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Mobile drives more timely, direct answers than online research: study

For market researchers, the key to collecting valuable insights into how consumers interact with their devices is to keep questions short and direct, according to a new study by Communispace.

In Communispace?s ?Character Counts? report, the company found that the average mobile survey generated a 50-character response compared to a 136-character answer on desktop. Additionally, the report offers market researchers a few tips on how to collect mobile survey responses.

?The main implication is that you cannot dismiss mobile phones [for research] because people write shorter answers,? said Julie Wittes Schlack, senior vice president of innovation and design at Communispace, Boston.

?However, you also need to know what trade-offs you make when you do that,? she said.

Survey on mobile
To conduct the study, Communispace surveyed 1,178 mobile and online survey respondents from the company?s online communities. Users were asked 10 questions.

The research found that because mobile survey results were shorter, the answers from them were more direct and timely.

Mobile requires a completely different mindset than online, meaning that it is best to ask survey respondents short questions.

Mobile also offers research marketers a way to gauge real-time emotions and responses throughout the day. Although this design can be helpful for some brand insights, it also indicates that findings will not be as in-depth as online surveys.

The questions that elicited the greatest character counts in the study were ones that forced consumers to reflect.

Mobile mindframe
Mobile has also changed how consumers are responsive to advertising.

For example, in a study from 2011 from Communispace, the company found that 65 percent of consumers were aware of in-application advertising. Sixty-one percent of users knew about ads in mobile Web sites.

However, only 16 percent of users responded that they were interested in interacting with the ads, showing how consumers want to be in control of how and when they interact with a brand on their mobile device.

SMS and email have higher rates with consumers interested in interacting with mobile marketing. The study found that 75 percent of consumers would be interested in receiving mobile marketing messages via email and 50 percent would like to be marketed to through SMS.

When it comes to mobile bar codes, only 30 percent of consumers surveyed were aware of what the technology was. However, 44 percent of the respondents were interested in being marketed towards with QR codes.

According to Ms. Wittes Schlack, the reason for the higher percentage of users interested in QR codes is because the advertising puts consumers in control with how and when they want to interact with a brand.

Location-based advertising has similar adoption numbers as long as the content is relevant and personalized for users. Fifty-three percent of consumers surveyed said that they knew about location-based advertising and 34 percent were interested in interacting with it.

?It?s not that consumers don?t want interaction with brands on their mobile devices ? they want more personalized messages generated at them,? Ms. Wittes Schlack said.

?There is an underlying feeling that people have a much more intimate relationship with phones than other advertising channels,? she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York