I confess. I am married to my mobile devices, especially my smart phone. My device goes with me everywhere, even to bed. On the rare occasion when I misplace it, panic ensues. Much of my life is memorialized on my smart phone and I trust my device to keep me entertained, organized, on-task, on-time and in-touch. Because roughly 63% of rest of the world shares this dependence and love for their mobile phone, they are proving to be a great boon for qualitative and ethnographic research. Mobile devices allow researchers to be privy to the intimate details of everyday lives of those who participate in our studies. And it’s not just smart phones. We researchers now leverage the multi-device, cross-platform life of B2C and B2B respondents.
Cross-platform mobile apps for qualitative and ethnographic research (or hybrid qualitative and ethnographic research) allow us to capture authentic, in-the-moment behaviors and insights. Rather than relying on the memories of those we are researching by bringing them to a specific location for interviews, research is conducted in-context and in real time. Data gathering is faster, more accurate, and in some cases, even better than ever before.
This article outlines some of the key benefits of mobile apps for qualitative and ethnographic research, and some of the more prominent uses.
THE BENEFITS OF USING MOBILE APPS FOR QUALITATIVE AND ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH
Some of the benefits to using mobile apps in qualitative research are:
Real-Time Data Collection
Rational and Emotional Insights
Mobility and Speed
THE MANY USES OF MOBILE APPS FOR QUALITATIVE AND ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH
There are many mobile app uses in qualitative and ethnographic research including, but not limited to:
Non-Intrusive and Contextual Qualitative and Ethnographic
Here are some examples of using mobile apps for qualitative and ethnographic research.
Point of Decision – A consumer packaged goods brand wants to understand what people are thinking and feeling when they are considering a specific product purchase at a grocery store.
Longitudinal – A fitness company wants to understand how a customer thinks and feels when following a fitness program over a period of time, such as the first week, the first month or the first two months.
Geo-Based – A city wants to conduct a transportation study to understand what people do and decisions they make based on where they are geographically. Many mobile apps have a geo-tracking feature.
Experience– A college wants to understand the student experience at the school bookstore.
Donation Prospecting – A non-profit wants to capture the emotion of a life lived differently than that of its donor base, in order to increase donations.
Our obsession and dependence on mobile devices is incredibly useful to brands that want a deep understanding of their customers. Mobile apps are a terrific way to “live with” customers and potential customers to address questions such as who they are from a psychographic perspective; what are their need states; what are their underlying thoughts and behaviors; how they react to and interact with brands’ products, services, or communications; and why humans behave the way they do.
Kirsty Nunez is the President and Chief Research Strategist at Q2 Insights, Inc., a research and innovation consulting firm with offices in San Diego and New Orleans. If you would like to learn more about the use of mobile apps for Qualitative and Ethnographic Research, Kirsty can be reached at (760) 230-2950 ext. 1 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This entry was posted in Qualitative and tagged on January 3, 2018 by Q2 Insights