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What's next for mobile market research?

by Ava Austria

Guess what are the three things people take when they leave home? - Wallet, keys and yes, mobile phones! Imagine browsing your Facebook account and accessing the news while on a bus on your way to work, or passing time playing games on your Ipad and checking the latest stock trends while waiting on an airport for a business trip? Sound all too familiar?

Gone are the days of paper surveys or email questionnaires where you often get poor response rates. With the advancement of mobile technology, market research surveys can be seamlessly integrated into mobile apps, making it more fun for consumers to respond than traditional methods. Mobile platforms such as Revelation Mobile, FocusForums’ Iphone App and Techneos’ Soda are just some of the mobile survey platforms available in the market.

According to Frank-Thomas Naether, the Managing Director of NMRC, “Mobile research is about ‘capturing the moment’. This is highly relevant when it comes to gaining insights into the decision making process of participants. There are many tools and methodologies available in the market, some of them are really interesting and fascinating, and offers many possibilities to researchers”, said Naether.

He added, “Mobile Internet devices will become more and more central in everyone's life. Everybody is online and communication is possible in both directions. Online tracking studies are an interesting possibility and GPS technology will offer additional valuable information on how, when and where people do what. Mobile Research is still in its infancy and the possibilities are endless”.

He cited Apple's Ipad as an example of gadgets that would push the mobile market research to a new frontier but caution that companies should not be threatened since people have very different needs. "The Ipad will change research significantly. It offers a completely different look and feel and allows a much more creative approach. Photos, films, voice, drawing, sketches, GPS, collages, questionnaires: everything done with a perfect and most versatile tool that is always available: your fingers - sounds strange but it introduces a new dimension and quality.” said Naether.

Like Naether, mobile research pioneers and experts would be up to discuss the challenges and opportunities of mobile research at Merlien Institute’s upcoming conference on Market Research in the Mobile Word: The Next Frontier. This inaugural conference will be held on the 2 & 3 December in Berlin. Highlights of the conference include keynote speeches by Gordon Morris, Global Insights Manager of Sony Ericsson and Siamack Salari, Founder of EverydayLives and a pioneer in mobile video ethnography.

To see the speaker panel and the range of topics to be discussed at this conference, please visit:
http://www.merlien.org/upcoming-events/mrmw2010.html

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