Is Mobile The Key To Researching Emerging Markets?

Where consumerism leads, brands follow, and where brands go, so marketing research goes. – Ben Leet

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Catch them if you can. Consumers are notoriously hard to read, which is why most research spend goes toward cracking the code. Up until now, the focus has been heavily weighted toward consumers in developed countries – after all, they are the first target of most manufacturers. Reaching the consumers in developing countries has been more of a challenge, and researchers have continued to rely heavily on face-to-face to get proper representation. Until today.

In an article for MRA’s Alert! Magazine, Ben Leet expounds on why mobile will be the tipping point. With the high penetration of smart phones in countries like India coupled with new technologies like geofencing, there is a new opportunity for researchers to bypass online methodologies and go straight to data collection via mobile. As Leet describes, “It’s almost a self-fulfilling prophecy; with increased consumerism comes an increase in smart phone penetration, and with it, the ability for researchers to reach new audiences.”

Leet goes on to highlight trends he believe will emerge in the next 12 to 18 months:

  • Mobile as a multiple methodology – app-based and mobile Web unite!
  • More research spend devoted to emerging countries – propelled by end clients pushing for more insight into this untapped resource

His article begs the question: Should researchers skip online sampling methodologies and go straight to smartphone in emerging countries?

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