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MrWeb 21 YEARS: Did You Get the Message?

May 21 2020

Continuing our excerpts from the recently published 'Mobile Age' special issue, Reach3 Insights CEO & founder Matt Kleinschmit looks at the rise of the mobile messaging-based Survey - with case studies from work for Jagermeister, Hyundai and Kimberly-Clark.

Matt Kleinschmit
The latest GreenBook Research Innovation Trends report (GRIT) shows that mobile surveys are finally the hottest emerging technology in insights. According to the annual study, 56% of researchers are now using mobile-first surveys, with an additional 20% considering adding them to their research stack. Mobile surveys now outrank text analytics, social media analytics and big data analysis as the next big trend in marketing research.

It's not very surprising that a majority of researchers have already invested in the area. We live in a mobile-first era - a world where there are more cellphones than people, so it's imperative for market research to take advantage of mobile technology to get an accurate understanding of evolving consumer sentiment and behaviors. But there's more to a mobile strategy than just mobile surveys. At the end of the day, a mobile survey is still a survey, with the ever-growing challenge of respondent fatigue. Re-sizing buttons and grids for mobile devices is unlikely to improve the quantity or quality of responses if we do not address the underlying issues inherent with traditional surveys in general.

To take advantage of the opportunity in front of us, we have to re-imagine the mobile research experience from the ground up. When I started Reach3, it was done with the belief that our industry can do a lot more to be relevant for the mobile era. While people are moving to SMS and messaging apps, a majority of market research approaches and technology still rely on stodgy, email-based methods that put people in 'test-taking' mode, and I think that needs to change.

The idea is simple: engage people in a conversational style using the mobile messaging networks and apps they already use to communicate with friends and family. No overly formalized research language or long surveys dependent on email distributions. In other words, engage research participants like they are people, not merely as 'respondents', making research exercises feel more natural.

In less than two years, we've seen this conversational, mobile messaging-based approach to research bring enormous research and business benefits. Quite simply, it drives deeper, richer insights that fuel better business decisions. Here are three notable examples.

Jägermeister: Leveraging the universal appeal of messaging

One myth about mobile messaging is that it's a 'Gen Z thing'. In fact, studies show SMS and mobile messaging are popular among a wide array of demographics, including older consumers. For example, a study from Facebook suggested that 65% of Millennials, 65% of Gen Xers and 63% of Boomers prefer messaging over phone calls or email.

When we worked with the alcoholic beverage giant Jägermeister recently, we leveraged the universal appeal of mobile messaging to get a holistic picture of the brand's current landscape and where the company can go next. The multi-phase study involved engaging a mix of Millennials, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers to ask them about their perceptions of the Jägermeister brand and exploring potential new territories for growth.

Using software from our sister company Rival Technologies, we engaged hundreds of legal-age adults across different demographics. Using a messaging-based quant and qual research approach, we captured 60% response and recontact rates across generations - showing both younger and older research participants are willing to provide feedback via messaging platforms.

The results drove the development of new formats, occasion-based positioning and advertising. The ability to iteratively re-engage consumers via mobile notification throughout the research process also enabled Jägermeister to have a truly agile insight solution - all while ensuring that it's hearing from all of the consumer groups relevant to its business.

Hyundai: Using mobile capabilities to get closer to the experience

The ubiquity of mobile phones and immediacy of mobile notifications provide an opportunity to capture people's feedback in real time rather than asking participants to share feedback later on. This reduction in recall bias is powerful. Since people don't have to remember what they did or how they felt, they're less likely to rationalize their responses. The feedback is more candid and authentic, capturing in-the-moment experiential learning.

Engaging people in real time also boosts response rates: since engagement happens at the moment people are making decisions and forming opinions, the experience is still fresh in people's minds. People don't have to rack their brains and struggle to remember what they did or how they felt. Instead, they can simply share their stream-of-consciousness feedback, using video to capture the contextual dynamics behind their opinions.

This ability to capture real-time feedback was crucial to an important research project we did for Hyundai. When this automotive giant ran an autonomous vehicle ride-sharing pilot, it needed to capture real-time feedback across the entire user experience, from online sign-up to the App user experience to the actual ride experience. The key to this project was understanding motivators and barriers, usability issues and the experiential elements that drive both trial and repeat usage.

For this approach, we leveraged mobile messaging-based conversational activities that were triggered by QR code to engage riders in the moment, asking for their feedback during and immediately after their ride. The messaging-based research approach that was employed was a huge win: we saw incredibly high response and recontact rates across the pilot. The client got robust base sizes for quantitative analysis as well as deep emotive qualitative feedback, including selfie and observational videos.

