Pre-MRMW 12 Interview: Navin Williams

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Market Research in the Mobile World is coming to Cincinnati July 18th and 19th.  I’m excited to be an attendee because of the great cast that will be sharing.  These are folks that I have followed in social media for the past several years and learned from and been inspired by, all in one place!  Because I couldn’t wait to get to interact with them a bit, I have conducted a series of interviews with some of the speakers.  Come on back for conversations with more of the folks speaking at the event.  Hopefully, this will give you a sneak peek into what the conference will be about, as well as some inspiration to motivate change and growth in your own market research practice.  I firmly believe that market research as we know it is at a crucial point in history.  We all desperately need to be learning from and inspired by each other...and quickly!  So, without further ado, here’s my first interview, with Navin Williams of Mobile Measure.

RM: What are you most excited to share about with us at MRMW and why?  What difference could it make for your audience if they were to implement what you’ll be talking about?

NW: Unlike established channels and methodologies in research, mobile is an infant with the potential to be Goliath [with David’s heart!]. Sharing the possibilities out there for innovation using mobile in MR and the limitless possibilities ahead excites me tremendously. At the stage MR is at presently, imagination is the limit!     

RM: I like your metaphor of Goliath with David’s heart for mobile.  You have such an optimistic view of the situation that market research is in today.  Still, it can be easy to bemoan the state of market research today.  Instead of us talking about what you’re against in the traditional MR space, I’d love to hear about what you’re for – what you stand for – in the MRMW space.  What makes this something you’re willing to stand up for?

NW: One of the things that got me excited in MR when I began was that we could build things from scratch like a perception model or a socio economic demographic profiling without having to be straight jacketed into existing models, definitions or black boxes. Given things have changed considerably, mobile gives me those same opportunities again. Not only do I get my kicks out of it, I know Mobile is evolving into a major force in the near future. I not only believe in Mobile, I have put my money where my mouth is.
Allow me to illustrate with an example. A few years ago we had done a study for snacking and had two samples - one maintaining a Pen and Paper diary and another a Mobile diary. Every time the respondent purchased/consumed a product they recorded that interaction. We found that the Pen and Paper diary was filled at the end of the day and was dependent on the recall of their consumption/purchase of the day. While for the mobile diary the recording was instant during or just after the event coupled with a photo or video. We found that a consumer buying a new packaging product or new flavor beverage recorded the rationale as “thirsty/hungry” while the mobile capture gave us responses which were more spontaneous reactions like “I liked the new shape”, “looks cool” or “nice colours”.

RM: Thanks, Navin, for your perspective, highlighting the possibilities before us!  I love that you “get your kicks out of” the new challenge.  Not everyone has experienced the challenge the same way, so I look forward to seeing how you will encourage folks at MRMW with your enthusiasm.


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