GPRS m-telephone interviewing – a survey method for the future?

Are the mobile phone users ready for MCASI?


The popularity of mobile phones is well known and more importantly for the market research industry, the segment ”mobil only” is growing. Among the younger generation (teen-agers and young adults), the majority can only be reach by a mobile phone. From the point of view of a market research company, this development must be taken seriously. Non-voice communication such as SMS has been growing rapidly and even though mobile Internet, wap-services etc has not been a success in Europe, there are also signs of increased demand for such services. However, for mobile Internet services we are still in the infancy stage. For the market research community, this development will have implications. In this project MCASI (mobile computer-assisted self-interviewing) is tested. The purpose is to build knowledge in an area of importance for the market research industry in the near future.

Research on mobile telephone interviewing

In an ESOMAR conference, February 2001, two papers focused WAP phones and market research. The first author Jamie Cattell writes “This paper demonstrated that the mobile internet is an excellent tool for carrying out research. The key benefits are reach and speed. The main disadvantage is reduced richness due to device limitations. The mobile internet may be used both as a substitute to conventional methodologies and as an extension of them.” Cattell did the testing among I-mode users in Japan. The second authors, Matthews et. al. also did successful testing and conclude that; “The biggest improvement that technology will provide for mobile internet interviewing will be through GPRS technology. In the test they used the former protocol wap1.0. In a more recent paper by John Weisberg in the Canadian Journal of Marketing Research (volume 20, 2002), the terms MCAPI and MCASI are being used. Weisberg writes "MCAPI (mobile computer-assisted personal interviewing) and MCASI (mobile computer-assisted self interviewing) are CASIC (computer-assisted survey information collection) variations that add mobility. This enhancement enables survey researchers to reap the benefits of CASIC in many situations in which paper and pencil interviewing was previously the only viable option. As a result, the possibility exists for researchers to improve on current practices and engage in new forms of research."

In 2003, the use of both the mobile internet and MMS's has increased. There are a number of reasons for this development. An important factor is the promotion from the telecom industry, media companies and companies offering mobile services. Moreover, the new mobile phones introduced into market place are GPRS-phones and in Norway in 2003 approximately 1.6 millions mobile phones were sold. When wap was developed and launched it was tried by a number of users of mobile phones. However, the users experienced a number of problems, and the number of services were also few. With GPRS, some of these problems are or should be solved.

Research tasks and main activities

From the perspective of a market research company there are in this contexts two key questions. First, in what manner should respondents be contacted and recruited as survey participants? And secondly, what kind of data collection method should be used?  Moreover, what are the factors influencing response rates, the willingness or ability to complete a mobile survey, what are the human and technical problems with regard to this new method? This is some of the research questions addressed in the project. For a market research company it is both a strategic and an operational question if and how MCASI should be included in their portfolio.

The two mobile surveys

In the project, two applications of a mobile survey, an MCASI survey, have been developed and tested. The first, MCASI 1, is a short and simple wap-based questionnaire primarily with single-response questions. SMS's are used to give instructions about how to start the mobile survey. The second, MCASI 2, is a more advanced wap-based questionnaire that also contains fill-in text boxes (open questions). MMS's are use to give instructions and to  present pictures (entertainment) from the Norwegian  Broadcasting. The test-participants were recruited by TNS Gallup from a national representative panel.

Members of the panel with GPRS-phones were invited to test a mobile questionnaire. In the second test, only those with at least some experience with MMS were included in the sample frame. The Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) was responsible for the content of the two surveys. NRK is focusing on mobile services and has a high number of subscribers to their MMS service, and is one the largest media companies in Norway.

Results from the project

The test-participants and the non-participants

 

MCASI 1

MCASI 2

Participants in the test (by using the mobile phone)

   Sub-group – answered the follow up questionnaire

155

127

145

121

Non-participants (did not take part in the test)

   Sub-group – answered the follow up questionnaire

196

120

433

329

 

The profile of the test-participants and the non-participants

 

Non- participants

Participants

MCASI 1

Non- participants

Participants

MCASI 2

Women

Men

32% (63)

68% (132)

23% (36)

78% (119)

24% (102)

76% (330)

28% (40)

72% (102)

Age

15 - 19 years old

20 - 19 years old

30 - 39 years old

40 - 49 years old

50 - 59 years old

60 +

 

10% (19)

20% (39)

34% (65)

20% (39)

13% (25)

4% (7)

 

10% (16)

23% (36)

43% (67)

19% (29)

3% (5)

1% (2)

 

10% (45)

23% (97)

33% (144)

24% (104)

7% (30)

2% (10)

 

10% (15)

27% (39)

41% (59)

15% (22)

6% (9)

1% (1)

Level of education

Primary education

Professional training

University or college, 1 - 4 years

University or college, more than 4 y.

