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This is fourth and final part of our Blog Series, For the Love of Engagement: 4 Ways to Romance Your Respondents, where we share best practices for participant engagement. This post focuses on Mobile Research. Read part one on User Interface Design, part two on Forum Discussions and part three onRespondent Fatigue.

Also, watch for our on-demand webinar on participant engagement featuring Forrester Research, Inc.

At this very moment, somebody is arranging a first date on their mobile phone. Another couple is using SMS to exchange romantic thoughts. And somebody else is texting their sweetheart aÛ_well, use your imagination.

If mobile is changing the nature of our romantic lives, that's because there's nothing like reaching someone right where they are, at the moment when they're receptive to your message. That's the same reason mobile is so useful as a way of boosting respondent engagement - because it allows you to reach respondents in the moment and provide a greater level of engagement.

Here are four ways mobile can boost engagement:

Improve response rates: It's hard to get respondents to answer a survey when they could be watching their favorite movie, checking the news, or playing a game. Rather than fighting for their attention, a mobile survey can provide opportunities for people to take surveys when it's convenient for them: during their commute home, while shopping, or when they are relaxing outside. Just as important, mobile surveys offer the opportunity for second screen experiences: instead of waiting until they've logged out of World of Warcraft, a respondent can take a mobile survey while using their computer or watching TV. By inviting responses that don't interrupt people's daily lives, researchers can expect improved response rates over time and a more engaged panel.

Get real-time insight: Why ask someone to recall their reasons for making a purchase when you could be asking them at the moment they're making their decision? Mobile technologies let you conduct surveys in the moment. While potential respondents are standing in the store or staring at their virtual shopping cart, you can push a mobile survey that gets in their head at the moment of decision-making. That kind of in-situ research enables fruitful insights that retrospective questions may not provide.

Reach a younger demographic: Young respondents are notoriously hard to engage. But the high level of mobile adoption among 18-to-24-year-olds makes them a prime audience for mobile research. Including mobile in your research strategy is a crucial way of boosting response rates among younger demographics.

Recruit specific samples: Because mobile technology expands the array of recruitment options, it can engage a more diverse range of potential respondents. Now there is the option to recruit people by SMS (with the help of a third party), place QR codes on posters or leaflets, conduct in-store research on a tablet or use mobile-friendly custom links. All these tactics help you access and recruit audiences that were once a struggle to connect with.

From broadening your respondent pool to increasing response rates among the people you recruit, mobile provides you with crucial ways of enhancing research engagement. For every person in the world who has sent an "I love you" text in the time it's taken you to read this post, there is a respondent somewhere you could be engaging with mobile.

Read our whitepaper: Debunking Mobile Research: It's just the same right? Or is it?

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