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News | Blog | Events

How Path To Purchase Insights Keep You in Touch with Lovebirds



What are the most radical changes in American consumers’ behaviors so far in the 21st century?


Smartphone adoption and online shopping have been huge, of course. But just as sweeping, perhaps, is a collective preference of young adults to put off marriage. When it comes to economic behavior and trends, demography is destiny. And Americans’ matrimonial destiny is changing:


The U.S. Census bureau estimates that the median age at first marriage in 2016 was 29.9 years for men, and 27.9 years for women.


That’s up nearly three years from the 2005 median for men, and nearly 2½ years for women.


The median age for first marriages has gone up each year since 2005, when it had stood at 27 years for men and 25.5 years for women.


 Interestingly, the age escalation for first marriages was most rapid from 2005 through 2008, before the Great Recession hit.   


So what does marrying later mean to brands that need to understand the Millennials and soon-to-be marriage-age older members of Gen Z? The best way to find out is to observe, then ask. Unique Path To Purchase location-tracking data and insights lets you do both. 


– Track young adults  (or any other relevant consumer segment) across 12.5 million U.S. locations, including all the outlets in the nation’s top 1,000 retail chains.


 Observe movements between relevant locations in real time.  


 See data on times of day a panelist visits a location, and how long he or she stays.


 Extract what you need from a historical warehouse of Big Data, organizing it according to your target audience’s most important characteristics, including age, sex, race, income and many more variables.


Long stops at jewelry stores and bridal shops, for example, could indicate a bride-to-be who has set her wedding date. Instead of sending out a survey targeted at all female panelists 34 and under, and asking for stated responses about wedding plans and intended purchases, you would narrow down the audience for highly-accurate targeting of the most likely qualifiers. And you’d have the firm validation of knowing you’re speaking to a woman who was just at a bridal shop.


Do love and marriage still go together like a horse and carriage, as Frank Sinatra sang in a 1960s hit? Path To Purchase location data and survey solutions will get you that answer, and more. You can set up a one-on-one demo introduction to Path To Purchase and its richly visualized data dashboard, just by clicking here.

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MFour Adds New Leaders in Technology and Marketing

David Constantine (L) and Wendell Hicken


MFour Mobile Research has tapped David Constantine and Wendell Hicken, two veteran, highly-credentialed leaders, to head its marketing and software engineering teams.


As Director of Marketing, David takes charge of planning and executing marketing strategies and initiatives to further accelerate MFour’s rapid growth. He arrives with more than 20 years of well-rounded experience, most recently heading up marketing in the United States for Teletrac Navman, a global leader in telematics. Prior positions include Director of Marketing for Software & Solutions at Kodak Alaris, and marketing director posts for business software creator K2, and for QuickStart, a provider of online training for information technologists. At QuickStart, he won a series of awards for marketing excellence from Microsoft. David holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and Business Economics from California State University, Fullerton. He’s active as a Kiwanis club board member, and likes to spend leisure time with his wife and two teenaged daughters, including camping trips and visiting Calistoga in California’s Wine Country, where he grew up.


Wendell arrives with more than 30 years’ experience in which he has led software development for large national companies and tech startups alike, overseeing teams as small as two members and as large as 600. As MFour’s Chief Technology Officer, he’ll spearhead ongoing innovation of its core technology, including the highest-rated mobile research app, Surveys on the Go®, to provide new and unique products and capabilities for the company’s clients. Prior to MFour, Wendell was Chief Technology Officer for marketing solutions company YP;  he also helped launch HopSkipDrive, a startup ride service for kids. At another startup, MusicIP,  he created a novel system for  leveraging acoustical attributes of different recordings to profile listeners’ musical tastes. Wendell is an alumnus of California Institute of Technology, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and Applied Science and created the popular video game Scorched Earth. He’s a science fiction buff, a hiker, and a board game enthusiast.


Welcome aboard, David and Wendell!

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Our Hearts Will Go On – with Valentine’s Shopping


The Valentine’s Day shopping rush is on, and department stores, jewelers, florists and specialty gift shops are all in hot competition for their share, as are gift-candy brands and greeting card companies, among others. All can benefit, now and year-round, from new Path To Purchase behavioral data capabilities made possible by the latest advances in GPS-powered mobile location tracking. You can:


See where panelists have been in the past, and where they are now.


Leverage behavioral data together with panel members’ profile data for detailed segmentation, revealing relationships between places and persons.


