Posted on 11/28/18
The secret to product superiority in any market is to conduct rigorous product testing in order to make the best product. Product testing, also referred to as consumer testing or product optimization, is the process of measuring a product in development - its capabilities, properties, quality, and performance - in order to maximize product efficiency.
Product superiority is not defined by product developers. They seek the help of market researchers to dig genuine usability insights from potential consumers or research participants. Researchers then do all the digging using different techniques and market research tools. It is a manufacturing company’s goal to make their products worth the money by turning consumer needs, wants, and expectations into reality.
Some researchers conduct product testing by letting participants use the product in development for a period of time, interviewing them afterwards. This allows the consumers to play with the product for a while and be able to use it regularly to find key points for improvement as well as possible threats. Longitudinal studies are also fundamental to continuously improve products already in the market, as findings are used as guidelines for future developments. This method may be a little faulty however, since the study participants are only usually interviewed once at the middle and once at the end of product testing. This method can also result in forgetfulness among participants, leading to inadequate information.
One of the many ways you can use mobile in market research is product testing. Mobile apps like audio diaries and patient journeys are now available anytime, making it convenient for participants to record their thoughts as they are likely to have their devices every time they use the product. This enables researchers to get rich, in-the-moment insights without the influence of any cognitive bias. Civicom’s Audio Diaries and Patient Journey solution is useful for monitoring product performance. Consumer insights on product design like packaging, branding, and price points also produce key information that this solution enables market researchers to discover. This is very useful for testing any kind of product - be it groceries, gadgets, or even medicines or pharmaceuticals. Its ease of use allows participants to constantly check in conveniently via audio recording as if they’re making a phone call.
Frequently making logs is not always sufficient for product testing though. It is imperative that researchers observe the actual product utilization as well. Mobile research capabilities of today has also made it possible to remotely conduct studies using mobile ethnography, where participants can demonstrate how they use the product in real time via their mobile phones while researchers are simultaneously able to get a close look while viewing the live activity through their computer. This enables them to deep-dive and scrutinize how potential consumers apply products to their daily routine as they virtually get the best seat in the house.
Mobile is an excellent market research tool for product testing. The many advantages of mobile research include such flexibility and cost-efficiency that it can be used for almost any type of qualitative research project. The only catch is, as the researcher, you still have to make your product or prototype physically available to ALL your participants - maybe until virtual reality (VR) in market research is completely developed. Other than that, you can conduct any type of mobile qualitative testing - be it nomadic, paired, or sequential. There are so many varied app developments nowadays that it’s impossible not to find the perfect mobile research tool for you.