When was the last time you recall sitting at your computer
with leisure time to web search as you please? Between commuting, longer days
at work, squeezing in that workout, and finally eating. It is becoming very
uncommon for one to find time to sit down at a computer and search the
internet. Minimal leisure Internet time therefore makes reaching potential
online survey panelists even more tough to reach.
How is this impacting the data collected from online market
research? For traditional online surveys, it seems it is becoming harder and
harder to reach preferred data numbers let alone certain target groups. Where
does this lead us to and how can we overcome this obstacle?
The most obvious and trending answer brings us to mobile.
Allowing users to take abbreviated, reformatted surveys via mobile device is
one way to increase sample size and reach what was traditionally called the
‘general population.’ Making the survey-taking experience simplified,
convenient, and ready for today’s constant on-the-go consumers will drastically
the current problem of unreachable respondents. In addition to
reaching more consumers, mobile has numerous advantages over traditional
desktop online surveys. Take, for instance, geolocation capabilities which
allow for tailoring of surveys according to the respondent’s location. Or
in-store research, allowing customers to actually be in store making tradeoffs
and purchases to evaluate choices in the environment we try to replicate
online. Qualitative research can be enhanced with mobile devices, allowing
respondents to video their shopping experience and take images.
Similarly, smart eyewear has recently come into play within
the market research realm. Allowing for even more consumer behavior analysis,
this technology will play a large roll in qualitative research in the years to
come. Voice capabilities, eye-tracking, geolocation, you name it- these weapons
of market research will change the industry!
Both of these alternatives have been discovered and are
currently being explored for use. What options could 2015
bring? I believe the visual options have advanced far enough and we now must
turn to understanding consumer behavior from a psychological standpoint. How
can we measure what consumers really are thinking and understand this down to a
neurological level. How does this then interplay with rational vs. emotional
decision making models and how can we use this to influence consumers? Will the
next generation eyewear include on the fly brain scans? Will the smart watch measure
circulating neurotransmitters and predict choice behavior?
Changing times come with changing measures. To remain
relevant we must approach this development with open arms and continue to keep
Janel Parker, Market
Research Consultant at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing
research agency, has a background in Marketing and Psychology from Cornell
University. Her previous experience at a social media agency combined with her
knowledge from SKIM provide for a unique understanding of the relationships
between social media and marketing. She can be reached at