Ever wonder why market research breeds buzzwords – “agility,” “mobile optimization” and “gamification,” for example? In a bid to coin a new one (which you’re invited to ignore at will), we propose “propinquity.” There may not be an odder word in the dictionary, but its meaning lies at the very heart of our industry: “the state of being close to someone or something; proximity.”
One of the most important tools for achieving propinquity (or, if you insist on plain English, “a connection”) with consumers is the smartphone app. According to comScore, 61.7% of Americans’ time in digital space is devoted to mobile apps. Where the people are is where businesses must go — including consumer research. Surveys don’t need to be gamified if they take place inside a quality, user-friendly mobile app that meets consumers in their comfort zone. The name of the game for engaging them is innovative app technology that exploits what apps are all about — eliminating the need for the web connections and email notifications that keep “mobile optimized” research tethered to last-generation technology.
Here’s a quick how-to on one important new use for in-app research: measuring mobile ad campaigns that now account for $36.6 billion in annual U.S. spending. It involves a nationwide bank’s bid to promote its mobile banking app with mobile advertising geared especially toward Millennials, a generation that typically spends a lot more time with financial technology smartphone apps than in propinquity with a teller’s window.
- First, seek out a representative research panel that takes surveys via a mobile app. Members can be consistently and efficiently targeted by the detailed demographic data they provide when they first download the app.
- Understand the importance of mobile Advertising IDs. To measure mobile ads, you need to know which phones have received them. Each smartphone has a unique ID, and advertisers have access to the ID code for each phone on which an ad was displayed.
- Match the universe of all Ad IDs collected in a campaign against the IDs of mobile panel members. Bingo! Each match is a validated ad recipient you can survey.
Some advertisers may just want aggregated demographic data that makes it clear whether the ads are being targeted properly to the likeliest or most-desired profiles of consumers. That alone can inform useful business decisions about improving targeting and eliminating wasted spending. In this case, the banking client wanted deeper insights that required surveying 200 ad recipients representing preferred consumer demographics. The bank knew it would be talking to just the right people about whether they were aware of its app and its in-app advertising. Other questions dug for insights into perceptions of the bank’s brand and services – and its competitors’.
- To measure the campaign’s effectiveness, a mobile survey was sent to a demographically comparable control sample of panelists whose phones had not received the bank’s mobile ad. The bank found that ad recipients’ brand awareness was 12% higher than among non-recipients.
The moral of this story is that you shouldn’t waste any brain cells remembering “propinquity” or any other buzzwords, but you need to grasp that the standard for innovation, quality and consistency is in-app mobile research.
Interested? Take the first step to mobile ad measurement and brand research by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.