NEW YORK: Using mobile as a market research tool promises to add a unique level of "richness" to how brands understand consumers, according to a leading executive from Johnson & Johnson.

Meghan Ludvigsen, manager/global strategic insights for Clean & Clear – Johnson & Johnson's teen-focused skincare range – discussed this topic at the Market Research in the Mobile World (MRMW) conference.

And she reported that researchers could gain significant benefits from asking consumers to utilise their phones both to fill in surveys and conduct a far wider slate of activities.

"It is a GPS locator, it is a selfie taker, it is a barcode scanner, it is a video recorder," she said. (For more, including advice on securing support from the C-suite, reach Warc's exclusive report: Making the case for mobile research: tips from Johnson & Johnson.)

"Your consumer's phone can add so much richness to your research that there's no reason, if you want to make yourself a better researcher, you shouldn't be wanting to do mobile as well."

While there is still some hesitancy among many researchers and brand custodians about leveraging wireless devices in this way, Ludvigsen outlined several tips which can help overcome such worries.

One "super-helpful" tactic, she suggested, involves attaching mobile as an "extra" to a more traditional research initiative that is already scheduled.

"Take a project that was going to be done anyway, and then add an extra that's going to add value and that showcases the power of mobile," Ludvigsen recommended.

For a skincare line like Clean & Clear, for instance, it may be useful to ask respondents to take a photo of the inside of their bathroom cabinet rather than simply list what products in contains.

Alongside being simpler and potentially more reliable, this approach can yield unexpected insights. And such discoveries help reinforce why mobile is so important.

"Just show the team the richness of the data that you're able to get from that mobile 'extra' ... When you do that, you'll find that you see quite a few believers coming along with you," said Ludvigsen.

Data sourced from Warc