Market research from the comfort of your home! Four ways mobile ethnography can unlock in-depth insights

ethnography for marketing and consumer research

Did you know that mobile ethnography is an excellent way to observe respondents? Yep: mobile research is discreet, it’s fast, it’s flexible – and because you can offer a range of tasks to keep things interesting, it’s also easy to keep your participants motivated. What’s more, thanks to the technological advances of the last few decades, ethnography can now fit into participants’ lives more easily than ever before and add an unrivalled depth and detail to research. Mobile ethnography for marketing and consumer research is here to stay.

From video diaries to respondents snapping and sharing photos, more and more market research will be taking place using online and digital methodologies in the coming months. Let’s face it – people are bored at home at the moment, and mobile ethno studies are a great way for researchers to continue to unlock insights and for participants to have some fun without having to leave the house. Not convinced? Here are four fantastic ways that mobile ethnography for marketing and consumer research can unlock unbeatable insights… 

It’s easy to share in-depth insights

Consumers today are already comfortable with mobile, making mobile ethnography for marketing and consumer research an easy and effortless way for them to take part and share in-depth insights. People are more comfortable with technology than ever before, and we use smartphones and tablets in all aspects of our daily lives. In fact, 80% of smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up! 

Because people are so comfortable with mobile, digital ethnography is a really easy way for respondents to take part in market research – and because they use mobiles every day, you won’t even have to teach them what to do, making mobile ethnography the perfect remote research methodology. What’s more, because it’s so easy for people to take part, you’ll also benefit from high responses rates and high levels of engagement too, so it’s a win-win methodology all round!

Benefit from natural responses

Another great thing about mobile ethnography for marketing and consumer research is that it is unobtrusive. People act differently around researchers, whether the research is face-to-face, they are looking down the lens of a camera or they are speaking into a microphone. But with mobile methods, you can access true insights without any bias.

 It’s human nature to be aware of when we are being observed, but if consumers can record themselves with their own phones, it’s different. They can record and upload footage themselves, and share their experiences in their own words and in their own time – and because people today are used to snapping photos or short videos online every day, mobile ethnography doesn’t disturb their normal routine. All of this means they will be less inclined to modify their behaviour, which means better quality results!

Access feedback in real-time

Another big benefit of mobile ethnography is that you get to see your respondents’ reactions and emotional responses as and when they happen, as opposed to them sharing a distorted recollection a few hours later where they might not remember all the important details. This ability to access responses in real-time means mobile research is a fantastic way for researchers to gather additional insights into what respondents think and feel and why. 

What’s more, it also allows for other emotional responses to seep through, too – and because you can observe respondents in real-time in their natural environment, you can benefit from even more in-depth insights about your participant behaviour and their surroundings. It’s exactly this sort of unfiltered feedback that can really add value to your market research project.

ethnography for marketing and consumer research

Reach more people than ever before 

Finally, mobile research methodologies enable you to reach a wider range of people than ever before. With mobile ethnography, there’s no need to travel, which means you can take on more respondents in more geographically varied locations, giving you a much bigger pool of respondents – which is great if you are working with strict criteria. 

In addition, because you don’t need moderators, equipment or even a venue, you aren’t restricted by the current situation either. The logistical burden is significantly reduced too because you don’t have to find a certain day, time or place that appeals to everyone. And finally, because you aren’t limited by time constraints, you can also cover a wide array of research questions, resulting in more engaged respondents and deeper insights.

When it comes to mobile methodologies, the time is now!

We are facing a challenging time right now, but it doesn’t mean market research has to grind to a halt. In fact, if you were thinking about embracing mobile methodologies, now could be the perfect time to give mobile ethnography for marketing and consumer research a chance! One of the biggest benefits to conducting mobile market research right now is that people have more time to respond to questions and take part in research – which means that not only will you benefit from higher response rates, but you will also enjoy more high-quality results.

At Q2Q Global, some of our clients have actually reported an increase in the quality of answers in the last few weeks as respondents use market research as an escape and take the time to thoroughly respond to questions. So if you’re thinking about using mobile methods in your qualitative research, there’s no time like the present!

How we can help

At Q2Q Global, we are experts in mobile ethnography and have helped big brands conduct mobile market research studies internationally, so if you’re interested in using mobile ethnography in your next market research project, contact us today to find out more and start unlocking in-depth insights.

