Mobile Implicit Research Technology: Understanding the Consumer in the Moment

By Aaron Reid
August 8, 2014

Mobile implicit research technology has emerged as a powerful asset to help marketers understand consumer behavior at the point-of-sale. As we bring measurement of the subconscious to mobile market research, it is important to ensure that we incorporate the lessons we learned from the previous radical change in market research data collection.

In the ’90s, the market research industry was tentatively experimenting with a new data collection access point: online surveys. The rise of online research was first met with skepticism around sampling representativeness. Yet, as representativeness issues were systematically addressed by major suppliers and the incredible power of the online interface was revealed, online research moved quickly from the early adopter phase to majority adoption by the end of the 2000s.

The online interviewing interface provided a platform for advancement and adoption of cutting edge research methods focused on revealing the whys behind behavior. Choice-based conjoint methods and implicit association techniques proved to be the most powerful quantitative techniques for deriving the conscious and subconscious drivers of behavior.

At the turn of the last decade, the industry began tentatively experimenting with data collection through another new access point: mobile devices. Among it’s many advantages, mobile research offers the ability to capture data from consumers and shoppers “in the moment.” Insight from mobile research is often assumed to be more valid because the data is collected at the point of interest to the researcher (e.g., during an in-store experience, at the point of conversion at the shelf, etc.).

However, as an industry we face a new challenge with mobile device research. We need to ensure that while we step forward with our access points on mobile devices, we don’t simultaneously step 20 years back with the research methods that we are implementing on those devices. If we begin to rely again on stated importance  and explicit questions on the drivers of behavior, our insights from mobile research will be misleading.

The best quantitative consumer and shopper research techniques in 2014 are those that are device agnostic, naturally adapting to the technology that the consumer is using at the moment of engagement. Device agnostic research design, should be able to include the most advanced methods for deriving insight on the conscious and subconscious drivers of behavior. Sentient Prime implicit research technology is built with that goal in mind: improve insight by measuring the subconscious and accessing consumers and shoppers on their mobile devices while they are in the moment.

To read more about our Mobile Implicit Shopper Emotion research tool, please contact info@sentientdecisionscience.

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Aaron Reid


Ph.D. Founder & CEO, Sentient Decision Science

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