Mobile Missions: A Fresh Approach to Consumer Research

In the evolving landscape of market research, methods that leverage technology are continually being developed to gain deeper insights into consumer behavior. Mobile Missions are a straightforward approach that has proven successful for SIVO clients. This approach allows researchers to tap into consumers’ real-life experiences in a natural and engaging way, collecting meaningful data in the form of open-ended responses, photos and video footage.  

Mobile Mission research is an immersive approach that leverages mobile technology to engage participants on their own schedule and in their natural environments. This involves prompting consumers to complete a series of activities and questions via their mobile devices, capturing their experiences, thoughts, and behaviors in real-time.  

Mobile Missions offer several advantages over traditional research techniques: 

Real-Time Interaction: Participants receive prompts and tasks on their mobile devices, allowing them to respond in real-time as they shop, prepare, or use products. 

Natural Environment: The method captures consumer behavior in real-life settings, such as their homes or local stores, ensuring more genuine participation and deeper insights. 

Engagement and Comfort: Participants can complete tasks at their own pace, allowing them time to reflect and encouraging more thoughtful and honest responses. 

Remote Observation: Researchers can observe and interact with participants remotely, making it easier to conduct research in environments where in-person observation might be challenging or restricted. 

Mobile Missions are versatile and can be utilized to achieve various research objectives. Five common applications that we see at SIVO include:

  • The First Moment of Truth:   Collect data at the moment consumers encounter a product in the retail environment to understand if the product stands out on the shelf and how it communicates branding and benefits via the package design. You can also capture initial reaction to features like size and pricing relative to competitive options. 
  • The Second Moment of Truth: Gain real-time reaction on how the product meets consumers’ needs, what it replaces in their current routine, the functionality, ease of use, and overall experience during use. 
  • Experience Mapping: Track the entire customer journey from initial product discovery to post-purchase evaluation. This helps in identifying touchpoints and areas where the customer experience can be improved. 
  • Service Interactions: Capture experiences with customer service or support, providing real-time feedback on service quality and responsiveness.
  • Brand/Advertising Interaction: Gauge how consumers perceive and interact with a brand in various contexts, such as online browsing, social media engagement, or in-store visits. 
  • Promotion/ Event Feedback Effectiveness: Capture real-time feedback on promotional events, displays, special offers or discounts that may impact purchase decisions. 
  • Daily Habits, Routines, Lifestyles: Understand consumers’ daily routines and how products fit into their lives. This can include topics like morning routines, parenting styles, health and wellness efforts, or fashion preferences. 
  • Cultural or Regional Context: Conduct research on how cultural or region-specific differences impact product use and perception, tailoring strategies for different regions or demographic groups. 
  • Comparative Shopping: Compare products from different brands during shopping trips, providing insights into competitive positioning and consumer preferences. 
  • Switching Behavior: Investigate reasons behind switching from one brand to another by capturing consumers’ experiences with both products. 

By utilizing Mobile Missions across these diverse areas, companies can gain a holistic understanding of their consumers and their products, leading to more informed decisions and tailored strategies that resonate with their target audience. 

The execution of Mobile Missions typically involves the following specifications: 

  • Pre-recruited: Consumers or customers are pre-recruited to participate in the mobile mission for a specific time commitment 
  • Sample Size:  Because this is qualitative research technique, a sample size of 6 -10 participants to represent a specific customer segment is sufficient 
  • Duration: 2 to 7 days of activities, with daily prompts delivered to participants’ phones 
  • Time Commitment: Approximately 30 minutes of activities each day for participants 
  • A Series of Questions and Tasks: A Discussion and Activities Guide is pre-programmed into the Mobile Mission platform to guide participants through a series of questions and tasks so they can easily provide written responses, video responses, video or photos of their tasks to capture their perceptions, observations and feedback.   

At SIVO, Inc., we are on a constant quest to identify innovative solutions that lead to meaningful insights for our clients. We have had great success in utilizing Mobile Mission technology to capture consumer perceptions and behaviors in a natural and engaging manner to achieve your learning objectives.  

Contact us via our website form or email us at to schedule a discovery call to discuss your business and market research needs.



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