Thursday, June 2, 2016
3:30 - 3:50 PM
Ted Talks - Duluth/MacKenzie

How Canadians Use Mobile Search

The smartphone is a powerful tool. It's key for marketers to understand how consumers use this device to find information about products and services or shop online. But, understanding is only the first step. More importantly, how can marketers be present for those micro-moments that shape the buying process?

Our research shows how Canadians are searching on their smartphone devices and how their initial search leads to specific online and offline follow-up actions. Moreover, we explore how these online and offline conversions differ across search categories (e.g. financial services, retail, technology, etc.).

During the session we explore the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and WHY of mobile search to give audience members a more comprehensive understanding of the evolving consumer. We also take a look at best practices in mobile interviewing in order to maximize response rates and drive engagement among respondents.

Interest Statement
Our talk on 'How Canadians Use Mobile Search' speaks to the heart of the MRIA's question for the 2016 National Conference, "With declining survey respondents, traditional methods for data collection, such as phone and panel surveys are no longer the primary focus for many researchers. So what is? Mobile, tablets, social media?"

Specifically, the research being presented uses a unique 'digital diary' methodology whereby respondents were recruited to log their mobile search activity using their smartphone over a two-week period. The process worked as follows:

  1. Recruited respondents were asked to download a mobile application to their smartphone device;
  2. After each search conducted using their smartphone, respondents were asked to take a short 'diary' survey through the application to understand everything about the search experience itself (i.e. what they searched for, why they searched for it, and if they plan on conducting any follow-up online or offline actions as a result of the search);
  3. Based on the initial search, 'triggered' return to sample surveys were conducted 24 hours later to assess actual outcomes; and,
  4. After the two-week field period is complete, respondents were sent an 'exit interview' to assess their overall experience with the study, including in-depth feedback on each phase of the methodology.

The benefit of implementing this approach was three-fold.

First, it allowed for immediate/'in-the-moment' feedback from respondents about their search experience. This was fundamental to the accuracy of results since recall would have been a significant issue if we conducted the research using a traditional telephone or online approach. The 'digital diary' was one of the only ways to capture this type of 'micro-moment' effectively.

Second, respondents were extremely engaged with the survey experience. According to data collected from our exit interview, 86% agreed that they enjoyed participating in the study while 89% agreed that completing the mobile app surveys was easy to do (the app even allowed for audio verbatim to open-ended questions). Even more compelling is the high response rate for the return to sample 'triggered' surveys. Specifically, eighty-nine percent of triggered surveys sent were completed by respondents.

Third, the methodology was designed to align itself with the survey content (assessing smartphone search activity using a smartphone device). This likely had
a positive effect on recall since the medium is the same for conducting the search and conducting the survey.

Although the presentation will of course include findings from the foundational 2015 report, we will be replicating the study in Q1 2016 to allow for year-over-year tracking to identify how search behavior has shifted (or not) over time. The Q1 2016 methodology has also been enhanced based on learnings from the foundational study to allow for greater insights that will be presented to conference delegates.

As a result of this session, participants will…

  1. Obtain a better understanding of cross-channel conversion and the role that Mobile plays in the consumer decision making process:
    • Many clients often ask, 'what's the impact of mobile on my business?' As marketers continue to adapt to changing technology, our talk places a focus on both the online and offline impact of mobile search activity. Specifically, we look at cross-channel conversion across multiple categories including Food and Grocery, Retail, Beauty and Fashion, Finance, Technology, Travel and Automotive. This allows for mass-applicability from an audience perspective and industry knowledge that conference delegates can bring back to their organization post-conference.
  2. Enhance audience members' knowledge of mobile search:
    • Key questions to be answered include, a) what Canadians are searching for, b) where they're searching for it, c) when they're searching for it, and d) why they're searching for it.
  3. Learn about various applications of mobile interviewing through an innovative 'digital ethnography' research design:
    • The four-phased approach used to conduct the research was designed to capture the initial search behavior of respondents and re-contact those same respondents to assess any follow up actions that were taken as a result of the search. This allows for both longitudinal and point-in-time analysis across the sample. A final 'Exit Survey' was sent to participants to
      obtain feedback on the methodology and participation which will be presented as part of the session.
  4. Acquire techniques to maximize response rates in mobile research:
    • As an industry we know that response rates are falling, particularly for Telephone interviewing. This portion of the talk will inform session participants of the ways in which we engaged respondents through this research initiative to drive higher response rates.

Andrew Assad
Strategy & Insights Manager, Integrated Solutions, Google Canada

As Strategy & Insights Manager at Google, Andrew's mandate is to deliver research and insights about the digital landscape and the evolution of consumer behaviour. Andrew specializes in the areas of Auto, Finance and Mobile.

Prior to Google, Andrew spent 7 years at Microsoft, focusing on research, marketing, sales and product management. Before that, he had 7+ years of research experience at Environics, TELUS and Service Intelligence.

Andrew has an MBA from the University of Calgary.


Dan Miller
Business Manager, Consumer Insights, Nielsen

Dan is an outcome-driven researcher who works directly with clients at all stages of the research process, from needs assessments to final report and presentation delivery. Mr. Miller's skills are demonstrated in the multitude of methodological designs he works on, from Usage and Attitude surveys to Discrete Choice Designs. In his 6 years working in the market research industry, he has collaborated with clients across a wide range of industry sectors, with a specific focus on media, telecommunications and technology, financial services and non-profit, to help drive empirically-based business decisions.

Prior to joining Nielsen, Dan developed his quantitative and qualitative research knowledge in his roles at Hotspex and Insignia Marketing Research. His modus operandi was, and continues to be, providing clients with accurate, valid and actionable research insights to facilitate data-driven business decisions.