I came across Pete Comley's recent post on Virtual Survey's Blog. He explains how his recent affair with his latest gadget, his iPhone, envisioned him on how the future of mobile research may look like. This is basically what he claims:
"...There is an amazing amount of hype out there about the iPhone – but unlike most techie hype, most of this is true. This is the phone that will make you leave your existing relationships behind and seek pastures new and you’ll never go back to those complicated menus and unreadable postage stamp screens. I believe it will also shape the way all mobile communications will develop in the future and this, in turn, will have implications for market research. Gone are the days of SMS surveys and trying to download Java applets onto reluctant phones. Gone, also, will be the limitation of people having to do web surveys only on their PC. Instead, people will be able to do fully featured web-like surveys on their phone, on the move, just like I’m typing this document now, on the train..."
Pete is so right about how this may change the way the actual survey interfaces will change!
But if we just think a bit further on how this may impact our industry, let’s just remember that a future version of the iPhone will most definitively be a transmitter for the Global Positioning System (GPS). This will offer researchers the opportunity to exploit the user’s physical location and link this to mobile survey data. This will than offer researchers an opportunity to conduct “point of exposure” data collection centred on event tracking: Track the respondent's proximity to outdoor advertising, allowing effectiveness research, probing for recall, etc. The accuracy and precision will only become much greater in the next few years.
Just look at the picture below: a respondent with a future iPhone (with GPS transmission) is part of a research panel.
He agreed that his data may be tracked by the Research Company. The research firm is doing an outdoor advertising awareness study an the survey will run on the iPhone. As researchers we'll now be able to track the awareness of billboards and combine it with the actual behaviour of the panellists: so in the case below, we can now conclude that despite the fact that the survey data shows that this panellist does not recall having seen the message on the billboard, we do know that he had an opportunity to see it, since he actually passed by the billboard!So to conclude the future of market research will undoubtedly bring a new reality:
- in which the “portable Internet” will provide researchers with more timely, comprehensive and accurate recall of consumer experience, and
- in which the combination of consumer and product data with occasion-based event information will provide a new way of data collection.
Here is Pete Comley's full post...