1topic5blogs: The only thing cell phone surveys are good fer

The question posed to the group of 5 Bloggers this month was: “Mobile surveys – For/Against, Pros/Cons, Right Situations/Wrong Situations?” Links to my fellow bloggers Bernie Malinoff, Joel Rubinson, Josh Mendelsohn and Brandon Bertelsen can be found below.


I’ve harped on the negatives of cell phone surveys a few times now so I think I’m due to say something nice or nothing at all.

Because of the small viewing screen, small typing space, and portability of cell phones, they do lend themselves to a few specific purposes.
Cell phone surveys must be fast – mere minutes, not tens of minutes.
They must direct and clear – no paragraph long explanations.
They must be portable – cell phone surveys are just silly if you’re near a computer.

So here is my very short list of what qualifies:

  • Point of sale surveys: Particularly when responders can be instantly rewarded with a percent or dollar off incentive coupon, a few pointed questions about the shopping experience or the purchase drivers would work well. Responders would love to tell you which sizes or colours or styles they couldn’t find, or whether the employees were rude and the dressing rooms were a mess. Put a survey link right on the garment or on the dressing room door and see what happens.

  • Experience measures: We’ve all gotten those annoying “Tell us how we’re doing” surveys when paying a restaurant bill. The questions are horribly worded because they’re trying to fit 10 questions into a space smaller than my eyeball. And the server doesn’t have a spare pen because customers borrowed all ten that he just bought. Just imagine the response rate those surveys would get if your server gave you an easy link and you blurted out your frustrations on the spot. Add in a $1 off coupon and i’m seeing some great response rates.
  • Field surveys: Do a similar thing in outdoor settings where you’re nowhere near any kind of technology – parks, playgrounds, golf courses. Playground safety issues? New petting zoo at the park? Put a survey link right on the play structure, on the animal enclosure, or even the 9th hole flag and see what happens.
  • Entertainment: What about links at the end of books, end of magazines, end of commercials, end of movie previews? I know many of these already have links but have you really noticed them. Let’s put a good call to action instead of hiding it in the footer. Let people share their experience while they’re still in the moment, while they still remember the commercial that played immediately before and immediately after, while they still have popcorn in their hands.

So you see, it’s not all doom and gloom. Just mostly.

Links to the other 4 blogs coming shortly:

Bernie Malinoff
Joel Rubinson of the ARF
Josh Mendelsohn of Chadwick Martin Bailey
Brandon Bertelsen

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