RBDR and FlexMR discuss mobile research
Last week, FlexMR Insight Manager Louisa Thistlethwaite posted a thought-provoking article on the Paradox of Mobile Market Research. The article explains, in-depth, the challenges research agencies face when conducting mobile research. The article revolved around the observation that mobile research is not, in many cases truly mobile. It may be completed on a handheld device, but that isn't enough.
Mobile research is sold as a way to reach consumers in-the-moment, during key moments throughout their daily lives. Whether it's a trip to the supermarket, a family vacation or even the commute to work - we now have the capability to research consumers in that exact moment. Traditional research methods have long since suffered from their reflective nature. Instead of asking what consumers are feeling, they must settle for asking how they did feel. It relies on memory - something that is often far from perfect.
The paradox Louisa describes in her article is that despite being sold as a way to overcome this obstacle, much mobile research is completed in the exact same way. It may be completed on a smartphone or tablet, but it often isn't completed in-the-moment. That should be concerning to researchers. It negates the most important, discussed and sold benefit of mobile market research. Louisa challenged brands and agencies alike to be better - to enforce mobile restrictions that ensure in-situ completion. That is, after all, what we as researchers want.
The Mobile Market Research Discussions
Since the article was posted, it has become a topic of debate among mobile researchers. Bob Lederer of RFL Communications picked up on the significance of the topic and posted a video review of the article on the RBDR YouTube channel.
A few days after the review was posted, CEO of FlexMR, Paul Hudson was invited to respond to the article - expanding on the observations made and providing greater insight into the issue. The interview discusses the prevelance of the problem, as well as why it is so crucial for agencies to develop innovative solutions as they further develop mobile offerings.
In summary, it is highlighted that mobile research should not be automatically aligned with online research. This common practice undermines the best and completely novel contributions that mobile can make to research efforts.