Four key considerations when targeting LATAM for market research

The combined GDP of Spanish-speaking countries totals over $6 trillion – making Latin America a key emerging region for growth that is essential for market research. However, LATAM is a highly dynamic region that presents both challenges and opportunities for market research. For starters, it consists of four geographical regions, 33 countries and is home to over 655 million people and with significant differences in terms of size and economic performance across LATAM, as well as social and political differences, it can be tricky to penetrate the market and adapt market research approaches accordingly. So, if you’re a participant recruitment agency thinking about conducting a market research project in Latin America, here are four important things to think about:

Privacy policy

First things first, privacy. The top 5% of LATAM society – which controls roughly 50% of the disposable income – is very sceptical about sharing information online or over the phone with researchers. This means that it’s really important to have a privacy policy in place, along with a clear statement that declares your policy on collecting and releasing information about your participants. Your privacy policy statement should also be easily accessible for all of your research participants so that they are aware of the policy and exactly what it entails.

As researchers, privacy is both a priority and a duty, and it’s essential to work according to the industry code of conduct – but remember that privacy policies can change depending on where you are conducting research, which means you will need to fulfil all legal obligations that apply depending on where you are collecting data. Many countries outside of Europe, such as Brazil, for example, have approved legislation for the collection and storage of personally identifiable information – so it’s important to make sure you comply with the necessary regulations depending on where in Latin America your research is taking place.

user on laptop market research in Latin America

Understand economic influences

Political and economic status can have a huge influence on both spending power and market research – so when conducting market research in any foreign country, it’s really important to know the current state of that country. This is even more important when researching developing countries such as Latin America. When it comes to politics, for example, is the country democratic or communist? Is there a current political crisis that could impact research, such as the crisis in Venezuela? You should also consider economic status, too. Not all countries in LATAM have the same behaviours and consumption habits and economic status can vary considerably between countries or even from one neighbourhood to another.

All of this can have a big impact on research. For example, internet penetration remains low among socio-economic classes in LATAM, yet online studies are best for reaching the upper middle classes. However, with many Latin Americans leaning towards mobile devices over desktop for internet use, you’ll need to make sure your research platform is mobile optimised. In addition, more than 25% of businesses and homes don’t have landlines and calls abroad are very expensive – which is another thing to take into account when deciding on your research approach. Finally, if you decide on face-to-face research, consider that different socio-economic levels will not mix in one focus group, with LATAM women especially tending to grow quiet in mixed-gender groups.

Make sure you build trust

It is incredibly important to build trust with Latin American respondents. One of the most important values for the Latin American population is trust – and without trust, you’ll find that information just won’t flow. When it comes to conducting research in this region, mistrust is common and it is highly likely that participants will withhold their personal data post-research, which could be related to the state of insecurity in Latin American countries, so if you want to generate high-quality results in the LATAM market, it’s important to build trust.

For starters, you could repeat several times that you are not looking to sell anything and that you will only contact them when absolutely necessary. At the same time, you should always make sure you answer any questions honestly and try to build a rapport with your participants, which is why it is so helpful to work with a participant recruitment agency who has experience in building rapports with LATAM participants. Where possible, after the research has taken place, you could also name the brand the research is for; if it is a recognisable brand this will also help to build trust.

Allow for cultural differences

When conducting research with Latin American countries, it’s also really important to consider the cultural differences and the impact this can have on research. For starters, there’s language and communication to consider. Culturally, the meanings of some words, concepts or ideas change throughout the continent, so it’s important to be aware of these differences. And there are other things to consider, too: whilst it is common in Europe to ask participants for their occupation to understand their purchasing power, in Latin America, this won’t work. Minimum wage is often lower, which means that LATAM occupations equivalent to the Western world will not usually command the same salary. However, you will need to take into consideration inflation in countries such as Argentina and Brazil, which can sometimes reflect on salaries.

You should also be careful what you say and how you say it. For example, whilst we might think it’s pretty standard to ask for people’s bank details, or even how many children they have, in Latin America, these questions are perceived as inappropriate. You also shouldn’t ask people in Latin America how much they earn as this is considered quite offensive and additionally, keep in mind that the upper-class LATAM population will find monetary incentives patronising. Finally, you should also consider cultural differences that could have an impact on the success of your research on the day. For example, punctuality is often a problem in LATAM countries, which means you will need to meticulously manage your research and plan schedules carefully to avoid any hold-ups.

