- Jamie Turner, 60SecondMarketer.com
I like to think that we are a logic driven industry, after all we are in the business of gathering data to deliver fact based recommendations to brands. However, there is a stat that confuses me. 38% of Asia-Pacific marketers report to have a defined mobile strategy, the highest in the world with Europe and Americas following suite at 34% and 31% respectively. Yet, when it comes to mobile optimised surveys, that number is only 20%. Marketers have clearly recognised that mobile is a growing component of their marketing output without which brands risk being left behind.
Marketers Understand Mobile
A study by MMA and WARC shows that 86% of agency professionals said their clients were using mobile in combination with social media efforts. This is a promising figure; it suggests there is widespread marketing recognition of the role of mobile in connecting with consumers. Change is so fast paced that companies are prioritising action to keep up with consumer technologies more than they are sitting down to plan. Not ideal but a reality of the world we work in.
Time pressures and methodology advancements are a common theme for market researchers too. But are we not doing ourselves a disservice in not applying the same mobile compatibility focus to our surveys and engaging with consumers in a way that is convenient for them? Mobile compatibility, at the very least, should be achievable within the market research industry, yet only one in five surveys researchers are putting into field are mobile friendly.
The latest GRIT report shows that the industry recognises the need to think about mobile compatibility in our surveys. In fact, 55% of research buyers reported agreement with forbidding fielding mobile-unfriendly surveys (with some exceptions) and 62% believe sample providers should restrict access to “mobile only” respondents if surveys are not mobile-friendly. Similar numbers were found across full service and sample providers themselves, although full service were less keen on forbidding mobile-unfriendly surveys. So, if we have a consensus, might we expect progress sooner rather than later?
Of course, converting to mobile isn’t always as easy as it might sound. I recognise the concerns around long standing trackers, for example, and the challenges surrounding data and wave consistency during the breakdown and re-design process. But if we’re only collecting responses from a diminishing subset of the population these questions because we have hindered their completion of the survey in the first place, does this data have any relevance as it stands anyway? We need to look towards the future; what will the non-mobile respondent population look like in one year? In five years? Let’s think about the future relevance of the data collected from those trackers if we don’t make changes now.
There is no longer a ԛuеѕtіоn оf ѕhоuld wе go mоbіlе but a matter of why haven’t we gone mobile? As market researchers, let’s side with logic.