Mobile Versus Online Research

Resolve Market Research, Cint and Thumbspeak partner to compare survey results using both online and smartphones.

Brands and researchers can leverage the mobile phone in tandem with online surveys – and expect equivalent results

In a study performed by Resolve Market Research, and powered by Cint with Thumbspeak, the parallel results suggest that marketers can now reach consumers in a contextually relevant, real-time setting. The findings indicate that mobile surveys can complement online surveys or run independently to provide very timely and reliable insights. Opting to wait days after a consumer purchases a product or has a specific branded experience might be over.

The study was designed to examine whether consumers would respond differently to questions about their own tablet device usage while they were surveyed online versus on their smartphone. Eight hundred sixty-six (n=866) US tablet device and iPhone owners participated in the study. Each respondent was given the same set of 16 questions. The mobile survey group (n=500) used Thumbspeak on their iPhones, Cint Group's leading mobile relationship marketing platform, for survey-taking on smartphones, while the online survey group (n=366) were acquired online through the Cint Panel Exchange, the open, transparent sample marketplace consisting of over 5 million panelists across 550 panels.

Elaine B. Coleman, Ph.D, Co-Founder and Chief Research Officer at Resolve Market Research states, "What's surprising is that regardless of taking the survey on a smartphone or online; respondents' data look very similar. Yet, what differed significantly were the higher response rates and completion rates in favor of iPhones (43% Mobile versus 24% Online). Although more research is needed to understand the "novelty effect" of the mobile platform, taken together, the advantages of surveying consumers on mobile might outweigh the disadvantages of online. Most importantly, you can now access consumers' decision-making and preferences in natural, relevant and real-time contexts."

The results of this study have clear implications for technology-driven mobile applications as viable platforms for delivering data quality to brands. Asking questions on smartphones did not significantly alter the data in comparison to a computer setting.

The study found that 63% of tablet owners from the online platform used their tablets at their work desk—not a significant number higher than the tablet owners from the mobile platform (59%).

In fact, the online and mobile groups did not appear to engage with advertisements differently either. When asked if they pay attention to advertisements while using their tablet device, 32% from the online group said "Yes" with 33% from the mobile group agreeing as well. Brands and advertisers can expect similar levels of ad recall across both modes of surveying.

Most notably for content owners, the tablet has emerged as a true companion device for television and movie viewing. With the exception of the smartphone itself, tablet owners across both platforms were accessing content across multiple devices with similar usage rates.

Respondents were asked, "What most prompted you to purchase/use a tablet device?"
The majority of respondents (58% across both groups) voiced that both business and personal reasons were the catalyst.

Business of Tablets Parallel Study. 2011. Base: N=866. Content is now accessible across multiple devices (smartphone, tablet, PC, laptop, TV set, etc.). Which devices do you use to watch your favorite TV and movie programming?

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Resolve Market Research is a leading global research consultancy with unique insight into how technologies and digital media transform consumers and audiences alike. For more information, please see www.resolvemr.com.

Thumbspeak is the leading do-it-yourself (DIY) Mobile Relationship Marketing platform. SaaS solutions are the perfect way for researchers and businesses to connect with customers or panelists on their smart phones! Mobile connectivity is pervasive and businesses benefit by getting valuable insights and encouraging advocacy. Questions are easily entered through our intuitive, easy to use web interface and sent to specific smart phone users. The audience enjoys responding because it lets them shape the products and services they care about and our mobile platform makes it fast and fun.

Cint is a leading technology company, focused on providing innovative SaaS-based solutions for the market research industry. At its core lives the Cint Panel Exchange (CPX) which brings research buyers and panel owners together to form a unique, transparent sample marketplace of over 5 million consumers in 40+ countries. The portfolio of technology-based brands includes Cint Sample Access (CSA), Cint Automated Tracker (CAT), Cint Panel Manager (CPM), Cint Direct and the mobile relationship management platform, Thumbspeak. Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Cint has offices in major cities across Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. For more information, please visit cint.com.