Another alternative is conducting these research methods via mobile technology. Most mobile phones are now equipped with instant messaging functions, teleconferencing and internet capabilities. Tasks like this, which can be done online on a computer, may also be done efficiently using a smart phone.
In the traditional way of conducting qualitative marketing research, the most commonly conducted research methodology are focus groups, where market researchers seek to collect information from respondents in order to increase an understanding of a particular subject matter. In the case of companies, brands, products and services, the goal of any marketing research is to determine consumer behavior and preferences.
First, the researchers recruit participants in locations which represent their target market. Then facilities are hired in each location, and the researchers travel to each location in order to interview the participants. But nowadays, more companies are opting for focus groups conducted online. Online focus groups engage respondents via instant messaging or online bulletin boards to interview participants.
Most people now use smartphones where it is possible to do tasks such as teleconferencing, instant messaging or posting on an online bulletin board. The possibilities and advantages of mobile focus groups are numerous and it is easy to apply by today’s marketers.
Furthermore, mobile qualitative research is a very cost-effective research tool. Researchers will be able to expand their range, and the locations of the participants are no longer prohibitive. Participants may come from a local area, may be selected nationally, or even internationally. As long as participants own a smartphone, clients need not travel to locations where the traditional focus groups are held. In addition, feedback and data collected via mobile qualitative research is transmitted faster through the mobile devices or online, and since the logistics of the research activity requires mobile phones, the research are much easier to set up than the traditional offline, non-mobile qualitative research.
Teleconferencing is also possible with mobile qualitative research. It will be convenient for smartphone users to respond and react or send their feedback during the mobile focus group. With mobile qualitative research, it is also possible for the moderator to interact with the respondents in real time. Like the methodology of teleconferencing, one only needs to give further questions or instructions to move the discussion along. Ultimately, the participants may share additional insights about their consumer behavior, and yield comprehensive data for the analysis of marketing researchers. Mobile focus groups is certainly something new and experimental but with the trend on how technology evolves each day gearing towards mobility, everything seems to be a step away.