How Mobile Stacks up to Online Surveys by Roddy Knowles, Research Now #MRA_National #MRX

… Live blogging from Disney Orlando, any errors are my own…

How Mobile Stacks Up to Traditional Online: A Comparison of Studies

Steve von Bevern, VP, Client Services and Operations, Research Now Mobile (presented by Roddy Knowles)


  • Today’s path to purchase is more complex than ever
  • People use mobile for discover, evaluation, buying, accessing, using, getting support, and much more
  • Mobile users multi-task, 51% listen to music, 52% watch TV, 43% use internet, 28% play video games, 17% read a book 16% read newspaper/magazine
  • What is mobile – nott just phones (dumb phones), it’s tablets that can display surveys
  •  1.4 billion smartphones! 268 million tablets in active use!!
  • Who uses devices? Similar age and gender to census though slightly more younger, slightly less older; same ethnicities as census, similar income as census though slightly
  • Mobile open ends are richer – longer responses and more of these longer responses [do 99% of people provide a survey answer because they are forced to? and the provide a crap answer as a result?]
  • Do we get the same answers both ways? In this case study, when weighted back to census, results were very similar, sport opinions were similar, smoking opinions were similar
  • How do responders feel about it? Older responders feel it isn’t as easy on mobile, on average people don’t find mobile more difficult if the survey is properly designed
  • How fun is the survey?  Mobile is seen as more fun than online, online surveys are no longer new and interesting, maybe this will change over time as people become used to mobile surveys
  • Mobile responders prefer mobile surveys overwhelming. Get people where they want to be
  • Image representing e-Rewards as depicted in Cr...Like online, you must target to ensure mobile and online deliver representative data.
  • Online or mobile are not the solution for every audience. You must choose the method that’s right for the situation.
  • Don’t rely only on one method or you will miss people who prefer other methods
  • Mobile allows rich media uploads, seamless option for people
  • In the moment surveys work well too, get close to the point of experience and a computer isn’t always the right way to do it, don’t rely on imperfect memory, a 5 minute survey while they are at breakfast can work well; we know memory is fallible, will you remember everything from this conference next week?
  • Geolocated surveys are an advantage. Target people entering a store, determine who walked past a store  [I always turn off my geolocation though I know my signals are tracked by my phone provider]
  • Home ethnography – 97% scanned barcodes, 99% uploaded pictures, 82% uploaded audio, 80% of people with pets uploaded videos
  • Sporting event two day diary – 69% completed two diaries, 62% uploaded images, 19% uploaded video, very detailed openends, high level of engagement
  • Holistic Insights – Behaviour data like app downloads, music played plus survey data result in deeper insights
  • Retail surveys – good way to get shopper feedback on in-store displays, respondents can go in and upload photos of instore displays and scan barcodes; geofencing means the survey is only available when the responder is in the store ensuring strong validity
  • Mobile is not online and online is not mobile. You can’t just use them in place of each other.
  • Define – who you want to reach, consider multi-mode to ensure broad representation
  • Dive deep – be creative, enhance open-ends with audio and video, use rich media when it’s fit for purpose, let people write it out or audio record as they wish
  • Design – be pragmatic and make the most of respondent time and screen real estate, streamline and simplify, know which questions work and don’t work, use multiple points of engagement, think like a respondent
  • When you’re doing mobile, don’t ask people to constantly scroll, don’t ask them to rank 15 options
  • Stick to 7 responses so they don’t have to scroll, limit “please specify” to where you really need it, eliminate superfluous words and phrases
  • Don’t use lots of cute and colors and fancy just because you can, practical must come first
  • Grids and mobile don’t play well together [let me rephrase… DO NOT USE GRIDS ON YOUR PHONE. How freakishly tiny are your fingers? Come on!]
  • Test out what you’re asking your responders to do first, take a video while you’re pouring the milk
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