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What “Hey Jude” Says About Mobile Location Research

 

Unlike consumer data, song lyrics don’t have to make sense. Consider “Hey Jude,” a mega-hit by the Beatles that we may be hearing even more of than usual this year, since 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the song’s 1968 release. The tune probably has been heard many billions of times since then, if you count each individual impression from airplay, analog and digital media, downloads, renditions in piano bars, and by Baby Boomers singing in the shower. But in all those repetitions, has any listener really understood what Paul McCartney meant when he sang, “the movement you need is on your shoulder?”

 

It’s not a problem. Song lyrics are made to be puzzled over, misconstrued, or ignored, as the listener sees fit. Good consumer data, on the other hand, is more science than art, so it has to be straightforwardly validated and intelligible. Top quality data may not be on consumers’ shoulders, but it’s certainly in their hands, thanks to advanced mobile app research technology that lets you reach them via their phones, wherever they happen to be.

 

The way in which we access “Hey Jude” has gone through many technical iterations – starting with this live TV debut performance that introduced the song to the world. Just as music-delivery technology has evolved over the years, mobile location research technology continues to evolve, too. The latest iteration, Path to Purchase, gives researchers a uniquely powerful and accurate tool for understanding consumers’ movements through space and time as they go about their lives as economic beings. It’s now possible to identify someone who has lunch each workday at a Burger King, but never goes to McDonald’s – or vice versa. What created such loyalty? How can it be sustained? What could open a crack for competitors and put some of that BK loyalist’s lunch-wallet in play? The answers begin with finding the right people to ask. 

 

But that presents a big obstacle: consumers’ much-lamented unwillingness to participate in market research. According to anecdotal accounts, response rates for conventional online surveys are typically 3% or less. Somewhere along the line, trust was misplaced, and engagement was lost. But now there’s an antidote: mobile-app research technology that’s as instantly accessible and naturally appealing to the consumer as a catchy pop tune, because it’s attuned to how today’s consumers live and how they want to be engaged. Experience shows that studies fielded to a large, representative panel of consumers gathered around a mobile app generate response rates of 25% in an hour and 50% in a day. For location-specific Path to Purchase studies, panelists trust the app and the process enough to agree to have their movements tracked, and they’re primed to receive and answer surveys at the moments and places most opportune to your research.

 

If you’ve been settling for those response rates of 3% or under, maybe it’s time to heed the Beatles’ advice in “Hey Jude” to “take a sad song and make it better.”  As for “the movement you need is on your shoulder,” although it may never make literal sense, a sympathetic listener still can get a pretty good idea of what that line is driving at. The Beatles are urging us to seize new opportunities, to embrace change without hesitation. Looked at in that light, the movement you need really is on your shoulder. For a productive conversation about how mobile-app technology and panel can meet your projects’ specific needs, just get in touch by clicking here