoppers’ motivations. Just as mobile location surveys enable retailers to understand the “why” behind the buy, the same solution gets to the motivations behind the non-buy.

Depending on the circumstances, the problem could be shortages of popular items, aisle and shelf layouts that make a desired product hard to find, unpopular pricing or inadequate customer service. The problem could be chain-wide and systemic, or a localized issue that would require a local solution. The only way to know is to buttonhole first-party consumers for mobile exit interviews, identify non-buyers, and ask them what the problem was while they’re still at the Point of Emotion®, when their shopping experiences are vivid and fully remembered.

In the Black Friday study, non-buying behavior hit Macy’s and Best Buy shoppers the hardest, with 36% of Macy’s customers and 34% at Best Buy saying they had left without making a purchase. Many respondents said one of their motivations on Black Friday was to see actual items before buying, as an alternative to online shopping. Some are “showroomers” – shoppers who want to see, feel and try on or try out what they’re looking for, but are then willing to keep shopping for a better deal online or at other stores. With their smartphones in hand while they shop a Macy’s or a Best Buy, it takes seconds for shoppers to see whether they can get a better price elsewhere. With reliable data from non-buyers, retailers can gain insights into how to sweeten the experience so that showroomers become willing to buy right now, or commit to buying from the retailer’s own online store.

The Black Friday study showed that shoppers were less likely to leave without buying at Kohl’s (20% non-buyers) and Target (15%). Walmart, which like Target offers daily essentials and snacks and groceries, kept non-buying to 9%.

Even at 15% or 9%, however, retailers are leaving real money on the table. Understanding the “why” behind the non-buy is the first step toward limiting those losses, and GPS-enabled exit surveys of valid, first-party shoppers are the fastest, surest way to get accurate data to guide smart solutions to a problem that persists even on Black Friday, when consumers are intensely motivated to buy.


Topics: consumer insights, mobile, mobile tracking, mobile solutions

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