To conclude, when it comes to market research in Latin America it’s impossible to know all of the tricks in the book – which is why it is vital for you to have the support of a partner with expert local knowledge. When conducting market research in LATAM, researchers need to think and act locally, which means embracing the fact that not only are all LATAM countries different, but so are their cultures, languages, internet penetration, mobile adoption rates, and many other things. Working with a participant recruitment agency with an international reach yet local knowledge such as Q2Q Global can really help you smooth out any cultural differences so that you can speak to respondents in a way they understand and ensure the best possible results from your research.

Why improve the user experience for your website?

Our ability to access vast amounts of information through online platforms is changing consumer habits. As a result – and as indicated by user experience testing over the years – all industries and sectors have been affected; this digital breakthrough gives businesses many interesting opportunities because it actually creates greater impact and improves segmentation and leads. This transformation, however, does pose some risks, which must be avoided in order to improve the client experience. 

To improve client experience, there are several aspects to bear in mind: 

  • Do we really know our audience? We should create the perfect audience for each individual online channel, considering the audience is likely to be different in each of them.
  • How are we going to communicate? We need to know if we are sending the right message and if the audience is responding accordingly. It’s fundamental to know whether we are providing an on-brand experience to potential clients.
  • Are we capable of measuring the results? Thanks to digital transformation, we are able to measure results near real-time.
user experience testing

The brand’s impact should also be analyzed regarding several aspects: 

  • Connections: The brand should establish close relations with their consumers and be able to create an emotional link to achieve consumer loyalty.
  • Reputation: A key element in getting consumers to purchase is by achieving a positive reputation for the brand. That is why the brand must build trust.
  • Significance: We should satisfy our clients’ needs with all the market research and user experience testing carried out. In order to do so, it’s essential to establish our own brand differentiation from the competition and build a high-quality offer. 

Achieving a maximum quality online experience for clients is central to any business’ success, as this is what will ensure they come back time and time again. If you are looking to achieve this success yourself, get in touch with us today and we can discuss options with you, including user experience testing and other market research methodologies.

Seven important habits of successful moderators for qualitative market research

Your guide to successful qualitative market research recruitment and moderation.

Moderation is an essential part of successful market research. Of course, to start things off you need to find the right participants for your initial qualitative market research recruitment. However, once you’ve found your respondents, it’s down to the moderator to bring out the best in them. Moderators peek into respondents’ minds and ask the right questions, at the right time, to generate the best possible results. Additionally, they are also responsible for the smooth running of research and will make sure everything happens as and when it should – so it’s easy to see why the role of the moderator is so important to market research! It takes a lot of skill and experience to be a good moderator, so read on to discover seven important habits of successful moderators.  
 

1. They will do their research 

A good moderator won’t rely on the client briefing alone. Instead, they will do their homework and make sure they are completely prepared. In order to successfully moderate research, they will need to know all the important information back to front and inside out. From thoroughly reading the discussion guide to reflecting on previous research in the same area, it all helps. Moderators also need to know and understand the objectives to ensure everyone stays focused on what’s important. What is the aim of the research? What do you need to find out from your respondents? How will their answers be used? All of this will impact how a moderator runs a session, so it’s essential that they are fully briefed and understand everything before the research begins.  

2. They will make sure the participants are prepared 

It’s not just the moderator who needs to be prepared though. Before the research begins, a good moderator will also make sure the participants are fully prepared and know exactly what to expect. By making sure the respondents know as much as possible from the qualitative market research recruitment stage right at the beginning of the project, they will be more comfortable and likely to open up. On the day of the research, the moderator should also go over basic housekeeping rules such as how long it will last as well as what will be included and why in order to help prevent any last-minute nerves. Not only will this ensure everything runs smoothly, but if participants know exactly what is expected of them and have the chance to ask any outstanding questions, they are likely to be more responsive. 