Track the frequency of visits, their times of day, and the amount of time spent in any location.


Get insights into characteristics of brand loyalists, brand agnostics, or competitor’s customers.


 Target surveys to the exact consumer segments you need, saving time and costs with an IR of 100%. 


Here’s what’s at stake in the runup to Feb. 14, according to Valentine’s Day spending estimates from the National Retail Federation (NRF).


Americans will spend $19.6 billion for gifts, romantic dinners and other celebrations, just 0.5% off the 2016 record.


The average shopper plans to spend $143.56 on tokens of Valentine’s Day affection, per the NRF.


That would mark an eye-opening 7.2% rebound from 2017 spending.


For a detailed discussion about Path to Purchase consumer journey mapping and how it can meet your specific research needs, just get in touch by clicking here.

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Clients Were Thinking Young at Quirk’s West


The Quirk’s Event West last week reminded us that cultivating the next generational wave of customers is always high on brands’ agendas. Many insights professionals who stopped by the MFour booth were concerned about weak representation of Millennials and Gen Z on online panels. They wanted to know what a mobile alternative could do to solve the problem. The right approach is a panel recruited around a mobile survey and behavior-tracking app, and here’s why.


 In Gen Z (roughly 18 and under), 75% use smartphones, per the National Retail Federation. Only 45% use laptops and 30% use desktops.


92% of adults’ time spent on mobile is spent inside a mobile app, according to Flurry Analytics.


More than 1 million active panelists under 35 use the Surveys on the Go® mobile research app.


Another theme we heard from our clients at Quirk’s West was gratitude for MFour’s survey operations team. “They had nothing but praise and loved how we always delivered what was expected,” reports Solutions Executive Blake Skorich.


Thanks to all who came by to talk consumer insights with us. We’re glad you got to learn more about Path to Purchase solutions and other special capabilities of mobile-app technology and panel. That conversation’s always available to any insights professional who wants to set up a live demo, just by clicking here.


To learn more about what mobile-app research does and how it works, just browse our blog, using the search box at the upper right.

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New Path to Purchase Tracking Made a Buzz at Quirk’s Event


The topic on many a mind at the Quirk’s Event West this week was “Location. Location. Location.” Yep, what matters most in real estate is also what matters most in understanding the consumer journey, and attendees came away with a better awareness of what they can achieve after being introduced to unique Path To Purchase solutions by MFour.


Path To Purchase location mapping combines people with places to give insights professionals previously unobtainable data and insights into consumer journeys. Leveraging MFour’s active panel of over 1.5 million members, Path To Purchase shows where consumers are, where they are going, and where they have been in the past, as well as how often and how long they stayed during each visit.


Here are some key uses  we touched on with our Quirk’s Event visitors:


Identifying and understanding consumers who eat at restaurant chains.


Tracking travelers at theme parks over their entire stay.


How to identify and understand loyal customers, competitors’ loyalists, and consumers in a given vertical who are in play.


  How mobile-app location research accomplishes ironclad validation of people and places.


We also talked a lot about Do-It-Yourself research, and what sets our MFourDIY® platform apart from other DIY products. Which meant we talked a lot about features such as demographic reach, panel quality and validation, and noted that MFour’s DIY platform is sophisticated as well as speedy and cost-efficient, with full location-research and multimedia question and capture features.


Thanks to all who came by to talk consumer insights with us. To continue that conversation, or start a new one, you can set up a live demo just by clicking here.


And to learn more about what mobile-app research does and how it works, browse our searchable blog. Just click here.


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Mobile OOH Measurement and Out of Home Creative Classics


Out of Home advertising (OOH) has produced its share of indelible creative moments.


The “Coppertone Girl” with her mischievous dog

The spelling-challenged spotted cows of Chick-fil-A’s “Eat Mor Chikin” campaign.

And, literally above all others, the Goodyear Blimp.


As for OOH effectiveness, the Rapport agency offers this report, based on case study findings from the IPA (Institute of Practioners in Advertising).


The audience for OOH is, by definition, on the move. That makes mobile GeoLocation studies the ideal way to find actual consumers who’ve been exposed, and to survey them to determine lift in ad awareness, brand and product awareness, and intent to purchase. To learn how it’s done, and how it can meet your specific needs for advanced OOH metrics, just get in touch by clicking here.

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GRIT Report Shows How Pain & Promise Define Market Research


To paraphrase Shakespeare, now is the winter of the consumer research industry’s discontent. The recently-released GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report (GRIT) announces that insights professionals “are unequivocal in their belief that the industry is under immense pressure to change.”


