Feature phones to wearables: covering all the bases in mobile research

Brian Carruthers

Device agnostic

Market researchers tend not to be in the vanguard of technological change, understandably. Although they need to be aware of new developments, at the same time they must be mindful of what devices most consumers are using and how they can be most effectively reached. In emerging markets that frequently means feature phones, Alistair Hill of OnDevice Research, reminded an audience at Market Research in the Mobile World, an event held in London in September 2015.

In a market such as South Africa, research carried out only on smartphones would skew the sample heavily towards affluent consumers. But making surveys work on all devices, including feature phones, means researchers can reach the mass market and beyond into the poorest groups. An offer of free airtime, via targeted mobile ads, can be a useful way of recruiting people to take part in surveys.