A Handful of Reasons to Get Smarter with Mobile

Across the globe, people are spending more time on their mobile devices than ever before—from communicating with friends, to listening to music, to researching a product or brand. This increased engagement has significant implications for those of us in the market research world, as we need to understand these new types of respondents and how to best keep them engaged from a research perspective. And if you aren’t already convinced, here are five key trends that highlight why the industry needs to be ready to evolve with these changing behaviours.

1. A growing number of smartphone owners

It goes without saying that mobile phones are ubiquitous. But how many people are carrying these devices around? The results from Ipsos MediaCT’s Mobil-ology Study (Wave 6 2013) show that half of Canadians have a smartphone, (up from 23% in early 2011) and this number is only projected to continue increase over time.

2. Cellphone and tablet ownership is set to surpass the PC market in 2014

While PC’s and laptops have long dominated the market, they are expected to be edged out by mobile very soon. In fact, analysts at research firm IDC Canada foresee the number of mobile devices used in Canada and abroad officially overtaking the number of desktop and laptop computers as soon as this year.

3. The majority (51%) of email opens are now on mobile

We text and talk on the go, so it’s not too surprising that most people check their emails on the go now. This number has increased three percentage points since the previous record of 48% from September and October 2013. Desktop now accounts for 31% of email opens, while webmail has dipped to 18%. Source: Litmus (December 2013).

4. Declining survey response rates of traditional panelists

This trend is nothing new and it’s something the market research industry has been trying to stabilize and reverse over the years. Some of the attempts at improving response rates have included the offering of incentives for completion, sweepstakes, shortening of survey length and more engaging question formats (for example, scales and sliders).

5. People are accessing the web via their smartphones more often than ever before

Just under 20% of web traffic has come through mobile in 2013, representing more than a 6% increase since 2012. And this number is projected to more than double over the next three years. But in the world of research, only 10% of surveys are via mobile phones.

When considered alone, the above trends may not be enough to set off any alarm bells. But when occurring in conjunction with each other, their potential impact on market research is indeed great. The forecasted decline in PC ownership, increasing share of web traffic via mobile devices and proportion of emails (consequently survey invites) opened on mobile gadgets, all point to the need for market research to evolve with these trends. Shorter surveys, executed in an engaging, mobile and convenient format will not only help improve opportunities for survey completion but also respondent engagement with the hope of resulting in increased likelihood to participate again.

To learn more about our mobile capabilities or how to make your survey device agnostic, contact myself or your Ipsos representative today.