The functionality, connectivity and processing power offered by modern mobile phones has opened exciting, new possibilities for collecting market research data, particularly in business-to-business markets where respondents can be difficult to reach. At B2B International, we have successfully embedded mobile market research techniques into an increasing number of studies.

Taking market intelligence further with mobile technology

In our experience, mobile-facilitated research is especially useful in the following situations for business-to-business studies:

1. Reaching time-pressed business audiences that frequently travel: Shorter mobile surveys work well and can be seamlessly integrated with other methodologies, such as telephone and online fieldwork.

2. Research in emerging markets: In many developing economies, the mobile phone is often the most frequently-used computing device for consumers and business people alike. Our mobile surveys can be adapted for lower-specification mobile phones or for low-connectivity environments.

3. Obtaining ‘in the moment’ insights: For instance, respondents can be invited to participate in mobile diary completion tasks or be asked to give feedback to a specific event. Research participants’ views and observations are collected using B2B International’s dedicated mobile market research app.

As most modern phones incorporate GPS technology, research respondents can also be invited to mobile surveys based on their location. This is useful, for instance, if participants move within proximity of a store, a transport hub or some other location on which feedback might be required.

4. Mobile ethnography and mobile qualitative research: Mobile market research is not just relevant for the collection of statistical data. Using the latest market research smartphone applications, you can now gather videos, audio recordings and images from respondents in real-time.

Within b2b research studies, respondents can provide live commentary on things like recent purchase decisions, marketing communications or product interactions. Collecting respondent-generated content is sometimes referred to as auto-ethnography or self-ethnography.

Using smartphone technology, target audiences themselves can become the researcher’s eyes and ears. In many cases, this uncovers observational insights that traditional research techniques would not have otherwise collected.

B2b research is characterised by the need to use all available methods to gain access to relevant and timely market information, making mobile methodologies an important addition to the b2b market researcher’s toolkit.

While mobile market research is rarely a standalone data collection method within a business to business research study, combined with a range of established techniques, it can be a hugely beneficial part of the research process.