NEW YORK: Brands seeking to understand the "consumers of tomorrow" should give mobile a meaningful role in the marketing research mix, an executive from the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) has argued.

Chris Bacon, the ARF's EVP/Research Quality & Innovation, discussed some of the findings from the organisation's "Foundations of Quality" program at its Re!Think 2016 conference.

More specifically, its "Mobile Quality Checklist" drew on "synthesized learnings" from internal analysis, practitioners and academic contributions, and numerous journal articles and white papers.

And one core insight for researchers involved the possibilities for reaching millennials via smartphones and equivalent devices.

"Some 49% of consumers responding on mobile devices are millennial – [people] 34 and under," said Bacon. (For more, including further tips for brands, read Warc's exclusive report: ARF unveils "Mobile Quality Checklist".)

"That is a 50% increase from the numbers that we saw in 2003. And it is almost four times the rate of Baby Boomers who are responding on mobile devices."

A similar trend was observable among some of the broader demographic segments which are driving growth in many industries.

"Multicultural consumers are also more likely to be responding on mobile devices," Bacon reported.

"Thirty-four percent of mobile respondents are multicultural. That's a 300% increase from what we saw three years ago."

As researchers aim to form representative panels for their insights-gathering efforts, mobile thus constitutes a key window into groups of growing importance.

"If you're talking about a nationally [representative] sample, you [have to reflect] the general population – not only the general population of today, but the population of the future," Bacon said.

"Where are your consumers of tomorrow? They're on [mobile devices]. If we want to understand what tomorrow's consumers are thinking and how to communicate with them, we need to use a mobile device to talk to them."

Data sourced from Warc