Pre-MRMW North America 12: Sean Conry

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Continuing in our pre-MRMW North America 12 interview series, I got to talk with Sean Conry of Confirmit.  He kicks the interview off with something near and dear to my heart: purposeful, instead of accidental, research.

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?

SC:  We are going to open by discussing the difference between accidental and purposeful mobile research. Accidental mobile research is happening to us all as the incidence of Smartphone and Tablet ownership continues to rise, and our success is going to be dictated by how well we embrace this reality. We have some interesting stats to share in this regard.
On the other hand, purposeful mobile research is about taking what’s unique about mobile techniques and turning them in to a strategic advantage for your firm (if you are a research agency) or into unique insights that can’t be gained in any other way (if you’re a brand looking to better understand your consumer).
Then we’ll share a classic example of the perfect audience when it comes to purposeful market research, and review the characteristics that make Mobile the perfect choice for furthering your business objectives in a way no other research mode could have equaled.

RM: I’d love to hear more about this concept of “accidental mobile research.”

SC: In the Confirmit Annual Market Research Software survey, out of 250 global research companies, the average is that about 7% of surveys are being completed on Mobile devices. However, some firms in other presentations have been reporting 12% and higher. In addition, this figure might be underestimating the true demand for making our research mobile since it doesn’t reflect how many people are being screened out, or how many are starting but abandoning surveys because they haven’t been optimized for mobile.  These are largely the surveys that are being taken on mobile because it’s convenient for the respondent, NOT because we asked them to take a survey on their mobile. Both scenarios are important to consider – and many are blind to the fact that they’re unintentionally creating poor experiences.

RM: What engages your imagination in the mobile research in the mobile world space?  Who or what inspires you?  Why?

SC:  A lot of people might say things like Augmented reality and near field communications… certainly those will bring interesting and important developments, but I think we should first be looking to the companies that are simply getting mobile right in terms of today’s capabilities. The Starbucks App is a perfect example of a mobile experience done so well, that not only are people using the App, but it’s helping to increase sales because they are providing an experience that is beautiful in its elegance and simplicity, yet also highly capable.
However, it doesn’t simply mimic what you can do online - it’s not just a port of their mobile website. It’s built from the ground up to understand how they can provide value to their consumer anytime, anywhere. Researchers should be inspired by the effect thinking this way can have on study participation, and even more so, on the perception of their brand… I hope panel managers are thinking this way in order to continue to retain and engage their panelists, to build engagement, and to keep the value of their critical assets (relationships with people) building, rather than eroding.

RM: I’m a big fan of the Starbucks app, personally…it is a good example of mobile done right.  I look forward to hearing more next week.

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