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Category: market research

There are 4 posts published under market research.

Traditional Industries Are Being Upended by Apps

It isn’t news to anyone that we live in a mobile world now. Over half of adult Americans own smartphones, and the desktop business has been steadily declining as tablets and phones continue their ascent. As consumers, we have spoken: Our world is on the go, and we want technology that can keep up with us.

But it’s more than just the size and convenience of these products that make them so revolutionary; they mark a shift in how we interact with our devices and through them, with products and services in the outside world. The app economy doesn’t exist to simply occupy people’s time with games and to-do lists — it’s a way to disrupt traditional ways of doing business.


3 Traditional Industries that Apps Have Disrupted


Whole volumes can be written on the various businesses and services that have benefited, and suffered from, the smartphone revolution, but here are three key examples of how apps have managed to revolutionize whole industries.


1. Travel: While the traditional travel agent’s way of doing things was on the decline before smartphones, thanks to websites like Expedia and Travelocity, we still printed our boarding passes, booked hotels and flights way in advance, and manually kept track of our travel itineraries.

With mobile phones, this changed almost completely. Most airline apps allow us to check in and present our tickets from within the app and, more importantly, they continuously update us with current flight ETAs and gate change information that can make the difference between a successful trip and a disastrous one.

Furthermore, a whole industry of mobile apps has arisen around the concept of last-minute deals when it comes to hotel reservations and other travel accommodations. With their phones, users have the ability to make last-minute vacation plans that are often cheaper than ones made months in advance. This practice has become much more widespread in the days of mobile.


2. Transportation: You’ve most likely heard of new car services like Uber and Lyft. These companies have made names for themselves by creating an experience that allows you to order and pay for a car service with a few simple taps on your phone. The key thing to remember about these services is that mobile is not their business — it’s the tool through which people access their service. Mobile is the facilitator, not the endgame.


3. GPS: Remember when everyone had a TomTom or Garmin hooked to their dashboards? When was the last time you had one hooked to yours? Built-in apps, such as Google and Apple Maps, have all but replaced this once-burgeoning product category, offering the same features without the need for another clunky device.

Furthermore, smartphones have surpassed traditional GPS devices, with apps like Waze, which provides crowd sourced alerts about traffic, accidents, police information, and even red-light cameras. By providing points and rewards for adding information, Waze turned maps into a game and created something wholly new in the GPS industry. Its no wonder Google spent $1 billion to acquire it.


What to Keep in Mind When Designing Your App

These aren’t the only industries that have been disrupted by mobile, and they won’t be the last. With the widespread adoption of wearable tech just around the corner, we’re going to be presented with new and exciting ways to change how we do business. There are a few key things to keep in mind when looking to change the world with mobile.


  • Count the steps. How many steps does it take to provide your service? If you can find ways to cut down on the number of steps or make them easier with mobile, then you have a good start when developing an app.
  • Put the user experience first. Making your app a pleasure to use can make the difference between success and failure. Learn about the psychology and motivations behind people’s interactions, and design your app around that.
  • Capture feedback. Make it easy for users to provide feedback — and for you to track it. Seeing how people actually use your app and knowing what they’re looking for can give you a better picture of the place mobile has in your business.
  • Partner up. You don’t need to do everything. Look for ways to connect what you have to offer with other products and services so your users get a full experience. That means you won’t get bogged down in details irrelevant to your core business.


A key thing to keep in mind when looking toward the next wave of disruptive apps is how mobile fits into the way people live. Does your app empower people to do things they already want to do? Is it strategically positioned to be useful at certain crucial times (like when they need to find a hotel room at the last minute?)


The major reason apps have been so game changing is that they have improved upon the ways people go about already doing things by not forcing people to change their lives. As long as app makers continue to keep that in mind, we are only at the beginning of the app revolution.


7 Tips for DIY Mobile Market Research

Smartphones are radically shaping almost every industry today since there are an increasing number of people who are accessing the internet through their smartphones and tablets. As a result, market research is shifting, for one more time in its history, from online to mobile.


On the one hand, new opportunities are being introduced daily with every user having a smartphone: Quicker results, geo-fencing, and wider audience reach are now possible. However, on the other hand, new challenges occur: Survey aspects like its length, the structure of surveys, questionnaires and respondent experience (RX) are extremely important on mobile.


