FEATURE20 January 2016

Smartphones as a measurement tool

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Features Impact Mobile Trends UK

Paul Bainsfair looks at how the rise in smartphone ownership has helped to monitor and measure people’s opinions and behaviour, in his contribution to our celebration of 70 years of market research. 

The internet, particularly the mobile internet, has revolutionised the way people interact with media. Consumers now have access to a fantastic array of choices and have the means to control what media they consume, where and when.

This creates many measurement challenges; however, one of the major reasons for this growing complexity – the smartphone – also offers the means to not only reach increasingly uncooperative respondents, but also to precisely monitor their actions.

A person’s relationship with their mobile phone is incredibly personal. Many people – particularly in the younger age groups – are totally dependent on their smartphones; they carry them throughout the day and place them on the bedside table at night. The alarm wakes them in the morning and, from that moment on, they provide the user with news, communications, information, entertainment, shopping, directions and so on. People, on average, use their phone every other minute.

Given that smartphones are with consumers throughout the whole ...