 

13% (25)

39% (77)

30% (59)

18% (35)

 

14% (22)

35% (54)

27% (42)

24% (37)

 

14% (61)

38% (166)

32% (139)

15% (67)

 

13% (19)

43% (62)

27% (39)

17% (25)

Personal income

Less than 12.500 euro

12.500 – 24.999 euro

25.000 – 37.499 euro

37.500 – 49.999 euro

50.000 – 62.499 euro

62.500 or more

Not willing to give information

 

13% (25)

11% (21)

16% (31)

19% (38)

11% (22)

13% (25)

17% (34)

 

12% (18)

4% (6)

15% (24)

22% (34)

10% (16)

14% (22)

23% (35)

 

13% (57)

7% (28)

16% (71)

23% (101)

11% (48)

12% (53)

17% (75)

 

17% (24)

8% (11)

17% (25)

21% (30)

15% (21)

9% (13)

15% (21)

Kind of mobile ”subscription”

Pre-paid

Post-paid

Don’t know

 

11% (21)

88% (173)

1% (2)

 

7% (11)

92% (142)

2% (2)

 

11% (47)

89% (384)

% (2)

 

10% (15)

88% (127)

2% (3)

Payment, the mobile subscription/bill 

I pay the bill myself

Parents/spouse pay the bill partly/completely

Employer pays the bill 

Employer pays partly the bill

Other

 

57% (112)

 

5% (10)

29% (57)

8% (15)

1% (2)

 

46% (72)

 

6% (10)

37% (57)

10% (15)

1% (1)

 

63% (273)

 

5% (20)

22% (96)

9% (41)

% (1)

 

59% (86)

 

3% (5)

28% (41)

8% (12)

1% (1)

In what kind of industry do you work?

ICT/data/telecom

Other industries

Not answered

 

 

7% (13)

42% (82)

45% (101)

 

 

19% (17)

54%  (73)

42% (65)

 

 

7% (30)

48% (209)

45% (194)

 

 

14% (20)

54%  (78)

32% (47)

 

196

155

433

145



Feedback from the test-participants

 

MCASI 1

MCASI 2

The invitation, to get an invitation by SMS or MMS? 

Very negative

Negative

Neither negative or positive

Positive

Very positive

 

2% (3)

5% (6)

28% (36)

58% (74)

6% (8)

 

2% (2)

6% (7)

36% (42)

51% (60)

6% (7)

The instruction in the invitation (easy to understand, not easy to understand)?

Very negative

Negative

Neither negative or positive

Positive

Very positive

 

 

2% (3)

5% (6)

24% (31)

63% (80)

6% (7)

 

 

2% (3)

13% (15)

19% (22)

58% (68)

8% (10)

To start the survey, the on-logging procedure (open wap or to click on a wap-link)?

Very negative

Negative

Neither negative or positive

Positive

Very positive

 

 

2% (3)

12% (15)

31% (39)

51% (65)

4% (5)

 

 

4% (5)

10% (12)

42% (49)

36% (43)

8% (9)

The way the questions and answers were presented (the display)?
Very negative

Negative

Neither negative or positive

Positive

Very positive

 

 

2% (2)

13% (16)

31% (39)

51% (65)

4% (5)

 

 

3% (4)

20% (24)

30% (35)

41% (48)

6% (7)

To be able to fill in the questionnaire when it suits yourself?

Very negative

Negative

Neither negative or positive

Positive

Very positive

 

 

2% (2)

1% (1)

14% (18)

62% (79)

21% (27)

 

 

1% (1)

2% (2)

18% (21)

58% (69)

21% (25)

The time (number of minutes) of answering the survey?
Very negative

Negative

Neither negative or positive

Positive

Very positive

 

3% (4)

9% (12)

37% (47)

44% (56)

6% (8)

 

8% (9)

20% (24)

35% (41)

33% (39)

4% (5)

To participate in a survey by using the mobile phone?
Very negative

Negative

Neither negative or positive

Positive

Very positive

 

4% (5)

16% (20)

23% (30)

47% (59)

10% (13)

 

6% (7)

22% (26)

31% (37)

33% (39)

8% (9)

 

127

118



Willingness to participate in new mobile surveys

 

MCASI 1

MCASI 2

Are you interested in participating in surveys on the mobile phone in the future?
Yes

No

Don’t know

 

75% (95)

9% (12)

16% (20)

 

49% (59)

28% (34)

23% (28)

 

127

121



More results from the project will be presented at Technovate 2, an ESOMAR conference on technology and market research methods in Barcelona, February 2004.

Technovate 2 - conference web-site

Project partners

TNS Gallup Norway

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK)

Norwegian Computing Center (NR)

Contact person: Svein Thalberg (TNS Gallup Norway) and Ingvar Tjøstheim (Norwegian Computing Center)

Acknowledgement

The project is co-funded by the Research Council of Norway, the PULS program about services, commerce and logistics.
Web-site: the PULS program


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