A variety of tools supporting mobile market research are being presented these days ,and the most important for small businesses, DIY mobile market research which will help them to make better business decisions. What follows are some guidelines you should keep in mind when conducting mobile market research.


Respondent Experience (RX)


In the smartphone and tablet world great experiences are mandatory. User experience (UX) is a key factor for the usage of every mobile app and when it comes to surveys, respondent experience can either get you quick results or you can watch drop-off rates up to 95 percent. Choose carefully your survey provider or develop internal tools with a mobile first strategy and you will keep all your respondents happy.


Keep It Short


Users are really engaged with their smartphones and tablets but their time is valuable since they might be sharing their opinions either during a walk or while watching TV. Dropout rates significantly increase if survey takes more than a couple of minutes to complete. Research shows that people tend to drop out if a survey contains more than 15 questions. So try to conduct your mobile market research through short surveys with less than 15 questions and “tweet-sized” question texts.


Avoid Too Much Branding


Mobiles screen size are limited by nature and this must be taken into account when designing a mobile survey. Unlike computer-based surveys, you have limited options when it comes to branding. Researchers need to take this into account and use available screen space intelligently. So, try to utilize as much space as possible for main survey fields and remove branding elements other than the logo.


Check Your Survey Structure


In many cases a question might have many answers, like brand names, product names etc. Since the user cannot perform easily a quick search, just keep in mind to help them by sorting the answers alphabetically or by providing easy navigation mechanisms.




Timing is extremely important for conducting mobile market researches. If your campaign is going to run in various time zones then take into account time zone differences and the habits of your target audience. In US, UK and Continental Europe 6-8 p.m. is considered the best time, as people are commuting from work to home and most of these commuters are browsing internet through their smartphones. In Asia and Africa there can be a difference due to differences in culture and habits.


Use A/B Tests - Confused Minds Don’t Provide Quality Responses


Mobile respondents just don’t have time, so they need to understand the questions within a few seconds. Confused minds don’t provide quality responses and this is much more important in mobile. Design multiple versions of a questionnaire and send it to your target audience to check drop-off rates and cross-check quality of data. In this way you can conduct mobile market research in a more effective way and get insights from your target audience. Two versions of a questionnaire are more than enough. Just change a couple of questions and you have a brand new version.


Avoid Videos


One of the most serious limitations at least these days is video in mobile. Unfortunately many market researches or business owners wrongly assume that every mobile device is similar and video based surveys are going to work on every device. This can lead to various issues with many users not watching the full video or with bad streaming and rendering, as a result providing an outcome of much less quality.


In conclusion, one of the most important aspects of every survey is the quality of the responses, so you have to be really careful providing the best mobile respondent experience to make sure you will not affect the responses. Keep in mind the above guidelines and this will ensure success for your mobile market research. Market research is a process which can be improved by trial and error and mobile market research is providing you with real power and access to every person out there. You just need to keep your eyes open and improve your techniques by taking into account past mistakes.


Bonus tip: avoid open -ended question, since studies show that open-ended responses on mobile are 70% smaller than on computers. As a result, you will be thanking yourself that you don’t have to analyze the open-ended data.


Today’s Success is due to Your Web Presence

I just read Macklemore’s heart-felt open letter he wrote about the unbelievable year that him and his producer, Ryan Lewis, have had.


I encourage you to read it for yourself, because it is a true testament of how diligence and faith can lead to success. These traits are principles that any budding or established entrepreneur can relate to.


Although, I wish Macklemore all of the best in his journey, something odd stood out about this letter. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then it came to me. Macklemore writes:


“To date we’ve sold over 1 million albums in the US this year. We’ve received platinum plaques from countries I’ve never even been before. We have 3 multi-platinum singles. We’ve performed on Ellen, Conan, Letterman, Leno, Colbert Report, Saturday Night Live, Billboard Music Awards, Good Morning America and the MTV Video Music Awards. It was just announced today that we’re nominated for 6 American Music Award’s, and yesterday it was announced we’re performing at The Grammy’s nomination night.”


He and his band deserves to be rewarded for all of their hard work when considering metrics that were created and valid before the advent of the Internet. These metrics include millions of albums sold, multi-platinum singles, performances on late night television, awards shows, and Grammy’s, which are all a very singular form of validation.


