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Need Consumer Insights? Don’t Settle for Gray.


As it moves into its second decade, there’s a sure sign that the Smartphone Era has reached a milestone in total engagement: a New York Times tech advice column on how to disengage from your phone by making its screen and apps less colorful, and therefore less enticing.


Here’s how writer Nellie Bowles starts her account:


“In an effort to break my smartphone addiction, I’ve joined a small group of people turning their phone screens to grayscale — cutting out the colors and going with a range of shades from white to black….the goal of sticking to shades of gray is to make the glittering screen a little less stimulating.”


Yes, we should all drink responsibly from the mobile fountain. But being human, we have a natural desire to stay on the alert, whether it’s for opportunities to have fun, to get a good buy, to simplify the tasks of daily life, or to get news updates from the New York Times.


One expert quoted in the Times article says that our brains are wired to respond to colors – hence device- and content-providers’ interest in making mobile apps and mobile screens stand out with vibrant hues. “Color and shape, these are the icebreakers when it comes to grabbing people’s attention, and attention is the new currency.”


With advances in mobile research, it’s now possible to get a specific understanding of mobile apps’ effectiveness in engaging consumers’ attention and pushing them along the Path to Purchase. Here’s how:


Consumers who’ve downloaded a mobile research app to join a proprietary panel agree to allow tracking of the apps on their phone.


Brands can survey users of their apps, or their competitors’ apps, about their experiences with the apps, and more broadly about their brand and product loyalties and opinions.


For consumers, taking surveys and permitting the capture of phone location and phone usage data is a purposeful, sensible, considered use of their phones, rather than a sign of addiction or compulsion. The data and insights you can expect to flow from that interest and engagement won’t be grayed-out, as long as your surveys reward mobile users’ desire for seamless and worthwhile experiences on their phones.  For a productive conversation about how mobile-app research capabilities can help you uncover the colorful, full-spectrum consumer stories you need to tell, just get in touch by clicking here.