Mobile research has successfully demonstrated its advantages over traditional types of research, particularly in mobile qualitative research. In these modern times, participants are more likely to “share” information by way of the SMS, photos, videos or audio-recording. In addition, mobile research is low-cost and as such, marketing researchers have recognized that mobile qualitative research allows them to get closer to their consumer’s lives without the additional costs of traveling and hiring a team of surveyors or researchers, when a few moderators would do, particularly when researching in several locations at the same time.
Mobile research may be particularly useful when doing an eating habit study. By the nature of mobile phones, they are handy and small, most are equipped with cameras and additional functions like video-recording, and people also carry them everywhere with them. It is easier for people to take photos of what they’re eating, or which products they are using to make breakfast, which soda they prefer, the brands of snacks they are likely to consume while watching television, and so on.
Because it is convenient and easy, participants are more likely to comply when it comes to delivering reports. People enjoy using their mobile phones and they are comfortable using them as they are now part of their lifestyle. A simple click of the camera phone and one can send a photo of the products consumed in real time– thereby capturing consumer behaviour instantly. It is like sitting at the same table with the consumers, having a meal with them, without requiring the facilitator to be physically present.
The real-time characteristic of mobile research also gives key insight to researchers, because it shows how participants react to stimuli, perhaps commercials they see on TV, or physical advertisements at shopping malls or events. An added benefit is that no time is lost between the actual consumption and the time spent recalling the products consumed than when a participant has to log what was eaten after the activity. One can simply input a quick text message or take a photo and send it to the researchers. This type of research may be extended as long as a week or a month, and done 24/7, and still the cost incurred will not amount to much, compared to doing traditional studies. Therefore, this type of study may be able to provide insights into the effectivity of marketing communications strategies and conclude well with the rich data that mobile research provides.