The simple shift in mindset that’ll transform how you approach mobile research

Posted by Sagar Soni, Client Service Director on June 7, 2016

Mobile. The M-word. It’s the thing that’s given online panel research one of its biggest challenges to date. But it also presents us with our biggest opportunity to attract and engage real respondents like never before.


According to last year’s Deloitte Mobile Consumer Survey, almost 80% of Australians own a smartphone, followed by 76% of Britons and 70% of Americans.

Yet when you overlay this with the data from the Q3-Q4 2015 Grit report, which shows well over half all online surveys are not mobile optimised, it’s clear there’s a gap between consumer expectation and what many online research experiences offer today.

Mobile isn’t a product, it’s a given

At Pureprofile, we’ve made no secret about our focus on providing the best possible respondent experience across all devices, including both web and mobile apps. Our tech folks are constantly improving our platform to attract diverse audiences.

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Great tech is one thing, but attitude is equally as important. For mobile research to become the standard, not a line item on an invoice or an added extra, the industry collectively needs a change in mindset. From one of siloed thinking to collaboration.

6 ways to collaborate to create better mobile surveys

A panel provider with strong tech credentials can offer great value when it comes to designing mobile surveys. However, currently panels are often the final step in the market research ecosystem, which doesn’t always leave room to leverage this value.

By moving from a traditional customer-supplier relationship to a strategic partnership with panel providers, there are many ways researchers can deliver best-in-class mobile projects. Below we’ve outlined six collaborative steps that could transform how you approach mobile.

1) Have a discovery discussion at stage 1

Discuss your objectives with your panel team before giving a research proposal to your end client. Could your panel supplier showcase your mobile survey to your client at the bidding stage?

2) Factor in scripting and questionnaire design time

Simply throwing a long survey designed to be completed on a desktop at your mobile audience will only frustrate panel members. When scripted well, it’s possible to create mobile experiences that hit all your project goals via shorter surveys. Have you asked your provider what’s possible?

3) Stress test

Failure to fully test your mobile survey could result in a poor respondent experience and a higher drop-out rate. Have you checked how scripts are designed and tested across different operating systems and device types?

4) Be willing to adapt your respondent communication strategy

When it comes to mobile diary studies or those with a complex scope, clear respondent communication is key to maintaining high engagement, high user satisfaction and low drop-out rates. People need to know what they’re getting into before they opt in to a survey. Can your panel provider host a webpage or video to walk survey participants through what’s expected? What other strategies do they suggest to maintain engagement?

5) Respect the respondent, but balance the budget

Fairly compensating survey participants while meeting project costs is always a delicate dance. The best way to strike a balance is to scope out  the complexity of the project in advance before setting the reward. Mobile surveys can demand higher engagement and more commitment from respondents. Have you asked your panel supplier what they recommend?

6) Ditch the desktop way of thinking

As mentioned above, mobile presents massive opportunities to engage with new, highly responsive audiences. However, to fully realise these opportunities we collectively need to stop applying a desktop approach to our mobile projects.

All of this will take us even closer to that holy grail of online market research: quality data, true respresentative sample, shorter LOIs and a lower cost.


Topics: Market Research, Data Quality, Mobile

Woman completing research survey on smartphone

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