Mobile Surveys Improve with Technology

Jan 20, 2014 1:54 PM  By

In a data-centric and driven era, brands are being pressured to interact and collect more feedback and dig deeper into the mind of consumers. Small, focused, brand recruited, loyal and engaged groups are becoming much more valuable.

It’s not a repeat of 2013 and the buzzword big data but for 2014 think along the lines of smart data. What conclusions can you draw from analyzing your data? How will you deliver something from your data? By analyzing behaviors and trends our messages can be targeted and we can finally part with sending a generic “blanket message” to everyone.

A traditional tool for capturing consumer sentiments and wishes are surveys. The survey has evolved and now presents an interaction at the point of emotion with the consumer. Quick polls and surveys to smartphones can put us right there to gather the feelings consumers have when they are viewing products or even making purchases.

Mobile technology has not only increased the effectiveness of the survey – it also reshaped the way we build our surveys. Mobile surveys are very different than traditional surveys. The nature of the smartphone and touch environment is different than being on your computer.

The entire procedure from the initial reach out to the consumer until their action is completed has been changed. The way we design the mobile survey is different. They are shorter and deliver a more enjoyable user experience.

Emails are not the channel to connect with smartphone users in real time. To reach them while they are out and about – think push notifications, social media and rewards/incentives moving forward. Last year, over 50% of millennials said they would give up their personal information in exchange for incentives (USC Annenberg).

Collecting feedback from the point of action allows you to improve and deliver a more personalized brand experience. More importantly it enables you to deliver the brand experience your real life consumers want. Whether it’s while they are browsing shelves in a store or using your mobile application you can now have a channel to reach them through.

An unprecedented view can also be captured into what consumers are really doing and what drove them to do it. Smartphones are being coined to be an extension of us. Real time consumer data isn’t limited to just surveys; passive data collection can be used to monitor apps running, accelerometer data, location tracking, battery life and more.

Businesses a step ahead of the curve are beginning to draw feedback at the point of contact and emotion a consumer has with their brand (i.e. Apple). This point of emotion information offers real time data from real people in real places.

As experimented with in the past, consumers’ actions are very hard to track after the fact leading to high recall rates in feedback received. Until recently, many pilot tests of mobile surveys incorporating geofencing took place throughout 2012 and 2013. Relying on GPS alone did not turn out to be as accurate or effective as we wished it were. GPS draws a radius of approximate location making it hard to tell exactly where someone may be or if they are even in the physical location you set.

Apple’s iBeacon aka “next-gen indoor positioning systems” have already launched and this technology is quickly improving and developing to the next level. In all 254 of Apple’s US stores visitors with iPhones will receive important and well-timed information on special offers, events and products.

What about consumers’ privacy values on their data? It is important not to overwhelm or abuse the values of your consumers with the new technology we have available. Xbox One’s Kinect received many red flags in regards to consumers’ privacy values in 2013. The next generation system acts as a data feed right in the consumers home with capabilities to track how many people are in a room, what their names are, the sound of their voices, what they are watching and more. Consumers feel this is a sign that “everything you do will be watched, cataloged, and added to metrics data – as long as your Xbox One is on (GameSkinny).”

This past holiday season, PS4 was the clear choice for shoppers. Gamers also indicated they value game quality more than anything when it comes to making decisions on upgrading their console (qSample).

By law, an agreement to collect data must be included and confirmed in a brand’s Terms of Service. Some consumers may not fully read the terms; while others may not understand this new technology and that their data is being collected.

Andrew Jeavons is CEO of Survey Analytics.