Moderation at the qualitative market research recruitment stage
Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels

3. They will have a good icebreaker  

It’s always a good idea to kick things off with an icebreaker to warm everyone up and get things going. By starting the research session with something light and fun, moderators can help participants relax. Think of it as small talk at the beginning of a conversation and asking one or two light-hearted questions to start things off! This could be asking the participants what their favourite book or TV show is, asking them who they would invite to their dream dinner party, or asking them to tell the group something interesting about themselves. The more comfortable the respondents are, the better the insights – so a good icebreaker is an essential part of the moderator’s toolkit.

4. They’ll create a relaxed environment 

A good moderator will always create a warm atmosphere and make sure the respondents are comfortable, relaxed, and able to open up. Simple things such as considering everyone’s needs, personally greeting them and giving everyone a name badge make sure that all the participants are relaxed and feel as if their taking part really matters. Moderators should also watch their non-verbal cues and make sure they always appear engaged and interested. Basically, it’s about building a good rapport with participants so they will want to open up. Be clear, communicative, welcoming and friendly – and you really can’t go far wrong. After all, the more trust the participants have in the moderator, the more open they’ll be and the more likely they’ll be to speak their mind. 

5. They will ask the right questions  

Moderators are in the business of asking questions – but actually, the art of questioning is very delicate. Ask too many questions, not enough questions, or ask something at the wrong time and it could have a negative impact on the results. That’s why carefully phrasing questions to tease information out of the participants is one of the most important parts of moderation. A good moderator will typically start with more general questions and then get more specific as the session progresses – and they will always ask open-ended questions instead of yes/no questions. If in doubt, “how”, “why”, “where” and “what” are usually good phrases to start with. 

6. They will always stay neutral 

The number one rule of successful moderation is to always remain neutral. A moderator’s job is to be unbiased, guide the discussion and keep it focused – not dominate the discussion or ask leading questions. It’s a fine balance between giving enough positive reinforcement but not reacting to what the participants are saying. After all, if the respondents feel as if they are being judged, they’re unlikely to be open or honest. Likewise, if they sense the moderator has their own perspective, it might affect the way they answer. 

7. But they will always probe when necessary  

Everyone hates an awkward silence – and it’s human nature to try and fill it. Sometimes, in market research, participants might need a bit of extra encouragement to open up. A good moderator will understand and adapt to this, whilst making the respondents feel as comfortable as possible. Good probing questions include “tell me more about that…”; “what happened next?”, and “was there a reason for that?”. Also, a simple “why?” is also a great probe. A good moderator should never be afraid to seek clarification if needed. 

In conclusion, when it comes to generating high-quality results in qualitative fieldwork it’s not just about finding the right participants at the qualitative market research recruitment stage. Yes, recruiting the best possible people for research is essential, but good moderation will have a huge impact on the results, too. These seven habits of successful moderators are a great place to start, but for further advice and information don’t hesitate to contact Q2Q Global today.

What are the key points for market research in the Netflix and Facebook era?

As new technologies continue to evolve by the minute, market research must adapt in order to keep up. In fact, if utilized correctly, the new digital era’s offerings – including Netflix, Instagram and Facebook – can help fieldwork market research in many ways.  

Many of those who use these platforms are unaware of all the data they’re actually giving to the digital world. Google search, social media, online shopping and interactions with other people’s posts are just a few examples of how these users leave a trail of data on what they like and dislike, their location, their favourite products, and a wealth of other useful and insightful information that.  

Fieldwork market research
Photo by Charles 🇵🇭 on Unsplash

Much like our ever-changing technologies, users also change their behaviour day by day, and fieldwork market researchers must also keep this in mind and adapt by collecting the data trail users leave behind, using only the most innovative techniques. As a result, a new evaluation form of consumer habits should be created.  

When we carry out fieldwork market research, we have to acknowledge that we’re analysing a representative part of the population. We must focus on them because they represent millions of active internet users that are constantly sharing information. 

Shorter analysis throughout the year can help you understand the change in consumer habits. Market research in the digital consumer era should focus on briefer analysis and on the cross-cutting themes and sub-themes of the brand because they will help with the identification of other topics and interests of the consumers.  

Shorter analysis with their corresponding presentation will lead to more frequent meetings with the brands and clients, where the results obtained may be shown along with problems and hypothesis to solve.  

The evolution of our world and digital platforms allow market research to also change and improve and ultimately give brands better solutions and more information.  

If you’d like to talk about any of the above in more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact us