Using a cell phone to capture consumer insights allows us to capture “in the moment” consumer reactions whenever and wherever they occur. Mobile research can take many forms and is often part of a mixed method research design. Feedback is rich and multi-faceted. Consumers talk to us. They leave voicemails. They snap photos. They take videos. They text journal entries. They show and then they tell. Or they tell and then they show – it all depends. And qualitative insights are all the richer for it.
We conduct inbound studies, where respondents report to us as certain events are occurring (i.e. every time they visit a fast food restaurant over a specified period of time; or each day as they are making the decision about what to serve for dinner). We conduct outbound studies, in which we prompt respondents with questions (i.e. what snacks have you consumed in the past three hours? Why those?). We send people on shopping trips and ask them to record their experiences.
And in 2014, we launched Geo-Stories℠ and took our mobile offering to a whole new level by incorporating geo-location technology to intercept consumers during an actual, authentic product or service experience. In this scenario, we don’t recruit them, we find them when they have entered a specified location. We know they are there at their own initiative, on their own time. You can’t get much more “in the moment” than that.
Mobile ethnography studies allow marketers to easily and cost-effectively conduct longitudinal ethnographies, immersing themselves in their customers’ lives over time. They also complement in-person ethnography studies (using a hybrid approach) and are ideal for exploring emotional perceptions, attitudes and responses.
Mobile ethnography studies take place over multiple days or weeks as needed to achieve your research objectives. Through a series of activities and exercises, integrating essays, photos, audio and video files, they offer a “real time, real life” look into your customers’ behavior.
Live Streaming Mobile
Live streaming mobile interviews allow researchers to observe and interact with respondents, live, at the point of product experience, while they are roaming store aisles, shopping for neck pillows in an airport, or trying a new product at home.
Respondents can be pre-recruited or intercepted using geofencing technology that can pinpoint when a person enters a specific area for location-based feedback (our term: Geo-Stories℠). For example, when someone enters a car dealership they can be invited to participate in a live conversation about their dealership experience as it occurs, or immediately post visit. Feedback is much richer and more nuanced than when recalled weeks later.
Traditional in-home usage studies (IHUT’s) can be enhanced utilizing live streaming mobile, allowing for observation and interviewing of respondents before/during/after usage. This gives marketers the ability to identify those elusive “aha’” moments that are often missed with quantitative-only IHUTS. (our term: IHUTnographies℠)
“We enjoyed working with you all and are so appreciative of your guiding us through the wonderful world of mobile ethnography for this complex behavior/topic.”
Associate Director, Strategic Planning & Research| Hager Sharp