In the past, market research was about putting together limited communities of consumers to share their insights and opinions about customers’ products and brands. But business as usual is no longer good enough. Now our customers want to reach anyone and everyone who might consume their product—whether its soft drinks, cars or banking services. And it’s up to us to provide the tools and expertise to allow our customers to reach anyone and everyone who might provide invaluable information about their products.
This is where mobile comes in.
Mobile: The Well-traveled Route to the Masses
It goes without saying that mobile use has grown exponentially in recent years. And that’s particularly true in the younger generation. Increasingly, younger people use mobile for a whole range of tasks for which their parents still turn to their desktops. In fact, many younger people no longer own desktops or laptops, but hardly anyone in that generation is without a mobile phone. And here’s the really important point: In the next five to 10 years—as more and more young people come of age—that trend can only accelerate. So, if we in the market research industry are to reach the consumers our customers want and need, we need to focus more and more on mobile.
But it’s not enough to just go mobile.
Making It Easy, Fast and Fun
When seeking mobile users’ opinions, we’re going head-to-head not just with other market research companies, we’re also competing with other tasks and diversions that might engage a user on a mobile device. That means our mobile surveys must be easy, fast and fun; they must be modern and engaging enough to make a consumer WANT to take a survey while waiting for a train, sitting in the dentist’s office or between meetings.
That’s why we at Toluna work with a technology team that includes lots of young people who have grown up with and think mobile. We want people who, when they’re thinking about application design, naturally gravitate to mobile, and who take inspiration from mobile-only apps like Instagram. This is the kind of team that knows—instinctively—what will attract and engage a young mobile user.
Bottom line: If we are to be forward-looking in market research, we have to focus more and more on mobile and work with the people who can give us the innovative and engaging mobile apps we need. That’s how we’ll reach everyone who can give our customers the insights they need.