What to do, when you CAN’T do an in-person interview.

What to do, when you CAN’T do an in-person interview.


You’re walking out of the store…

Squinting into the sunlight a bit, both arms full of groceries, you smile. That was a successful dinner shopping trip. You’re ready to feed the family waiting at home for you.

A mom stands in front of you, trying to unstrap one of her two busy kids from a shopping cart before she grabs her own bags. You’ve just started to think of how to pair your warm rotisserie chicken with rice—when, at that very moment, a man steps in front of you.

Holding onto an iPad, he asks, “Can I ask you a few questions about…?”

Well, at least, that’s what would happen…if in-person interviews were still possible.

But, they’re not.

This is the age of masks, social distancing, and staying six feet away. All the time. If in-person interviews were an option for you before, they aren’t anymore, even if you need them to be. In fact, right now, 34% of our panel says they’re not comfortable with an in-person survey.

So, how do you get the detailed insights you want, when you can’t walk up to someone and ask?

It’s okay.

There’s another way.

Here’s how it works.

It’s still an interview.

But, it doesn’t happen in-person. See, that’s the beauty of technology. So, while that mom—with busy children—is headed out the store’s double doors, her shopping experience still fresh in her mind, you can send her a mobile research survey.

Mom reaches down as her phone goes “ping!”

And, now she’s prompted to tell you exactly what she thought as she cruised the aisles inside the store. To talk about your product. She’s asked what she thought of the design, packaging, shelf placement—even your promotion. It’s all on her phone. All with the ease of being inside her pocket, and none of the problems of being in-person.

Mom’s not alone. A full 93% say they’d prefer to take a survey on an app, over taking one in-person.

Or, maybe, you have an app.

Your brand relies on your app to drive sales.

It might be a shopping app, a dining app…or any app for that matter. The fact is, you’re not going to stand in front of someone on an app to hear what they think. So, an in-person interview is definitely not going to work to get you the insights you want.

That’s fine. You’ve got this.


You can just use a mobile research survey.

Find out exactly what people think of your app, and why they feel that way. Whether you need long-term insights, a short-term interview, or a digital experience—like an app, technology can help.

Let’s dig in a little deeper on the benefits of getting this data.

We already said there’s no contact when you run a mobile research survey. So, that’s cool, especially in this environment. But, here’s something else. When you go mobile, you’re reaching people we have demographic data on. Now, your survey can be shorter, and create a better experience for your panelists.

Which matters, because 49% of online survey respondents are unsatisfied with their results1.

And, one more thing…

It’s immediate.

You read that right. The data you’re getting with a mobile research survey is just as fast as it was before. You’re still getting real-time insights with a mobile research app. That means you can rely on getting data right away, just like you did in-person, while staying a lot further away than just six feet. It’s called geo-fencing.

What’s geo-fencing?

You have a location.

The place you want to interview people at. You tell us where it is. We draw a perimeter around it. So now, as soon as your target audience goes near that location, the GPS on their phone will tell us. And “ping!” we’ll send them your survey. It’s that simple.

But—you say—what about that app example you gave me, how’s that work?

Well, that’s pretty similar. You want app activity. The nation’s largest, highest-rated, consumer panel: Surveys On The Go® (SOTG), is also an app. So, you tell us who you want to target. And they opt in. Now, we can see what they’re doing on any app on their phone. “Ping!” There’s your survey.

Well, you say, how do I know you’ve got the right people?

After all, we’re not seeing them in-person. And, maybe you have a specific, hard-to-reach audience you need to speak with. In fact, that may be why you wanted to do an in-person interview in the first place, so you could be sure you spoke to the right people.

Ah, technology again. It’s great, isn’t it?

Mobile research allows us to ask for—and then hold onto—over 200 demographic profiling points. That means you get the benefit of hand selecting the exact target market you need. Without ever having to see the person on the other end of the interview.

Pretty cool, huh?

Your audience lives in an app.

They’re part of the 81% of the U.S. that owns a smartphone1.

Which is great, really.

You can see their age, ethnicity, and income, sure, but you also can be sure they match the U.S. census. That means you can now get the perfect mix of people for your study. And, just as importantly, you get the confidence of knowing their behaviors, before you ever have to ask. No, “have you done this?” You know.

That’s something you just can’t see in-person.

So, not only is your data fast, accurate, and representative—it’s smart too.

That observed behavior leads you right to the people you want to talk with. Need to understand how moms with small children shop for school supplies? Cool. Sort for moms, with young kids, on the SOTG app. It’s easy.

So, the next time you need an in-person interview, reach out to us for smart data. Our consumer panel would love to meet you and give you their feedback. After all, they’re paid in cash for their insights.

And, you can expect a 95% completion rate, which is probably a bit higher than an in-person interview.


  1. https://mfour.com/guide/how-to-predict-future-behavior-impact-revenue/

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