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How to Understand Consumer Brand Experience through Mobile

Marie NgMarie Ng, vice president of Client Solutions Digital at Millward Brown, discussed how the use of mobile market research strategies can help gather in-depth information about the manifold consumer experiences associated with brands. She presented during the July 2013 event, Market Research in the Mobile World North America.

Ng described three possible ways by which mobile research can be appropriated. One, mobile research can serve as a vehicle to understand mobile as a marketing channel. Two, mobile can be used as a research methodology. And three, it can be a combination of the two–conducting research about the mobile research environment using mobile methodologies.

Understanding the full spectrum of brand experience–including paid advertising, product usage, and conversations with others–helps marketers to formulate better decisions for their creative and media approaches.

Traditional recall-based market research methodologies help to capture how consumers feel about a brand at a “high level,” which involves having consumers remember prior experiences associated with the brand in question. Mobile, on the other hand, can assist in securing consumer brand experiences by zeroing in on very specific moments in time, as well as in a real-time setting.

In a five-week study that involved recruiting a target audience, deploying a brand survey online, tackling a week of a mobile “experience diary,” and engaging with an online community, Ng recounted being able to arrive at interesting research findings: the ways by which brand experiences affect consumers’ perceptions about a brand and the ways by which marketers understand how consumers navigate through a variety of brand experiences.

The online-community part of the study uncovered how the type of brand encounters influenced consumers’ decisions. Brand encounters are made possible by consumer groups identified as, among others, product enthusiasts, social shoppers, digital-savvy shoppers, and deal hunters. It was also discovered that the quality of brand encounter–whether it was memorable or not–varied according to the consumer group and the circumstances surrounding the brand encounter. Now, what’s great about mobile is that marketers can determine when and where the brand encounter occurred.

Ng ended with two recommendations: use mobile to complement traditional market research types and simplify the role of mobile when designing a mobile research strategy

About The Author

Jasper Lim

Jasper Lim is the CEO of Merlien Institute. He frequently reviews the state-of-art of the marketing research industry. Apart from his daily work, Jasper serves as an Editorial Board Member for the International Journal of Work Innovation. He is also an accomplished qualitative researcher with several peer-reviewed academic publications to his name.

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