Mobile Apps for Market Research

According to GSMA Intelligence, more than 8 billion mobile phones are in existence to date. That’s a whole lot more than the world’s 7.6 billion human population! Meanwhile, in 2020, connected devices are expected to reach an average of 6.58 devices per person worldwide.

People’s reliability with mobile devices gave birth to various mobile app developments, opening huge opportunities for you - market researchers - to collect richer information from participants worldwide, making the world of market research smaller and more accessible than ever. Gone are the days when you have to spend an excessive amount of money on months of travel to finish qualitative, as global insights are now accessible using a variety of mobile apps strategically designed for qualitative, quantitative, or hybrid market research. Not only does this save you time and money, it also liberates participants from any communication restraints they may feel during face-to-face interviews. This is called online disinhibition, when respondents are more open to share insights transmitted in cyberspace than when the researcher is physically present.


One of the most utilized mobile app types is those designed for mobile research surveys. Mobile surveys are one of the best ways to reach participants globally as mobile phones are always at arm’s reach - no matter the age of the user. It’s also very easy and fast to administer which is, of course, in your favor. Particularly, Civicom’s mobile research survey app offers versatile survey features you’ll need for qualitative data collection. Be it single questions, multiple choice, skip logic, ranking, sliders, photos, or text - you will surely gather all the information your research requires! Advanced mobile market research tools are also available for richer data such as time-based notifications, barcodes, geofencing, and more.

Another multifaceted MR mobile app that Civicom offers is Thoughtlight™ which allows you to collect genuine insights through audio, photo, video, or text responses. Say goodbye to frequent, costly travel as this mobile app offers innovative features enabling you to gather as much information as being on-site. Its customizable activity options allow you to decide what you want to know from your participants and format it in the most useful way to you. Thoughtlight has no data boundaries so participants can access the app and complete activities anywhere. You can validate the legitimacy of their responses by viewing where the activity took place, made possible using GEO locations. An added feature is that it works offline.

With any mobile research app you use, it is wise to determine in advance if you need offline accessibility for mobile research, as for certain studies, you will need for respondents to engage in an activity where their is no or rather just a limited internet connection. Such places typically include big-box retail stores, or rural areas, and even some homes. Types of activities that can be done on a mobile research tool that is app based usually offer less complex activities - surveys, text, audio, photos, videos, and gallery are the typical activity types possible with an app. More complex activities such as ‘sort and rank’ or ‘image identification’ require an internet connection in order to be completed successfully. So these are important considerations when deciding between the choice of a mobile app or a web-based tool that is optimized for mobile. The two are very different.

Another factor to consider in choosing a mobile app is the advantage of more assured privacy. A mobile app is indeed a fully closed research tool and is less prone to hacking than a web-based tool might be.

Many types of qualitative studies require longitudinal data collection in order to come up with strongly reliable findings. Mobile qualitative research offers tremendous help in these cases as it is a great tool for collecting first-person accounts - and Civicom’s Audio Diaries and Patient Journeys offer just that. This mobile qual application is perfect for digging into the WHY’s of making choices and offer the  opportunity for analyzing the deeper meanings that enable you to figure out how people think or make decisions. Ask anything you want to know and participants will answer through audio recordings (as if they’re in a phone call) at their own time and as often and as long as you need them to. Get authentic, real-time insights from anyone anywhere as this mobile app also provides the option to enter questions and receive answers in local languages.


If you’re looking for a way to get a close look at your participants’ natural settings, routines and key decision moments, and eliminate expensive travels and in-home intrusions at the same time, Civicom’s Mobile Ethnography solutions are ideal options for various applications. They give you the capability to immerse through real-time visuals as the participants tour their physical space, such as a living room, garage or kitchen using mobile phones, or wherever your research needs to take you.

Explore multiple options for conducting mobile ethnography - call us at (203) 413-2423 to schedule a demo right away, or click the button below:

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