5 Steps to Mobile Marketing Research

by Brook Lenox on February 6, 2009

mobile-researchIn late 2007 I started researching how to acquire customers with mobile marketing. What a great space. One of the fantastic things about mobile marketing is how well you can target your customers and how quickly you can gather information about them.

 So what kind of information did I need to gather?

Thanks for asking.  Recently, I needed to see if iPhone customers had different opinions about texting, IM, and email when compared to RIM, Palm, Symbian, and Windows mobile customers. I used Admob and Decktrade to drive the traffic and Mobiode to collect the survey data. I’m now addicted to mobile surveys. I gathered over 400 iPhone surveys in about 2 hours!

Here are 5 simple steps to running a mobile survey:

Step 1 – Create Your List of Questions

What is it that you are trying to learn?  I suggest starting with the typical questions: age, gender, country, occupation, etc. so that you can take different slices of the data later.  Then you have to determine what’s important to you.  In this case, we needed to know what types of activities people were doing on their iPhones beyond just making calls.

So for example, we asked questions like:

Do you IM from your PC? If yes, what service do you use?
Do you IM from your iPhone? If yes, what service do you use?

Don’t do this stage of the process in a vacuum.  Get people together to brainstorm on the right types of questions you’ll need to ask to get what you want.  Ask a product manager, a customer service person, and others to join you so that you can get several different perspectives.  Obviously don’t make the group so big that you can’t get anything done.

Step 2 – Set Up Your Survey


I used Mobiode to create the actual mobile survey.  

So here’s what I like about Mobiode:

  • It’s easy to use. I set up my first survey in around 30 minutes.
  • You can export your data. This allows you to slice & dice it for hours if you like.
  • Inexpensive. Our subscription has all I need for less than $30 per month!

What I don’t like:

  • It’s a bit inflexible. Once you launch a survey you usually think: “I’d like to tweak that question a bit”. No way. You have to create a totally new survey.
  • Reporting is lacking. If you’ve ever used Survey Monkey or QuestionPro you’ll quickly see you don’t get any advanced reporting.
  • Quirks…every once in a while it’ll just not work.

Step 3 – Test Your Survey


This step is key…especially with Mobiode for two reasons:

  • Once launched,  as I mentioned, you can’t change even typos.  You have to start over!
  • It’s hard to know how all characters will look on mobile devices.

I tested my surveys before launching using Mobiode’s emulator, but also after they launched, using my own mobile device.  Several times I caught characters that displayed fine in Mobiode, but didn’t show up correctly on my device.  Apostrophes seemed to cause the most problems.

Step 4 – Drive Traffic To Your Survey

Companies like Admob and Decktrade make it easy to set up a mobile advertising account.  I prefer them so far over Google. 

If you’ve used Yahoo or Google for cost per click advertising on the web, you’ll find it very easy to set up an account with either of these companies.  You’ll just need a credit card and your companies’ information to do so. 

Once you’ve set up an account, you can create an ad with some nifty targeting like:

  • Country
  • Carrier
  • Handset
  • Features

Be sure to set a daily budget so that you don’t overspend.  Admob’s daily budget minimum is currently $100.  If you’re getting traffic @ $.10 per click for example, and you think you’ll need about 1,500 visitors to get enough results for your survey, then set your budget at $150 for that day.

Step 5 – Analyze Your Results

This is the good stuff.  Once you’ve gathered what you think is a statistically significant number of responses, you can export your data from Mobiode into excel.  You can check to see if those 14-18 year olds answered differently from 19-23 year olds.  We looked to see if Facebook users had more interest in IM, texting, and email over MySpace users.

At The End Of The Day…

With a mobile ad network like Admob and a mobile survey tool like Mobiode you can get crucial data about current or potential customers in days, if not hours!