Completing research through respondents’ smartphones is an emerging methodology. Researchers are able to target by both constituency using preset “panels” and by geography using GPS locators. Mobile survey research does not yet comprise an entirely representative sample of the U.S. population (significantly younger); however, researchers can “blend” this methodology with other research techniques. There are some limitations in terms of length of questions and interviews when conducting surveys on mobile phones.
Like an online study, it is possible to test images, videos and other stimuli in a mobile study.
Geo-based mobile research utilizes a respondent panel that is integrated with a geo-locator. Through this technology, respondents can be contacted as they enter a specified area, such as a store or event. For example, this kind of research has been used by national retail chains to track customer experiences, feelings, and observations at thousands of locations across the country in real-time to improve customer experiences, advertising, and in-store displays.
Mobile panelists are invited to participate in the study through a “push” notification to their smartphone. Surveys can often be fielded within several hours; however, some targeted audiences may need several days or even a week to complete.
Mobile research offers convenience (respondents can start and pause or chose when to take a survey), interaction (through cameras and web-access), the ability to reach specific audiences (moms, swing voters, customers of a specific store, event attendees) and speed (you can reach respondents anywhere, anytime).