Mobile Market Research Trends, Part 2: Mobile Panel Communities

Mobile Panel CommunitiesOn January 30th, 2012, Survey Analytics sponsored a webinar on Mobile Market Research Trends. The webinar was moderated by Esther LaVielle of Survey Analytics and featured Romi Mahajan, CMO of Metavana, and Chad Bhandari, co-founder of SurveySwipe. Today we bring you the full text of Part 2 of the webinar, which covered the topic of Mobile Panel Communities.

Esther Rmah LaVielle

Esther Rmah LaVielle

Esther LaVielle:  Let’s go and move on to the next topic here, which is panel communities. Basically, what are panel communities and what do you believe are its benefits to a company?


Chad Bhandari

Chad Bhandari: When I think about panel communities, I think of two things really. One is cost effective research in the sense that you build a community of panelists, and you can conduct multiple research studies with the same community. So naturally, you tend to save money by building a community once and connecting multiple studies, different types of studies.

The second thing that I think about when I think about panel communities is history. So not only do you collect data for that particular study, but through our platform, where our surveys can actually be offered in a way where we can populate profile information about panelists, backfill profile information through surveys of our panelists, you actually have a trend of historical data on what people went through in terms of their choices. So an example would be if they had a Toyota Corolla, did they actually buy a Lexus two years down the road?

So history context with cost effective research is when I think about communities. And then when I think about mobile, mobile essentially adds a real-time component to it. And when I think about mobile and panel communities, I really think about engagement.

Romi Mahajan

Romi Mahajan

Romi Majahan: I love what Chad just talked about in terms of context and engagement. I really think about things like panel communities and constructs there of their ilk in terms of creating deep context. Because what we’ve found is that the traditional model of episodic random feedback doesn’t really afford the company a lot of wisdom. You certainly get data. You can make some knowledge out of that data. But it doesn’t really give you the wisdom you need to understand how people are thinking, how they’re changing, what context are they in when they give you data or information.

And so when I think about that traditional notion of a great company will take data and make wisdom out of it, I think about panel communities being a core part of that. I’ve worked for huge companies like Microsoft or medium sized companies like Ascentium, and now I’m part of a start-up. And in each case there’s a very clear application for a consistent time series of information you’ll need to understand how are people changing? What are we doing to move them up, let’s say, the value addition chain? And panel communities are a piece of that.

So I think they’re an invaluable piece of your marketing research mix. They’re not a be all and end all, but they’re a very important piece of the marketing research mix, which ultimately is what we’re talking about here, right? A mix of things you have to do to get the right context and to surround the user in a way that you’re really understanding where he or she is coming from and where they’re going going forward.

So I think a very powerful concept. And the addition of mobile local context is going to change this industry, and I think both transform it in a good way and disrupt it. So the old players are going to have a very, very hard time unless they understand that there’s a new sheriff in town. And that’s things like SurveySwipe in mobile and local.

Esther LaVielle: Sounds good, sounds good. So one of the questions I always get from clients, they want to know how easy is it to set up an online panel and to get it going into a mobile panel. Is that easy to do?

Chad Bhandari: Yeah, I’ll answer that question. It’s actually– so our online panel software platform, MicroPanel, is itself very, very easy to set up. It takes about 15 minutes to get a working panel up and running. Of course, if you want it to look– we also have in-house designers that can help you set it up so that if you want more detailed changes to your panel.

The mobile panel software of SurveySwipe, which is essentially built on top of MicroPanel, so pretty much the SurveySwipe apps are ready on all four platforms, iPhone, Android, Windows, and BlackBerry. And set up time, if you want a custom app, a custom branded app, except iPhone, it basically takes about a week to two weeks to get it out the door with a customer branded app, including your online set up. So to get a working version up and running, it’s basically half an hour.

Esther LaVielle: Wow, that’s really impressive.

Romi Mahajan: That really is impressive. That means that you can go from inception to reality in less time than it would take you to even get on the web and find a vendor normally.

Chad Bhandari: That’s right, yeah.

Esther LaVielle: All right, let’s go ahead and move on to our third topic here, which is passive data collection.

That’s it for Part 2: Mobile Panel Communities.  The upcoming installments will cover the following topics: passive data collection, HTML5, mobile ethnography, and hyperlocal surveys.

Click This Link to Get the Webinar Video and Slides

About Dana Stanley

Dana is the Editor-in-Chief of Research Access.

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