A few years ago, the concept of autonomous vehicles captivated consumers. While the technology has progressed tremendously, most self-driving experiences are still limited to driver assistance, partial automation, or conditional automation. Innovation develops over time.
Compare that to the emergence of mobile sample. Ten years ago, it was the most significant innovation in the online sample industry. Mobile sample was discussed in every conference from 2010 to 2016. Despite the buzz, however, mobile sample didn’t immediately catch on. The technology existed, but brands resisted the change in survey methodology. But that started to change in 2017. Larger companies began to consider mobile sampling as a means to collect data. Mobile sampling has since gone mainstream and presents a big opportunity to reach a sought-after demographic – multicultural consumers.
The shift to mobile slowly started to emerge in 2014 when mobile compatible surveys came online. By 2017, mobile-compatible surveys were prevalent, and it's common now, which aids multicultural research. Mobile surveys allow for broader reach among U.S. Hispanics, especially unacculturated consumers. This segment is the most challenging segment to reach online. Mobile-enabled surveys have made this group more accessible.
Conducting surveys via a mobile device also allows researchers to segment a particular niche community more accurately when compared to doing so via desktop. When accessing the survey on mobile devices, such as smartphones, cookies drop onto browsers to report user activity, and along with location data, researchers can identify the individual using the device.
Mobile surveys were not around in mass ten years ago due to a lack of technology to support it and no one advocating for it. The market research industry naturally orbited towards mobile-enabled surveys over time, however. This innovation inadvertently benefited cultural research as multicultural consumers, particularly Hispanics, over-index on smartphone use. Accessibility to respondents and real-time insights help researchers better serve their clients.
Mobile sample continues to add value to research technology. Mobile-enabled surveys give sample providers the means to gauge consumers' attitudes and motivations using a device that a large number of the population keep on their person at all times. But occasionally, it's important to take a step back and reflect on how far technology has come. Like autonomous vehicles, mobile surveys came online in phases. But now, the online sample industry and the clients we serve have used this innovation to transform how we reach multicultural consumers, a clear win for multicultural research.