11 July 2017

What You Target is Who You Get

by Laura O'Brien, Account Manager

Reaching Consumers on Their Terms

We market research professionals hear it all the time – consider device, design with mobile in mind. It’s important to reach wide, representative audiences, and we need to leverage the proliferation of mobile devices to achieve our sampling goals. However, unless there are resources to run the same study multiple times, it’s difficult to know which audiences are left out when mobile is excluded. Why change tactics when the pros and cons are unknown?

The UBMobile Team investigated these audiences, and we found some intriguing results. For example, we discovered rates of selecting “Prefer not to say” for demographic questions are similar across devices. However, there are key differences in the demographic composition of PC and smartphone survey takers. When it comes to reaching wider audiences via device targeting, it’s not just mobile, but smartphones that makes a difference.

PC survey takers tend to be married, employed full-time, and are more likely than smartphone survey takers to make $100K+. Tablet survey takers, like PC survey takers, have high rates of being married. They tend to be retired (aged 55+), and skew female. As expected, smartphone survey takers are much younger, as they are more likely than PC and tablet users to be 18-34 years old (especially males in this age group). Unlike PCs and tablets, they skew towards being single. Although smartphone survey takers are similar to PCs in their rate of being employed full-time, they are more likely to make less than $50K. And while this particular study did not look at race/ethnicity, we know from previous projects that smartphones are the only way to reach important segments of the population.

As our industry continues to develop new ways to reach representative audiences, smartphones are a required component. By optimizing our research and survey designs to be mobile-first, by prioritizing an engaging survey experience, we create more enjoyable respondent experiences that yield higher participation and completion rates – both of which are important in ensuring the most reliable data with which to make better marketing decisions.