The Artist to Fan model adds a more dynamic layer to an Artist’s engagement with their fans. This model surpasses traditional channels and puts the artist in direct contact with the fan and vice versa. The Artist to Fan model, pioneered through today’s social networks and digital music distributors, may provide more valuable data to measure the success for an artist today. The Internet democratizes the landscape for fans and artists to share ideas and become more personable. Macklemore’s story is, in fact, not the only one. And probably is not the most important one.


Beyonce showed why she is King B with the release of the recent LP, “Beyonce,” Her recent advertising campaign for her self-titled album was a viral sensation. She demonstrated how well timed conversations in engaged social followings can quickly spread messages on the web.


James Jackson Toth, Lorde and Schoolboy Q on the other hand, have released dozens and dozens of records, under different labels, publishers, and formats. All of them are very active on social networking sites where they are a part of various conversations with other highly visible people on those social sites.


Most of these artists will never sell out at Madison Square Garden. They will not get awards. For the most part, they will never grace the stages of late night TV. But they, and many others, seem to find their inspiration by going directly to their listeners, supporters, and friends. Think about it, we all have a favorite musician-friend in our social network somewhere right?


Doing Market Research Right

The annual expenditure for market research is $11 billion or more in the U.S. alone and upwards of 85% of newly introduced products fail or dramatically under-perform expectations.


Consequently, one could understand why just 31% of market research companies feel market research is reliable. And it’s fair to assume that just about every new product has gone through some form of vetting prior to release.


“You’d think it is better to have tried and failed than to have failed to try. But what is the difference if you end up in the same place?”


How about $60 billion (or more) – the amount Fortune 1000 companies spend each year on failed products?


Scrapping market research is certainly not the solution. Rather, here are three ideas to help you fail fast…and maybe even succeed.


It’s Just An Idea


Have you considered the emotional difference between an idea and a good idea… specifically the process of proving a good idea versus proving an idea good?


When you start with a good idea, your research — consciously or sub-consciously — is likely structured to support or validate the claim of good. This is fundamentally different than starting with an idea and attempting to determine the viability (good) of the idea itself.


Take, for example, a spirits company planning to launch its next good idea — a new premium mixer. The company believes it has a winner and therefore conducts its initial research to understand consumers’ preferred packaging. And, more specifically, which packaging this consumer sample deems the most premium.


What if the company instead queries these consumers to gauge their overall interest in a new premium mixer?


Answer The Right Question


Just because I like it doesn’t mean I’ll buy it. How often have you heard of a failed product that received overwhelming positive reception during the research and development process?


Is it possible that we’re asking the wrong questions from the onset?


Using the above example – a new premium mixer from an established spirits company – let’s assume the initial research was actually intended to gauge consumers’ interest in a new premium mixer. The company conducted a focus group, providing these consumers the opportunity to taste the mixer and share their genuine thoughts and feedback.


Ninety percent of participants said they love the premium mixer and would absolutely purchase it. Success is ensured, right?


Likely not. The key is not what consumers tell you they would do, rather to understand their willingness to part with hard-earned money.


Here’s another example. Imagine you were handed a pen and told to write your name, then asked for your thoughts about the pen. Assuming you were able to write your name, you are likely to respond favorably.


What if you were first asked to pay $5 for the pen, might you respond differently? Would you even be willing to pay for the pen?


Consistently Relative


Consider again the spirits company research. On a scale of 1-5, how interested are you in a new premium mixer from an established spirits company? Okay, maybe it’s clear that ‘1’ correlates to “I have absolutely no interest.” But aren’t the four remaining choices relative?


Too often, research questions provide relative answer choices. That could lead to potentially misleading results. If the stated description of ‘5’ is “I am extremely interested,” how does the meaning of ‘extremely” differ between an individual that regularly hosts parties and small gatherings and another who infrequently mixes a cocktail at home?


Contrary to popular belief, 4.5 out of 5 is best left for teachers grading assignments. And maybe movie reviews. To better understand your customers’ needs, wants and desires… just ask.


Easier said than done, as eighty-two percent of companies say they neither can identify their customers’ most important value drivers nor have access to in-depth and accurate consumer intelligence.


Conventional wisdom, intuition or a boss might lead you to believe in a good idea. Next time, though, consider starting with just an idea. Then let your research and your customers, without room for interpretation, determine whether it is a good one based on willingness to part with their hard-earned money.


Quite possibly, the end result will be the same, but wouldn’t it be best (and less costly) to fail fast, or base moving forward on a well-informed decision? After all, customers are more likely to make a purchase if first asked of their opinion.