Now that this year’s Path to Purchase Expo (P2PX) is a wrap, we’d like to add one more takeaway for attendees and non-attendees alike. Here’s a short guide to using mobile research to understand the path to purchase from start to finish and beyond.
- First, find a representative panel of consumers whose paths to purchase you intend to trace. To get in touch with today’s consumers, you have to make their phones your touchpoint. A well-designed mobile research app can put you in comfortable and reliable contact with the people whose comings and goings and opinions and emotions and experiences you need to understand.
- Test the ads you’re relying on to lead consumers down the path. Unique mobile solutions let advertisers test social media messaging in consumers’ natural newsfeeds on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. You know it’s a test, but your targeted consumers don’t, because they’ll experience the test ads no differently from the rest of the content they’re receiving. Social Ad Testing doesn’t just measure clicks. It gives you deeper insights by letting you survey the test recipients. Clicks are worth counting, but answers about what’s driving that interest can give you insights into your ad’s potential that are based on more than inferences. If the test feedback is strong, you can launch the campaign with confidence that it will raise awareness, favorable perceptions, interest and intent to buy.
- Just how effective is your ad campaign? Advertising needs measurement. The key here is the unique ID each smartphone has. You can match mobile consumers’ smartphone IDs and demographic profiles against ad-delivery codes to see whether the ads are really reaching your target consumers. Then you can double back and survey these verified ad recipients to see whether a mobile ad lifted awareness and intent to shop and buy.
- Mobile consumers go places with their phones – and that’s where geolocation research comes in. Find panelists who’ve passed in view of an out of home sign such as a billboard or a bus shelter, and survey them immediately to measure the OOH ad’s effectiveness. Find shoppers while they’re in the act – locating them in-the-moment in the exact stores you’re interested in. It’s the old in-person research shop-along or exit survey – brought into the present by harnessing smartphone capabilities. You survey them about products of interest and any facet of their shopping experience — before time passes and compromises their recall and, consequently, your data.
- The path to purchase is also the path to non-purchase: find and survey people who shopped but didn’t buy. Or who did buy – but it was your competitor’s product instead of your own.
- Go beyond the point of purchase. Don’t just say “hooray” because shoppers bought your product. Follow them home and send them a mobile product-satisfaction survey. Find out whether they’re eager to get back on the path to purchase your product again – or what you should consider changing if the verdict isn’t good.
There’s an old blessing that goes, “may the road rise with you.” Mobile research puts you on the road to reaching the right consumers at the right moment and in the right way. For a productive conversation on how mobile solutions can meet your specific research needs, just get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.