Kimberly-Clark: Increasing ecommerce sales and driving business outcomes

Sometimes as researchers, we focus too much on methodology but don't pay enough attention to business outcomes. I think that's a huge miss, regardless of whether you're a client researcher or agency partner. One of the most rewarding aspects of our company's development of the past two years is seeing first-hand how mobile messaging-based solutions are proving to be a source of deeper, richer insights that drive results C-suite executives care about.

Our client Kimberly-Clark is a good example. The company approached us when they noticed sub-par conversion rates for personal care items on a partner's online grocery pick-up service. Kimberly-Clark wanted to uncover barriers to purchasing personal care items through this retailer's online service and address those issues to help drive sales.

Reach3 Insights designed a multi-phase research approach to engage more than 500 consumers for a series of iterative quantitative and qualitative messaging-based exercises. Rather than using email-based surveys, Reach3 leveraged mobile text notifications to deliver conversational chat exercises. Phase 1 of the study involved a robust quantitative exercise to understand drivers and barriers to service usage. For phase 2, we re-contacted select participants via mobile notification to further explore personal care shopping behaviors. Finally, phase 3 involved inviting specific respondents for one-on-on, in-depth virtual interviews, incorporating screen sharing to see actual e-commerce shopping experiences, search behaviors, pain and passion points.

This project was a huge success for the client: actions taken from the study resulted in 20% brand and category sales increases. In addition, the project won the 2019 EXPLOR Award (www.reach3insights.com/reach3-wins-explor-award-2019 ) at last year's Corporate Researchers Conference.


The message is clear: the marketing research industry needs to go where consumers already are rather than forcing them to participate in increasingly antiquated methods. That means moving away from email surveys and embracing mobile messaging-based solutions. The good news is that this new way of engaging with consumers unlocks incredible benefits from both research and business perspectives - delivering deeper, richer insights that fuel better business outcomes. Indeed, by leveraging the power of mobile messaging, the future of our industry is already in hand.

Matt is CEO & founder of Reach3 Insights, a strategic research consultancy that develops mobile messaging based, conversational insight solutions for today's modern, agile enterprise. With over 20 years of hands-on consultative insights experience across a variety of industry sectors, Matt specializes in developing interdisciplinary strategic consulting teams and creative, technology accelerated insight solutions for global brands. Prior to founding Reach3, Matt held senior leadership roles at Maru/Matchbox, Vision Critical and Ipsos.

Web site: www.reach3insights.com/blog/rich-human-insights .

This article appears in MrWeb's Insights in the Mobile Age supplement, published May 14th 2020 and available to read or download for free.

Other 21 YEARS / Mobile Age content now available (read and download the full supplement here):

Accuracy and Authenticity - How Smartphones Revolutionised Research, by Richard Preedy, Verve

Mobile Election Polling - Abraham Muller, CTO at Brandwatch Qriously, looks at how mobile methods can make election polling easier to implement and more accurate.

Delivering Great Mobile Qualitative: Four Keys to Success - by Ross McLean, Vice President, Mobile Qualitative at 20|20 Research

7 Steps to a Better Mobile Survey - QuenchTec Survey Designer Dennis Sewberath highlights seven ways to turn a survey into a 'beautiful conversation', for the sake of better feedback and higher completion rates.

You've Missed the Boat - RealityMine CEO Chris Havemann looks at the continuing opportunity for market researchers in a world of consumers and media changed almost out of recognition by the mobile revolution. Part 1 of 2.

...but there's another one along in a minute - in part 2, RealityMine CEO Chris Havemann looks at Why MR firms are 'fundamentally well-positioned', and where the immediate opportunities lie.

3 Mobile Marketing Myths - Andy Chandler, General Manager, UK & Ireland at mobile measurement and fraud prevention specialist Adjust, debunks three fashionable but misplaced ideas from this booming market.

Interview - Giles Palmer - the Brandwatch founder & CEO talks sifting through 1.5 trillion pages of data; pulling apart the Model-T Ford; and why our industry could grow fivefold in 5 years.

Little Did He Know - Mario Paic, Global Head of Data Science, looks at the rise of the smartphone and discusses its central role today at Ipsos Audience Measurement.

An interview with Tugce Bulut, the inspirational founder and CEO of app-based feedback business Streetbees.

All articles 2006-23 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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