Making the most of mobile

by Nigel Hollis | February 12, 2014

Mobile Marketer has named Millward Brown as Mobile Researcher of the Year because of our dedication to understanding mobile’s role in the path to purchase. 

Specifically the site noted that Millward Brown’s research stands out because of the greater focus on the mobile’s impact on branding, alongside all the other channels with which a marketer might interact with their customers and consumers.

It is always nice when the work we do gets recognized by an independent body.  We have done a lot of work to help marketers understand how best to use mobile, from testing individual mobiles ads to using it as part of an overall campaign. This is not, however, the only aspect of mobile in which Millward Brown is involved. We also use mobile as a data collection tool.

Like all new research channels, mobile is not without its challenges. Carrier and device optimization add to the hurdle of making existing surveys short and simple enough to be answered on a feature or smartphone. (Of course, if we can make all our surveys short and simple it would be a big advance, irrespective of the device used to collect the data.)

The importance of getting this right is probably greatest in developing economies where the mobile phone has leap frogged landlines and is the go to device for Internet access, which is why I was particularly interested to see what Charles Foster, Managing Director, Millward Brown Africa and Middle East, had to say at the launch of our new office in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). His presentation focused on the benefits of mobile but also reviewed the results of mobile studies conducted in KSA. Here are a couple of highlights:

  1. As of November 2013, Millward Brown has interviewed over 10,000 consumers in Asia, Africa and Middle East through their mobile.
  2. Nearly 40 percent of web traffic in KSA comes from a mobile phone device and not from a desktop, in part because KSA ranks third in the world with over 70 percent smartphone penetration.
  3. One of the mobile studies reviewed focused on the relative standing of banks in the KSA using our Power score (our attitude-based prediction of market share). We were later told that the estimate of market share for one bank was identical to that from a far larger study expressly commissioned by the bank to estimate market share.

I know that many are hesitant about making the leap to mobile data collection, but with consumers spending more time on mobile digital devices, it is going to be a question of jump or be pushed. Already in emerging markets we are finding that mobile gives us better access to consumers than does face to face interviewing. It will not be too long before that story applies in most markets, and at that point the biggest challenge will be persuading people to give up their mega-surveys in favor of shorter ones. 

So is your future mobile? Please share your thoughts.

1 comment

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  1. Dominic, February 12, 2014
    See, for example,
    https://www.millwardbrown.com/Libraries/MB_Knowledge_Points_Downloads/MillwardBrown_KnowledgePoint_MobileDevices.sflb.ashx

    https://www.millwardbrown.com/Insights/PointsOfView/Whats_App_with_Your_Brand/Page1.aspx

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