Here are key quotes from the report, a wide-ranging, twice-yearly, survey-based snapshot of the industry. Once more, the quality and representativeness of consumer panels is an acute concern.


“Most corporate researchers aren’t very satisfied with multiple aspects of industry research.”


“The dominance of online surveys is striking: they make up 56% of technique usage by project. Mobile-only surveys remain a distant second, at 14%.”


“Technology/innovation is considered the biggest challenge facing the industry.”


The most frequently-cited specific challenge is data reliability. As one of the study’s nearly 1,600 respondents said, “real consumers are often not inclined to take part in research….due to lack of consumers’ interest, it’s difficult to generate reliable, sincere and in-depth answers.”


One important way to meet these challenges is “leveraging technology to get insights where people are, where they make decisions, where they use products and services.”


“Examples [of new methods] mentioned in the survey include using mobile devices and geo-fencing for in-the-moment research and retail experience surveys.”


In fact, in-the-moment research is here already, along with a solution to the panel woes long documented by GRIT. Newly-developed mobile-app Path To Purchase solutions let researchers identify the right consumers to follow, then track and map their movements. The result is a highly intelligible and quickly useful trove of Big Data that lets researchers pinpoint important consumer segments by who they are, where they go, and how often. They can then create surveys to discover the “why” of consumer attitudes and behaviors – the crucial factor that Big Data alone can’t provide.


As for the deep concern about panel quality and representativeness documented in the GRIT Report, the way forward is simply to follow where consumers already have led: to a deep and ongoing engagement with mobile apps. By harnessing seamless, in-app survey functionality combined with a fair cash incentive, insights professionals will bring back those disappearing research participants.


There’s ample outside validation of mobile-app panelists’ engagement and satisfaction with the in-app research process. WatchMojo, a website and YouTube channel that churns out Top 10 lists on just about everything, recently cited the leading consumer research app, Surveys On The Go®, as one of the “Top 5 Apps That Can Make You Money.”


Beyond that, mobile-app research clients can verify engagement simply by checking the unsolicited comments and ratings panel members leave at Apple’s App Store and Google Play. For Surveys On The Go® the ratings are consistently about 4.5 stars on a scale of 5.


Here’s one last quote from GRIT: “As authors of this GRIT Report, we think the industry will navigate these changes well and will thrive in the long run.” You don’t have to wait to get started.


To download the GRIT report, click here. And for a productive conversation about the mobile-app solutions that can meet your projects’ specific needs and help your brands or clients thrive, just get in touch by clicking here.

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Why Booth #701 Is the Place To Be at the Quirk’s Event



Here’s a hearty welcome to Orange County, California to all conferees at the Quirk’s Event, West Coast Edition, running Tuesday and Wednesday.


Stop by the MFour booth, #701, for unique experiences from the hometown research solutions team (our headquarters is a quick skip in a beachward direction from the event’s location at the Hotel Irvine).


One unique experience at the MFour booth will be learning about Path to Purchase consumer mapping. This location-based set of solutions takes a giant step forward in understanding who’s frequenting locations relevant to your brand or your rivals’ brands – and how frequently they’re going. Among its many uses is identifying brand loyalists, brand agnostics, and brand rejecters, so you can reach them with complete accuracy. In addition to our Big Data location capture, you’ll obtain survey insights into the “why” to give you a full picture of the consumers you most want to target.


Speaking of targets, MFour’s booth also gives you a chance to have the Cornhole Experience. Sharp targeting is the difference-maker in data quality, and in this exacting test of hand-eye coordination as well. Test your skill at Cornhole before or after you’ve gotten an earful about advanced, mobile-app research. Winners at Cornhole get an MFour T-shirt. Winners at mobile-app research get the data they need to get the business results they need.


Pat Brassil, Todd Costello, Andreas Hoelting and Blake Skorich are your mobile-app research experts and hosts at the Quirk’s Event. When you meet Todd, a transplanted loyal son of Philadelphia, tell him you’re rooting hard for his Eagles in the Super Bowl. Maybe he’ll sneak you a T-shirt, or at least give you directions to a nice little cheesesteak joint. And if you’re interested in fast cars as well as fast research, Andreas is your man for in-depth insights.


For those who aren’t enjoying a winter respite in sunny Southern California, a productive conversation about how advanced mobile-app research can meet your projects’ specific needs is always available, just by clicking here.