Why Mobile Qualitative Research is Growing Strong

Mobile Qualitative Research or MQR, as it is known, is growing in popularity as a go-to market research tool because it’s finally realizing the promise of providing feedback while the customer is using the product.  MQR creates feedback in the real world and with the introduction of mobile software analysis tools, researchers can receive and analyze results in real time.

MQR Process

The process is simple and straight forward.  After recruiting participants, questions are sent to their mobile device over a period of days or weeks, allowing the participants to react and respond via that same device.

A researcher can assemble and view the results with an online dashboard.  They can input new questions to reengage any of the participants in real time, delving more deeply into a particular subject.  Imagine doing that with traditional or online surveys.

MQR Benefits:

  • Immediacy
  • Familiarity
  • Engagement

The primary advantage of Mobile Qualitative Research is the immediacy of feedback.  Since participants (and most of us) carry our phones during the day, when at work, out shopping or at a concert or sporting event, participants can text or send photos of their experience at the point of sale, or during the process of entering a crowded stadium.

This immediacy means that the information provided is more accurate because the respondents do not have to recall what they experienced at a later time when they are finally sitting down to go online.

There is no learning curve for MQR participants since they are simply texting or sending photos on mobile devices that they all ready own and are familiar with.  This ease of use helps increase the participation rate because of its simplicity and familiarity.

Higher engagement or non-static engagement with the participants is a big plus.  Since the information is submitted in real time, a live researcher will know that the data is input at the time the researched event is occurring.

Mobile Qualitative Research = Access

According to the Nielsen group over 265 million Americans have mobile phones, 98% of which are text capable.  By the end of 2010, according to the International Telecommunication Union, approximately 5 billion people worldwide had cell phones.

Mobile Qualitative Research allows researchers access to those people that either don’t have time to sit down at a computer or don’t have access to one.  Also, using MQR participants don’t have to be herded into a study room or assembled into panels, saving significant costs and time.

Mobile isn’t Just for Data Acquisition Anymore

The evolution of mobile devices as a business tool has reached a point where they are powerful enough and ubiquitous enough to change how businesses make decisions.  Smartphones and tablets have made, time sensitive business data analysis available to executives and decisions makers with a speed, depth and access that was previously unheard of.  Now, it is not a matter of waiting for a report, it is simply a matter of swiping fingers across a screen.

In the marketing industry, mobile devices have been used for years to acquire product or consumer data in the locations where the products are used or the consumers congregate.  The acquired data is usually uploaded to a data warehouse and managed by an ERP system.  Analysts would then clean the data, drill down to the relevant information (based on the questions they are seeking answers for), create a report, summarize it and present it to an executive.  The executive uses the analysis to make a decision and then has the analyst or a clerk input the decision into the ERP or database.

Untethered Analysis

However, using the newest generation of mobile business analysis tools, the decision maker can pull up the data, drill down to the information required, make a decision and instantly input that decision into the ERP.  They no longer need to be in a board room or even at a desktop computer to obtain the analysis they require.

The speed at which the data and the analysis is available to the decision maker allows them to react to current and real world situations in which the data is critical to making a decision.  The cost of the traditional work flow, and the loss of time waiting on the creation of these reports is eliminated.

Will Analysts Have a Place in the Future?

The evolution toward just-in-time delivery of business data analysis does not spell the death knell for professional analysts.  Analysts of the future will still be responsible for setting the parameters of the business data analysis.  They will still determine how to provide the data in the clearest possible terms so that the executive, on his or her mobile device, can understand and act on what the data is telling them.

Executives and decision makers will still need to rely on the expertise and experience of the analyst to tell them what the analysis means.